Child Custody

Child custody arrangements in the Conservatória do Registo Civil

Until the publication of Law 5/2017 of 2 March, a peculiar regime was in force in our country regarding the competence of the Civil Registry Office in relation to child custody arrangements

In fact, even if there was an agreement between the parents, the custody issue could only be settled  at the Civil Registry Office in the context of divorce (or separation) proceedings. In any other case custody could only be settled in a family court, for instance in the context of a civil partnership dissolution.

This solution  left much to be desired because it unnecessarily burdened the family courts with cases where there was no dispute between the parents.

Law 5/2017 corrected this state of affairs, allowing child custody arrangements to be definitively settled in the Civil Registry Office, provided there is an agreement between the  parents. Thus, in any case where the parents wish, by agreement, to regulate parental responsibilities relating to their children, they may submit the agreement to the Civil Registry Office for approval, and there is no longer the need to go to Court.


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