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1. What is custody? Parental authority? Guardianship?

Under Philippine law, legal custody over a child is not categorically defined. However, the
award of sole custody over a minor results in the vesting of parental authority over such minor
to the custodian.

In Santos, Sr. v. Court of Appeals, the Court explained that the right of custody accorded
to parents springs from the exercise of parental authority. Thus, the father and mother,
being the natural guardians of unemancipated children, are duty-bound and entitled to
keep them in their custody and company.1 |

Consequently, where the Court awards custody to those other than

However, physical custody does not

It must be noted, however, that not all persons who have physical custody over a minor are
charged with or entitled to exercise parental authority over them.

[Parental authority] is a mass of rights and obligations which the law grants to parents for the
purpose of the children's physical preservation and development, as well as the cultivation of
their intellect and the education of their heart and senses. 13 As regards parental authority,
'there is no power, but a task; no complex of rights, but a sum of duties; no sovereignty but a
sum of duties; no sovereignty but a sacred trust for the welfare of the minor (Sagala-Eslao v.

Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 116773, [January 16, 1997], 334 PHIL 286-294)

When a parent entrusts the custody of a minor to another, such as a friend or godfather, even
in a document, what is given is merely temporary custody and it does not constitute a
renunciation of parental authority. Even if a definite renunciation is manifest, the law still
disallows the same. (Sagala-Eslao v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 116773, [January 16,
1997], 334 PHIL 286-294)

Custody – care and keeping of anything

1 Santos, Sr. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 113054, [March 16, 1995], 312 PHIL 482-492
The word is defined as the care and possession of a thing, and means the keeping, guarding, care, watch, inspection, preservation or security of a thing, and carries
with it the idea of the thing being within the immediate personal care and control of the person to whose custody it is subjected; charge ; immediate charge and
control, and not the final, absolute control of ownership, implying responsibility for the protection and preservation of the thing in custody. Southern Carbon Co. v.
State, 171 Misc. 566, 13 N.Y.S.2d 7, 9.

However, it must be noted

This is the necessary implication of the provisions on parental authority under the Family Code
of the Philippines.

2. Who has legal custody over the minor child of unmarried parents?
3. How may a mother lose custody over a minor?
4. Can the father claim custody over his child?

1. Procedure