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Law Pro
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 24870
Experience:  20 years practicing family law from divorce, custody, support, alimony to equitable distribution
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Custodial parent vs non custodial patent - What's the difference?

Customer Question

what is the difference between custodial parent and non custodial parent? Does the non custodial parent lose their rights and privileges as a parent ?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  JaxLaw replied 8 years ago.

A custodial parent is the parent that the child lives with. The non-custodial is the parent that the child does not live with (although they will have visitation rights). The non-custodial parent does not lose the right to have the child live with him/her. They still have access to the child's medical records, school records, etc. The limitations of the parent's rights will be defined by the court. Also, the non-custodial parent would most likely have to pay child support to the custodial parent to help in the care of the child.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thankyou for your answer, yet I may have asked the question wrong. I'm already aware of what you shared with me. Talking with other people who are dealing with divorce, I've been told that since they are not the custodial parent, they have no say so in the affairs of their children. Most say that they were told that being the custodial parent or not was only related to tax benefits. I know of some people who have been arrested for things like taking their child to the doctor or picking them up from school because they were not the custodial parent. I'm currently in private mediation and the mediator insists that custodial/noncustodial ( interchangeable with head of household or not head of household) is only in regards ***** ***** purposes. I spoke with my tax preparer and he told me there is a form for the IRS that the custodial parent can file enabling the NCP to claim their children as dependents. The Xspouse progam being used will not calculate a 50/50 CP/NCP calculation and she said this does't affect the agreement which is supposed to be 50/50. If it shows as 49.99, that person is the NCP while the other is the CP. If we both have equal time with our daughter ( one week with each parent alternating throughout the year), why does the calculation still reflect 49/51? I want to protect my responsibility and joy of being a father to my daughter. What should I do and watch for to protect myself in all of this?
Expert:  Law Pro replied 8 years ago.

That is simply not true - a noncustodial parent has all the legal rights to make decisions regarding the child(ren). This would be in regards ***** ***** medical, finances, etc.

However, that is dependant upon reasonableness under the circumstances.

That is not true - there are major differences between a custodial and non-custodial parent beyond just the tax ramifications. Usually, the custodial parent always gets the tax benefits unless there is written agreement otherwise. Usually, the non-custodial parent has to abide by limited custody/visitation with the child(ren).