A non-custodial parent is someone who wasn’t able to win the custody rights of their child in court. They can still meet with their child, though, but only during the dates set in their agreement. This could be during the weekend, the holidays, or any specific day. In some instances, a non-custodial parent might only be given visitation rights and their child can’t stay overnight with them. What’s more heartbreaking, however, is that some non-custodial parents aren’t given legal rights to make major decisions for their child’s upbringing.
Basic Rights of Non-Custodial Parents
The rights of a non-custodial parent would depend heavily on what you agreed with your soon-to-be ex-partner. In general, however, non-custodial parents have the following rights:
- Visitation rights or parenting time (will depend on the court’s custody or visitation order)
- To have access to the school and medical records of their child
- To spend holidays with their child
- To fulfill child support obligations according to their earnings
- Other specific rights included in the child custody order
Visitation Rights of Non-Custodial Parents
Parenting time is assigned through an evaluation of several factors such as:
- The specific requirements and needs of the child
- Each parent’s geographical location
- Each parent’s daily and work (if applicable) schedules
- Whether there’s history of domestic abuse or neglect
Child custody lawyers in Colorado Springs also reminds that previous parenting time arrangements might affect future arrangements for other children. Likewise, the court could modify parenting time orders to reflect a change in the parent’s circumstances.
Could You Lose Your Visitation Rights?
Unfortunately, in some cases, the answer is yes. A non-custodial parent could lose their parenting time rights if the non-custodial parent:
- Violates a condition the court stipulated in the custody arrangement
- Has become a hazard to the health and safety of the child
- If the current lifestyle of the non-custodial parent is incompatible with parenting time
A judge would determine these modifications to the parenting time order. In some instances, however, a non-custodial parent who stands to lose their parenting time could contest the modifications.
Other Pertinent Things to Note
If your ex-spouse refuses to give crucial information pertaining your child, you could take up the issue with the court even if you don’t have joint legal custody. However, you should first discuss this matter with your lawyer since there might be circumstances surrounding your existing child custody order, which might dictate that doing so is not advisable and might end up with the court reprimanding you. In addition, some states might allow certain rights that other states don’t so be sure to check.
Being the non-custodial parent, it doesn’t mean that you’re losing your rights completely. There are restrictions, but you can still talk it over your ex-partner if you want to.