Who is the Custodial Parent After a Divorce?

There are many legal matters that a couple is required to settle before their divorce is official. If the spouses are parents, they must determine new arrangements for the future of their children as well. During the proceedings, parents can obtain physical and legal custody. When a parent is given physical custody of their child, they are considered the custodial parent.

Responsibilities of a Custodial Parent

Parents who are awarded physical custody of their child, they are the parent with whom the child lives and spends the majority of their time. When given this position, the parent has many important responsibilities they must take care of. The most important job of a custodial parent is to make sure their child has basic stability throughout their upbringing. This ensures that they are happy and healthy. This can be provided through a home, food, clothes, an education, and more.  

How are Custody Arrangements Made?

When parents divorce, it can change their children’s lives. The life they knew before is now different and the wonder how often they will see their parents. This is why these matters are handled very sensitively. Sometimes, parents go to court to have a judge make custody decisions for them. In these situations, judges are required by law to make a decision that is in the best interest of the child. In order to do so, they take several factors regarding the needs of the child and the family’s situation into consideration. This allows them to reach a conclusion that places the child in an environment that is best for them.

What is Legal Custody?

Physical custody determines a custodial parent while legal custody establishes the influence a parent has in their child’s life. With this, the parent can be involved in making important decisions for their child throughout their upbringing. This can include education, healthcare, religion, and more. It is important to know that a parent can still be awarded legal custody even if they do not have physical custody.

Can Custody Arrangements Change?

Judges make custody decisions based on a child’s current family situation. However, family situations can change over time. When this happens, a custody arrangement may no longer suit the child or the family. This is why courts allow for modifications to be made to these agreements. If granted a modification, the custody agreement can be adjusted to better suit the family’s current needs. For example, if one parent does not follow the custody arrangement determined by the court, the other parent can petition for a modification.

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