Who is the Custodial Parent After a Divorce?

Part of going through a divorce requires settling several legal matters. If the spouses are parents, they must determine their future arrangements for their children. This requires child custody arrangements to be decided upon. Parents can obtain physical and legal custody of their child. When a parent has physical custody of their child, they are the parent with whom the child spends the majority of their time. This is the spouse that is known as the custodial parent.

Responsibilities of a Custodial Parent

When a parent is awarded physical custody of their child, they are the custodial parent. With this custody comes a great amount of responsibility. After a divorce, the custodial parent has the child living with them most of the time. This requires them to provide the child with a home, food, clothing, and basic stability. They must be present for the child and ensure that their best interests are at the forefront of their life. The child should be monitored on a daily basis so that they remain happy and healthy in the situation they are in.

How are the Arrangements Made?

Divorces have the power to greatly affect a child’s upbringing. When a divorce happens, they are often very concerned with the amount they will see their parents. Because of this, these cases are handled very sensitively. When a judge is granted the right to determine the custody of a child, they do so with the best interest of the child in mind. This helps to allow them to determine the arrangement that works best for them. In doing so, they consider several factors relating to the situation of the family and the needs of the child. It is the court’s first priority to ensure the child remains in an environment that allows them to be happy and prosper while they grow up.

What is Legal Custody?

In determining a custody arrangement, there is more than one type of custody that may be attained. While physical custody determines the parent the child will live with most of the time, legal custody covers a different aspect of the child’s life. Just because a parent does not have physical custody does not mean they cannot attain legal custody. This type of custody is in regard to the influence a parent can have over the important decisions of their child’s life. These matters can include education, healthcare, religious practices, and more.

Can Custody Arrangements Change?

Custody arrangements are determined for the situation at hand the time of the divorce. While judges do their best to establish the best circumstances for a child, they cannot predict the future. It is because of this that custody arrangements can be modified to suit new family circumstances. If a parent does not follow the right custody arrangement, the other parent can file a motion with the court to modify the arrangement.

Contact our Firm

If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.