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What are a custodial parent's responsibilities?

If you have just been named the custodial parent of your child, you may wonder what all that entails. Below are some basic responsibilities of all custodial parents.

Keeping the child's best interests primary

The child's needs must be prioritized over the parent's and all others. This means that you need to provide a stable home environment at all times.

Tracking child support payments

If you fail to keep good records of the child support that you receive and the non-custodial parent falls behind, it can be more difficult to seek back support for your child.

Adhering to the visitation schedule

Children need to remain bonded to both parents. Sticking to the parenting plan and visitation schedule allows them to maintain regular, ongoing relationships with their non-custodial parents. Regardless, both parents should attempt to accommodate the other when circumstances require changes.

Consulting with the other parent on important issues

When parents share joint custody, non-custodial parents have the right to participate in the major decisions that affect their child.

Notify the other parent before moving out of state

Non-custodial parents have rights when it comes to their children relocating out of state, or sometimes even within the same state if it is too far to exercise regular visitation.

Discussing major expenses with the other parent before incurring them

When both parents are financially responsible for a child's bills and expenses, the custodial parent should discuss these matters first with the other parent.

If you are having ongoing disputes about issues pertaining to your child with his or her non-custodial parent, you may need to revisit the custody matters in court.

Source: The Spruce, "Responsibilities of Custodial Parents," Debrina Washington, accessed June 02, 2017

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