Custody and Care of Children in Spain: Can the Two Rights be Reconciled?

Feminist Legal Studies 29 (3):351-373 (2021)
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Abstract

This study aims to analyse the legal decision-making process in the Community of Valencia regarding contentious divorces particularly with respect to parental authority, custody and visiting arrangements for children, and the opinions of mothers and fathers on the impact these judicial measures have had on their lives. It also considers the biases in these decisions produced by privileging the rights of the adults over those of the children. Three particular moments are studied: the situation before the break-up, focusing on the invisible gender gap in care; the judicial process, where we observe the impact of hidden gender-based violence and gender stereotypes; and the situation post-decision, showing how any existing violence continues after divorce, by means of parental authority. The concept of ‘motherhood under threat’ is placed at the centre of these issues, where children’s voices are given the least attention.

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