A custodial parent is a parent that is granted custody of a child following a separation agreement or divorce proceeding. In the case of a custody proceeding, the decision is made by a judge after considering the best interest of the child, which involves several factors.
For instance, a judge may favor the parent with the financial ability to raise the child over one without. However, every decision on child custody should ultimately be in the child’s best interest.
In this post, we explore the custodial parent rights provided by the law. If you are a custodial parent and feel your rights are being violated, contact Speaks Family Law to talk to a Wilmington Divorce Attorney.
Custodial Parent Rights
According to North Carolina Law, custody parent rights include both legal and physical custody. A judge assigns these rights accordingly and lists them in a signed order, which is legally binding on both parents. The decision of which parent gets which rights are usually made in line with the child’s best interests.
Legal Custody Rights
A parent with legal custody rights can make major life decisions on behalf of the child or children. If one parent has sole legal custody, they can make these choices without consulting the other parent and can include matters specific to the child’s safety, health, and welfare. Typical examples include:
- Schooling decisions
- Religious instruction i.e., what religion the child subscribes to
- Medical care
In some cases, a judge awards joint legal custody. Under this arrangement, both parents can make decisions concerning how the child is to be raised. The option might be made available to parents who are willing to work together to make critical child-rearing decisions.
Physical Custody Rights
Physical custody rights refer to the rights that allow a parent to live with a child or be physically present where the child lives. When a parent is awarded the majority of parenting time, they are said to have primary physical custody.
In most cases, this parent is also awarded legal custody rights. This is because the parent who lives with the child may be better positioned to make everyday decisions about the child’s welfare and safety.
Shared Custody Rights
In this case, both parents are awarded physical custody rights. They can spend time with the child at different times but for equal amounts of time. For instance, the child or children can spend one week with parent A and the next week with parent B.
Sole Custody Rights
A parent with sole custody has both physical and legal custody rights. He/she lives with the child and can make major life decisions on the child’s behalf.
The non-custodial parent generally has no visitation rights or supervised visitation. This is the right to spend time with the child at a place and time mutually agreed upon by both parents, if at all.
Learn more about child custody in North Carolina.
Discuss Your Custodial Parent Rights with Wilmington Divorce Attorney
Custodial parent rights are a significant factor in the upbringing of a child or children. They play a critical role in how the parent delivers care to the dependents involved. If you have more questions or concerns about your rights as a custodial parent, a Wilmington Divorce Attorney can offer you sound legal advice.
Call Speaks Family Law to discuss your situation with a professional. We will advise you on your legal right or represent you in court, if necessary.