Following a divorce, many parents share custody of the children fairly equally — but that doesn’t work for every family. If one parent ends up with primary physical custody of the couple’s children, that person is called the “custodial” parent while the other is referred to as the “non-custodial” parent.
If you’re in this position, understanding what rights you have as a non-custodial parent is an important part of preserving your parent-child relationship. Here are some of the rights you retain:
Non-custodial parents generally have visitation rights and those rights must be respected. During such periods, you get to connect physically and emotionally with your children since you do not get to see them daily. You can generally expect scheduled physical visitations along with the ability to connect with your child via phone, email, social media and other means.
Control over your child’s education or medical care
As any other parent, non-custodial parents generally have a right to access their children’s medical or school records. That’s because legal custody and physical custody are two different things. Unless the court restricts your legal custody rights, you still have a right to be involved in any major decisions about your child’s life.
Your child custody agreement has more
Your child custody agreement specifies all your rights as a divorced parent, and it should be the ultimate guide. However, learning more about the aspects of the law that will affect your child custody arrangement now or in the future will ensure your legal rights are well-protected. Even if shared physical custody isn’t appropriate for your family’s needs, it’s important to have experienced guidance moving forward.