Child custody matters are often emotional for parents, especially when they learn that they won’t have custody of their children. Some individuals don’t realize that they still have rights to certain things even if they don’t have custody of their children.
One of the most important things you can do if you’re a non-custodial parent is to review the custody documents to find out what you’re responsible for. This will also let you know if you have any decision-making abilities.
#1: You have the right to see your children
Unless your rights have been terminated, you have the right to see your children. These will be either supervised or unsupervised visits. The schedule for parenting time is covered in the court order. Information about the transition location and time should also be documented, but you may have to work with your ex to come up with these terms.
#2: You may have partial custody
Just because the children don’t live with you doesn’t mean that you don’t have any custody of the child at all. Physical custody has to do with who the kids live with. Legal custody has to do with who makes decisions for the child. You may not have physical custody but you could still have partial legal custody, which means you’d work with your ex to make decisions about the child’s medical care, education and certain other points.
#3: You can access some records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act sets specific requirements for parental access to school records. Unless the court removes a parent’s rights under this act, a noncustodial parent can still review the child’s school records. If you want to do this, you should use the school’s established procedure for access. You may also have the right to access medical records
Making sure you understand your rights and the parenting plan terms can help you be the best parent possible. Working with someone who can help you learn more about protecting your rights is important. Everything in the child custody plan should be set based on what the kids need now. Modification of the order is possible as they mature and their needs change.