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Sole custody in Romania

Ana Maria Alexandru
Ana Maria Alexandru

You all know the Bible story: two women both claiming to be the mother of the same child. King Solomon had to choose. Two mothers, only one gets the kid. King Solomon proposed to chop the kid in half. It all ends if one mom relinquishes her custody, or else the kid gets torn apart. You all know how story ends: the true mom would rather give her baby up than have it ripped in two.

But what happens when there are two real parents involved and both stand their ground? That’s a no-win situation!

Cases like this are registered more and more often with the Romanian courts. Parents requesting sole custody without strong arguments, destroying their ability to effectively co-parent, exacerbate the conflict between them and harming the child just for their personal interest instead of the best interest of their child.

Sole custody implies that one parent is allowed, for good reasons, to take care of the child and always make decisions for him. A parent for which sole custody has been granted by the court can make decisions about the child’s schooling, religious upbringing and medical care, for example. The other parent has the right to watch over the way the child is raised and educated and to give his consent for the child’s adoption, if the case.

The Romanian Civil Code does not provide any explanations on what the good reasons are. In practice, Romanian courts won’t hesitate to award sole custody if the other parent is deemed unfit because of psychological illness, drug addiction, violence against the child or other parent, convictions for sex offenses, drug trafficking, trafficking of human beings, violence, and any other reasons related to risks towards the child and in connection with the parental authority.

The jurisprudence has concluded that sole custody can be granted also in cases when the other parent has never showed interest for the upbringing of the child and it is also difficult to get in contact with.

As per the parents that live in different countries it has been concluded that if there is no good reason for a sole custody decision to be issued (as mentioned above) there is no ground to exclude the parent from the joint custody regime.

In Romania, courts regularly award joint custody, which means that the decision making is shared by both parents. Joint custody of a child means both parents having the right and the obligation to make decisions about a child’s upbringing.

However, irrespective of the good reasons, some parents request the court to award them sole custody based on the animosity with the other parent, which most often affect the wellbeing of the child. It is best to seek sole custody only if the other parent truly causes harm in any way to the child.

It may be difficult to discuss with the other parent before deciding, especially when it comes to a child’s routine or medical care, but it might be a good alternative for your little one.

Discourage litigation when it comes to your child.

Ana-Maria Alexandru

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