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April 8, 2019 – Shared Parenting In Belgium

Belgium Civil Code 374 § 2 :

“In case the parents do not live together and seize the court with their dispute, the agreement on the housing of the children is homologated by the court except when it obviously is contrary to the interest of the child.

In the absence of an agreement, in case of joint parental authority, the court examines with priority, at the request of at least one parent, the possibility of fixing the housing of the child in an egalitarian way between his parents.

However, if the court estimates that the egalitarian housing is not the most appropriate formula, it can decide to fix a non-egalitarian housing.

Anyhow, the court decrees by a specially motivated judgment, taking into account the concrete circumstances of the case and the interest of the children and of the parents.”

[Homologate: express agreement with or approval of.]

GCC comment: It would appear that the Belgium statute expresses a preference for determining the child’s “housing” ” in an egalitarian way between his parents”. If that regime is not “the most appropriate formula”, only then can the court move to some other regime. Egalitarian housing according to one Belgian author means “equally shared parenting”.
In Belgium, “Joint physical custody became more widespread among average-educated parents after joint physical custody had been legally adopted (2006).”

Source: Jan Piet H. de Man, Joint Physical Custody in Belgium and Age-Adapted Parental Plans, Presentation to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 23 October 2013.

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Photo of attorneys Kulbir K. Rahal Vaid, Kimberley Pitre, Gene C. Colman, Gloria Antwi and Jennifer Kirshen

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