What is a custodial parent for your child? Complete Guide

Custodial parent: A primary parent with sole physical custody who shares a home and lives with the child most of the time. This means the court has given primary physical or legal custody to one parent; the parents have reached an agreement or only one parent in the child’s life. Below, learn more about the rights and responsibilities of the custodial parent.

A custodial parent can be either the parent who has sole physical custody of the child or the parent with which the child resides the majority of their time.

Both parents can be custodial; courts often give two parents who fit parents joint custody of the child. In court documents and hearings, however, the court might refer to the parent with more time with the child as the custodial parents. Although the primary physical custody parent may receive child support payments from another parent, custody arrangements and parenting times for minor children are different issues in the eyes of family law courts. Visitation is not dependent upon the payment of child maintenance.

There are two types, legal and physical. Legal custody grants one parent the power to make important decisions regarding the child’s education, morality and discipline. Physical custody refers only to the actual physical and emotional care of the child.

What is the responsibility of the custodial parents?

The rights of custodial parents vary depending on whether the parent has only physical custody or legal custody.

If the custodial parent is the sole physical and legal parent of the child, they are fully responsible for the care and education of the child. They can also make all decisions concerning the child’s health and welfare without consulting or consenting to the non-custodial parents.

The parent who has sole custody (both legal as physical) can make medical decisions, school and education decisions, and other similar decisions unless there is a court or divorce decree that provides specific instructions regarding the rights of custodial or non-custodial parental parents.

The custodial person cannot move away from the child. If the non-custodial father has child visitation rights, the custodial dad must comply with those orders and bring the child to them for visitation. The typical scenario involves a child visiting their dad on weekends when the mother is solely responsible.

What rights do the custodial parents have when legal custody has been shared?

The rights and responsibilities for the custodial parent differ if the custodial parents have sole physical custody but joint legal custody. What is the difference between a non-custodial and custodial parent?

While the custodial parents may have control over the day-to-day care of the child and general and physical control, the noncustodial partner with joint legal custody can make major decisions about the raising of their child.

One example is that the noncustodial parents have the right to decide where their child goes, can make medical decisions with the other parent, as well as the right to participate in major decisions regarding the care of the child.

In other words, joint custody means that one parent may help the child’s upbringing even though the child could live with the custodial parent. Parents with joint legal custody are expected to cooperate in the upbringing and care for the child regardless if one parent has physical custody.

Consider obtaining child custody.

The fundamental constitutional right of parents to care for, control and have custody of their children is guaranteed. No matter if the parents are married, each parent has the right to control and participate in the care and education of their child. Such issues such as child custody and how to become the custodial parent can arise when parents divorce. These issues must be resolved by the parents, or the court will decide who should have legal and physical custody.

The final decision of the court will be made based on what the court considers fair and best for the child’s interests. At times, even non-parent custody may be granted to a person who might be better situated to care for children.

Although it is difficult to determine what constitutes the “best interest” of a child, some factors the court considers are which parent provided most of the child’s daily care, whether there is a closer relationship between the parents, whether one parent has more responsibility for the child or not, as well as whether either parent has less or more time for the child. Other relevant factors include the wishes of the child (in some states) and work responsibilities. There are a few factors that can be considered in deciding custody issues.

What is the difference between a custodial parent and a non-custodial?

When a divorce involves children, you must understand the difference between a noncustodial and a custodial father. As stated above, a custodial person is a parent with whom the child lives most of the day and has sole physical custody. However, a noncustodial parental is not a bad thing.

A noncustodial parent may also be involved in the child’s life and have the same rights and responsibilities as the custodial parents, depending on how custody is determined. The non-custodial parent will be granted visitation if the custodial parent has sole physical and legal custody.

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