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Parental authority

Joanna Jędrzejewska – divorce and family law lawyer in Poznań.

The Family and Guardianship Code contains many issues relating to the relationship between parents and children. One such issue is parental responsibility over the child, which is often the subject of dispute between parents who are in the process of divorce (spouses) or ending their relationship (in the case of persons living in a civil partnership).

What is parental responsibility?

Under this concept there is an obligation, but also the right to take care of the child and manage his property (if he has any). Parental responsibility includes, among others, the obligation to provide the child with appropriate living conditions and care for his physical and spiritual development. Every parent exercising parental authority over a child is obliged to bring it up, take care of its education, provide assistance in developing its passions and interests so as to adapt the child to future functioning in society. Pursuant to the provisions of the Family and Guardianship Code, parental authority is vested in both parents and should be exercised by them jointly.

However, in the event of the parents’ separation, e.g. after a divorce, when parental authority cannot be exercised by both parents, e.g. about which below. When parents, despite separation, during divorce proceedings or in separate proceedings for entrusting the exercise of parental authority, conclude the so-called parental agreement (also known as a parenting plan or a parenting plan), in which they will determine how to share the duties and rights related to the exercise of parental authority, the court may decide to leave parental authority over the child to both parents.

It needs to be emphasized that the concepts of parental authority and contact with the child are not the same. Detailed information on the issue of contacts with the child can be found in the “Contacts with the child” tab.

The team of legal advisors and advocates of the Kowalak Jędrzejewska and Partners Law Firm in Poznań provides legal assistance in matters related to entrusting the exercise of parental authority.

The lawyers of our law firm know that in such a case the fate of the child is decided and its result, i.e. a court decision on which of the parents will be entrusted with the exercise of parental authority, affects the future of the child.

We know that these cases evoke great emotions, which is why, in addition to professional legal assistance during representation in court proceedings, we guarantee an empathetic and human approach to each case.

Attorneys and legal advisers of our law firm provide legal assistance in cases concerning:

  • entrusting the exercise of parental authority,
  • limitation of parental authority,
  • deprivation of parental authority,
  • restoring the exercise of parental authority.
  • determining the child’s whereabouts;
  • decision on important matters of the child, e.g.: – issuing a passport, for which the consent of both parents with full parental authority over the child is required, – choice of kindergarten, school if parents cannot agree on this, – name change.


What is the restriction of parental authority and when does the court limit the exercise of parental authority?

As indicated in the introduction, in court proceedings the subject of which is to entrust the exercise of parental authority over a child, the court may entrust the exercise of parental authority to one of the parents, limiting the parental authority to the other parent to specific duties and rights in relation to the child. In the decision concluding the proceedings in the case, the court may specify in detail the rights and obligations of the parent whose parental authority has been limited.

The most common form of limiting parental authority is granting the right to co-decide about the most important issues of the child’s life. You can also meet the following forms of limiting parental authority: – to co-decide on issues related to health, education, and trips abroad – to obtain information about the most important issues of the child’s life / about the child’s health / about his progress in education. In court proceedings for entrusting the exercise of parental authority, the court analyzes the evidence, including inter alia: interrogates the parties, witnesses, often uses the opinion of a court expert in the field of psychology or in large cities, such as in Poznań, the opinion of a team of court experts from the Opinion Team of Court Specialists (OZSS). All this evidence is to give the court an answer to the question of which parent is the primary caregiver for the child, with whom he has better relations and which parent will provide a better upbringing of the child. The basic premise for limiting parental authority is the situation when it is in the best interests of the child. This is most often the case when the parents cannot reach an agreement on the exercise of parental responsibility over the child.

The exercise of parental authority should involve at least minimal cooperation of both parents, and when this is impossible, there is a risk that the child’s welfare may suffer. It will be impossible for the court to entrust parental authority to parents in conflict with each other. The court may also limit the parental authority of that parent if the parent showed negative behavior towards the child, e.g. used violence in any form.


When does parental authority end?

Bartosz Kowalak – legal adviser in Poznań

The guardianship court may deprive parents of parental authority over the child in the event that parental authority cannot be exercised due to a permanent obstacle, if the parents abuse parental authority or grossly neglect their duties towards the child.

Deprivation of parental authority may be ordered against one or both parents. What do the terms: permanent impediment, abuse of parental authority or gross neglect of duties towards a child mean? A permanent obstacle is one that permanently excludes, for a long time, the possibility of exercising parental authority over a child. This is the most common reason for deprivation of parental authority. For example, it is: lack of interest in the person of the child, sentencing the parent to a long-term prison sentence, mental illness of the parent.

