Parental authority is the set of rights and duties exercised by the parents in the child's interest. Parental authority is joint to both parents.
The child must be involved in decisions taken by his parents according to his age and maturity.
Parental authority is exercised both on the person of the child but also on his property.
Parental authority is distinct from the guardianship which supplements the absence of parental authority, when the child has no established filiation, is orphaned or deprived of parental authority.
The family judge is competent to deal with matters relating to parental authority.
It lasts until the majority of the child or his emancipation.
Parental authority consists specifically of a right and duty of custody, supervision, education and residence.
Parental authority is joint with both parents whether they are married or not. Even in case of divorce or separation, the principle is joint autorithy
However, in the case of unmarried parents, if the child is recognized only by a single parent, he exercises sole parental authority.
In certain circumstances it may be possible that the family judge entrusts the exercise of parental authority to one parent giving the other parent who no longer has this authority, visiting and accommodation rights. This parent must be notified of important decisions about his child's life. He is also responsible for child’s education.