A non-custodial parent is a parent that does not have majority custody of their child. For instance, one parent may have custody of the child for several weeks, while the non-custody child may only have custody for one or two weekends a month. Alternatively, the non-custodial parent may only be allowed limited visitation periods such as during the day on a weekend. A non-custodial parent may often be limited in their legal rights to make major decisions on behalf of the child.
However, non-custodial parents may still have certain rights, such as:
- The right to visitation with the child (this will depend on the visitation or custody order)
- Access to the child’s medical and school records
- The right to have holiday time with the child
- The right to pay child support in a manner that reflects their income earnings
- Various other rights as listed in the custody agreement
Visitation rights are allocated through an analysis of many different factors, including:
- The child’s needs and requirements
- The geographic location of each parent
- Whether there are instances of neglect or abuse by the parent
- The schedules of the child and each parent
Previous visitation arrangements may affect future visitation rights for subsequent children. Also, visitation orders can be modified in order to reflect changed circumstances.
In some cases, visitation rights can be lost or revoked. This can happen for instance if:
- The parent has committed a violation that results in a loss of custody or visitation rights
- The parent’s current lifestyle is incompatible with visitation
- The parent has become a threat to the child’s safety or health
Again, these changes are determined by a judge and reflected in the visitation order. A loss of visitation rights can sometimes be contested by the parent being affected.
Understanding custody rights can often be difficult. You may need to hire a qualified child custody lawyer near you if you need help with custody, visitation, or any other family law legal issues. Your attorney will be able to direct you during the process and can provide you with legal advice to help you with your issue.