Abuse of parental authority is not only the negative behavior of a parent towards the child, but also any behavior towards the other parent or other person. For example: aggressive behavior, threats against the other parent, disturbing the peace of the household members, alcohol abuse. It should be noted here that abuse is not a one-off behavior. This behavior must be repetitive or last for some length of time. Gross neglect of duties towards the child will be both serious misconduct of the parent and those of minor importance, but characterized by persistence or bad will on the part of the parent. The Family and Guardianship Code does not contain a precise definition of the activities / behaviors that fall under this term, but such behaviors can certainly be considered as: long-term lack of contact between the parent and the child, lack of participation in the process of upbringing or education of the child.

A few tips on proceedings in the field of parental responsibility over a child.

It is worth pointing out that court cases concerning entrusting the exercise of parental authority over a child may be heard spontaneously, e.g. when the child’s parents were or remain in a civil partnership, but they may also be part of a dispute resolved, for example, in a divorce proceeding. Based on our professional experience, we know that relationships between former spouses / former partners can directly affect the relationship between them and their children. It is often not easy to separate bad emotions towards the former partner from the fact that the partner is also the other parent of the child. We try to sensitize our clients that the child’s well-being is a priority good, so you should not submit a dispute between former partners to the other parent-child line.


Why do I need a lawyer or legal advisor for a court case in the field of parental responsibility over a child?

Having several years of practice in representing clients in family matters, including court proceedings related to the exercise of parental authority, we know that such proceedings are often complex and multi-threaded. In addition, time is of the essence in these types of cases.

Often, the speed of the attorney’s action in the person of a legal adviser or attorney, the submitted applications and evidence in a court case determine its outcome. We have noticed that all court cases involving children are emotionally difficult matters, especially for a parent. The child’s well-being is the most important thing for every parent, and when this good is threatened, it is often caused by irrational behavior.

Our experience shows that when emotions prevail over common sense, this can lead to prolongation of the proceedings, and even to further adverse effects for the participant in court proceedings, such as losing the case, which, however, could have been avoided. Therefore, in order to avoid an unfavorable outcome of the case, it is worth using the help of an experienced lawyer or legal adviser. By entrusting the team of our law firm to conduct a case in the field of parental responsibility, the client is assured that his interests will be professionally represented. We would also like to point out that by entrusting our law firm with the handling of their case, the client receives support not from one lawyer or legal advisor, but from the entire team of lawyers from our law firm in Poznań.

By entrusting the law firm with handling a parental authority case, we offer you:

  • preparation of an individual case management strategy
  • legal assistance of a lawyer, legal adviser at every stage of the case,
  • personal, telephone and e-mail contact during the case,
  • personal participation in negotiations aimed at reaching an agreement and concluding a settlement without the need to go to court,
  • personal participation in court hearings,
  • preparation of an application or a lawsuit,
  • other documents mentioned in the course of the court case culture and empathy.


What area do we operate in?


Poznań, surroundings, but not only. Kowalak Jędrzejewska i Partnerzy law firm offers legal assistance and representation before courts of all instances in Poznań, in particular: District Court Poznań – Stare Miasto in Poznań, District Court Poznań – Nowe Miasto and Wilda in Poznań, District Court Poznań – Grunwald and Jeżyce in Poznań , District Court in Poznań.

We also operate throughout the Wielkopolskie Voivodeship, but not only. Parental authority Jarocin – lawyer in Jarocin For several years, our law firm has also run a branch in Jarocin.

Thus, we also offer our clients the conduct of cases in the field of parental responsibility before district courts located in the district of the District Court in Kalisz and before the District Court in Kalisz.

This means that we offer legal assistance to the residents of Jarocin, Krotoszyn, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Pleszew, Gostyń, Borek Wielkopolski, Koźmin Wielkopolski, Kotlin and Kalisz. Parental authority Września – legal adviser in Września Due to the intensive development of the law firm, at the end of 2021 we launched another branch of the law firm in Września. T

herefore, legal assistance can be obtained from us by clients who will file court cases with the District Court in Września, the District Court in Słupca and the District Court in Konin.

Feel free to contact us legal advisor Joanna Jędrzejewska and legal advisor Bartosz Kowalak Kowalak Jędrzejewska and Partners law firm ul. Mickiewicza 18a/3 Poznań Attorney Joanna Jędrzejewska 504 126 688tel. +48 61 2224963 phone/fax +48 61 8427445e-mail: joanna.jedrzejewska@prawnikpoznanski.pl