In this article we will talk about shared custody, the option for the custody of minors that separated parents are currently requesting the most.

When a couple that has children decides to separate, first of all they have to put aside the differences and think about what is best for the children. No matter what we want, the decision regarding the care of minors must be made solely and exclusively for their well-being. Who gets custody? Currently in Spain there are four alternatives: shared custody, sole or exclusive custody, split custody or shared custody.

For years, we mothers used to keep custody, but times have changed. Currently the one that is most requested, and for which the judges are betting, is shared custody . It’s more. There are already autonomous communities (Catalonia, Navarra and the Basque Country) that have reformed their legal system to establish shared custody as a preferred option.

Before explaining what it consists of, it is important to remember that in Spain it has not even turned 15 years old. The first time that the term “shared custody” was included in the Civil Code and the Civil Procedure Law was in 2005 ( Law 15/2005, of July 8 ). It is also regulated in article 92 of the Civil Code .


It receives the name of shared custody because the father and the mother share the custody of the minors equally . This means that the children spend half the time with each other, and parents have to take care of our parental obligations when we have to live with them.

The use of the family home has also changed with this new form of custody. There are two options, and it is up to the parents to decide what we consider to be the most convenient for our children:

1. The child stays in the family home and the parents take turns for a week each to live in it.
2. Each parent has her house and it is the son who changes house depending on who he has to be with.

It is important to make it clear that when one of the parents is in custody, the other can visit the minor according to the established visitation regime.

As for alimony, whether or not it is compulsory will depend on the economic situation of each spouse, the use being made of the family home and the time the child spends with each of their parents.


If you want to request joint custody, you should know that both you and your ex-partner must specify it in the regulatory agreement proposal . If you don’t do it now, you have another chance through the separation or divorce proceedings.

After the sentence, you want to modify the custody regime, it will be necessary to initiate a procedure to modify the measures. This can be by mutual agreement (a new regulatory agreement is presented) or contentious.


We have already said that judges are inclined towards this form of custody of minors. However, before making a decision, they take into account a series of aspects aimed at protecting the interests of children, something that, after all, is what all parents want. To do this, they weigh issues such as:

  • what children want
  • the number of children
  • The abilities of both parents to care for their children
  • If both parents have taken care of the minors on previous occasions
  • The status of the relationship between both ex-spouses
  • The relationship between parents and children

Are there grounds for denial of joint custody? Yes. The Civil Code, is its article 92.7 , it says, verbatim: “Joint custody will not proceed when either of the parents is involved in a criminal proceeding initiated for attempting against life, physical integrity, freedom, moral integrity or the freedom and sexual indemnity of the other spouse or of the children who live with both. Nor will it proceed when the Judge notices, from the allegations of the parties and the evidence taken, the existence of well-founded indications of domestic violence.

They are also grounds for refusal if one of the parents suffers from some type of mental disorder, has serious addictions or due to their work cannot take care of the minors.


Soon, everything seems to indicate that shared custody is a formula with which we all win. On the one hand, it seems to be the least harmful solution for children, since they will be able to live with both parents. At the same time, the father and mother have the opportunity to get involved in their care and education .

The problem comes when the couple does not get along and the child has to continue witnessing discussions. Does it really benefit minors to have to endure that bad environment with each exchange?

In addition, psychologists have already coined the term “suitcase syndrome”, a disorder that has been seen in children who have to constantly change houses. That is why they do not recommend this type of custody for children under 7 years of age.

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