Parental authority

Parental authority includes in particular the obligation and right of the parents to take care of the child's person and property and to raise the child. The need to regulate parental responsibility arises in particular after the parents break up or divorce. If the other parent restricts you from exercising your parental authority please contact our lawyer.
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martyna dudkowiak
Martyna Dudkowiak
Attorney (Advocate), Partner
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Parental authority is the set of rights and obligations of parents towards children, which entitled to both parents. The child remains under parental authority until the age of 18. However, in a situation when the best interests of the child are at stake, one or both parents may be deprived of parental authority, or it may be limited. The child’s welfare may be threatened primarily due to inadequate exercise of parental responsibility, which may include:

  • neglecting the child’s needs,
  • leaving the child unattended,
  • improper care for the health of the child,
  • abandonment of compulsory education.

The need to regulate parental authority will also arise, i.a., in the event of divorce between the child’s parents, especially if the parents cannot agree on matters relating to the child. Parental authority is one of the obligatory components of the divorce decree. In order to avoid an unfavorable turn of the case, it is worth entrusting it to an experienced family attorney with an appropriate approach to enforcing parental authority.

The services provided by our Family Law Firm include:

  • deprivation of parental authority,
  • limitation of parental authority,
  • suspension of parental authority,
  • granting parental authority,
  • custody – determining the child’s place of stay,
  • consent to undertake an activity exceeding the ordinary management of the child’s property,
  • resolving important matters of the child – the child’s travel abroad, obtaining a passport and ID card for the child,
  • international child abduction.

In matters relating to parental authority, we will review your case and:

  • answer your questions – prepare the legal opinion or arrange a consultation,
  • indicate strengths and weaknesses of your case and propose optimal solutions,
  • present next stages of parental authority proceedings, actions necessary to be taken and a list of evidence to be gathered,
  • prepare the parental agreement,
  • prepare and submit a lawsuit/petition and other pleadings,
  • participate in a court hearings and act on your behalf.


Parental authority

What is parental authority?

The child remains under parental authority until the age of majority (18 years old). Both parents have full parental authority – the parents decide jointly about the important matters, manage the child’s property and they are the legal representatives of the child.

When does the court decide about parental authority?

The principle is that when spouses have common minor child the court decides in the divorce decree about the parental authority over their minor child – this is an obligatory component of the divorce decree.

What types of decisions regarding parental authority are in Poland?

Deciding on parental authority over minor children in the divorce decree, the court may decide to:

  • leave full parental authority to both parents,
  • entrust the exercise of parental authority to one of the parents, while limiting the parental authority of the other parent to specific duties and rights in relation to the child, e.g. to co-decide on the most important matters of the child (e.g. choice of school, medical treatments) or to be informed about important matters of the child,
  • suspend of parental authority of one or both parents,
  • deprive the parental authority of one or both parents,
  • the court is guided by the best interests of the child when deciding on parental authority, assesses the parents’ ability to communicate and to make a joint decision on matters relating to the child,
  • the decision about the parental authority may be changed at any time by the court upon request.

Useful evidence

When you are applying for full parental authority for yourself or for limiting the authority of the other parent you should prove the circumstances on which you base your request, e.g. by:

  • testimony of the spouses,
  • testimony of the witnesses – e.g. family members, friends, employees,
  • photos, videos,
  • experts’ opinions of psychologists, psychiatry on relations with children, upbringing and parental abilities of parents,
  • statements from children’s teachers/schools.

Place of residence of the common minor children

Due to the breakdown of the marriage, the spouses usually live separately and thus the children live with one of the parents. The court decides in the divorce decree about the children’s place of residence after the divorce and determines with which parent the children will live. The divorce court may decide that the child will live abroad in place of residence of one of the parents.

Our Family Law Firm may help you prepare the list of necessary documents and evidence to use during divorce proceeding.

Contact with our expert if you have any questions.
Family & Divorce martyna dudkowiak
Martyna Dudkowiak
Attorney (Advocate), Partner
check full info of team member: Martyna Dudkowiak
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