Who is the Custodial Parent After a Divorce?

When couples go through a divorce, they are required to settle many legal matters before their divorce is official. If they are parents, the spouses must determine new arrangements for the future of their children. In doing so, spouses can attain physical and legal custody of their child. When a parent is awarded physical custody, they are the child’s custodial parent.

Responsibilities of a Custodial Parent

A custodial parent is the individual with whom the child lives and spends the majority of their time. With this role comes several important duties and obligations. The most important role of a custodial parent is to provide their child with basic stability throughout their upbringing to ensure they are happy and healthy. This requires them to make sure the child has a home, food, clothes, an education, and more.  

How are Custody Arrangements Made?

Divorce changes children’s lives. The world they once knew is now different as they move forward and are unsure of when they will see their parents. It is because of this that these matters are handled with great care when they come to a courtroom. Sometimes, parents turn to a judge to make custody decisions for them. Judges are required to rule with the best interest of the child at heart. In order to do so, they consider several factors relating to the needs of the child and the family’s current situation. This helps them to make a decision that ensures the child is in place in the environment that is right and best for them.

What is Legal Custody?

Legal custody is in regards to a different aspect of a child’s life. While physical custody determines a custodial parent, legal custody establishes the influence a parent can have in their child’s life. By obtaining legal custody, the parent can have a say in making important decisions for their child throughout their life. This can include education, healthcare, religion, and more. A parent can be awarded legal custody even if they do not have physical custody of their child.

Can Custody Arrangements Change?

Because judges make decisions based on the present family situation, they do not always suit a family for life. This is because family lives change as time goes on. When this happens, they may grow out of a custody arrangement or need to adjust it to suit their new lives. It is because of this that courts allow for modifications under certain circumstances. If granted a modification, a custody agreement can be adjusted to better suit the current needs of the family. For example, if one parent does not abide by the set custody arrangement, the other parent can petition with the court for a modification.

Contact our Firm

Ross and Calandrillo, LLC is a full-service divorce, family, and real estate law firm located in Mountainside, New Jersey. For strong legal representation in all of your divorce or family law matters, contact Ross and Calandrillo, LLC to schedule a free consultation.