What are Noncustodial Parent's Rights?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 07 March 2020
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It is important for both parents to understand that, except in rare cases, a noncustodial parent tends to always have some rights with regard to his child. These may not be consistent from one case to another, however. One noncustodial parent's rights may grant him equal amounts of time with his child as the custodian, while another person's rights may entitle him only to weekly supervised visits. Other common types of noncustodial parental rights may include access to school records and equal decision-making authority with regard to medical decisions for the child.

The fact that one parent is the custodian does not generally mean that she has full authority over the child. It is only in rare cases that a parent is likely to be completely barred from his child. A noncustodial parent's rights will generally always grant him some type of visitation. The amount and the conditions are the factors that can greatly vary. Court orders entitle some noncustodial parents to equal amounts of time with the child as the custodian has.


A noncustodial parent's rights normally allow him a certain amount of communication with his child during times when he does not have visitation. Those orders may allow interaction by several means, such as telephone calls or online video calls. In instances such as these, the custodial parent cannot decide, for example, that as a punishment for the child's bad behavior being grounded from using the phone includes a prohibition from talking to her father.

The noncustodial parent's rights generally entitle him to access certain types of information about his child. He may be able to request medical and school records and have them explained to him as they would be explained to the other parent. He may also have the right to be informed of certain issues that arise regarding his child, such as illness, accidents, and behavioral issues. Some court orders include decision-making authority among the noncustodial parent's rights. This requires the custodian to communicate with him when choices are made regarding a wide range of issues, such as selecting a school or a place of worship or approving a medical procedure.

A noncustodial parent's rights may also include the authority to require his child to remain within a jurisdiction. In some places, the custodial parent can move far away or leave the country with the child, and the noncustodial parent is helpless. In other places, however, these types of decisions not only require the consent of the noncustodial parent, but it may be necessary for him to agree in writing.

Furthermore, a noncustodial parent has a right to have court orders enforced. The reason for a court order is to make certain determinations legally binding. The only way justice can be served is if individuals are required to comply. Depending on the circumstances, compliance may be enforced by police officers or by bringing the matter before the court.


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