A custodial parent in a yellow jacket and red beanie hugs her two young children, one in a white beanie and the other in a grey beanie, in a forest setting.

Who is the Custodial Parent After a Divorce?

When parents divorce, they must determine arrangements for the future of their child. This requires them to establish an agreement on custody. During a divorce, parents can obtain physical and legal custody. The parent who is given physical custody of their child is the custodial parent.

Responsibilities of a Custodial Parent

The parent with physical custody is the child’s custodial parent. This role in a child’s life comes with several important responsibilities. The most important job of this parent is to provide the child with a stable life. This includes making sure they a home, food, clothing, an education, and more. As a parent, they must put the child’s best interest first and ensure they have a happy and healthy upbringing.

How are the Arrangements Made?

Divorces have the power to greatly affect a child. This is why these matters are handled sensitively when they go to court. When a judge makes custody decisions for a couple, they are required to put the child’s best interest at the forefront of the case. When reaching a decision, the judge considers several other factors that relate to the family and the needs of the child. It is the court’s first priority to ensure the child is brought up in an environment that is best for them.

What is Legal Custody?

While physical custody determines the parent the child will live with most of the time, legal custody covers a different aspect of a child’s life. This type of custody allows a parent to have a part in making important decisions throughout their child’s upbringing. These can include matters such as education, healthcare, religious practices, and more. Even if a parent does not have physical custody of their child, it does not mean they cannot have legal custody.

Can Custody Arrangements Change?

When a custody arrangement is established, it is done for the family’s current circumstances. Judges do their best to make the best decision for a child. However, they are not able to predict the future and family situations can change over time. It is because of this that custody arrangements can be modified over time. This allows parents to make adjustments to fit their new lives. For example, if a parent does not follow the custody arrangement, the other parent can file a motion with the court to modify it.

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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