When you share a child with someone, but are not living with the other parent of your child, either because you and the other parent are divorced or separated, you will still want to spend time with your child. If you are not the parent with primary custody of your child, meaning that your child predominately or solely lives with the other parent, then you are considered the noncustodial parent.
As the noncustodial parent, you have certain legal rights as the parent of that child. For example, unless otherwise specifically prohibited by a court as not being in the best interest of the child, you have a right to visitation with your child and/or you may also have a right to assist in important decision matters concerning your child, such as decisions concerning your child’s religious upbringing, as well as educational or medical decisions concerning your child. Just because you do not have physical custody of your child does not mean that you cannot have legal custody and the right to be included in the decisions affecting your child.
What Rights You Have As The Noncustodial Parent Depend On The Facts
When it comes to children, the court always assesses all decisions through the lens of what is in the best interests of the child. If there are circumstances that exist that would place the child in danger if a parent were awarded with any sort of physical custody of the child, such as primary custody, joint or secondary custody, the court may decide that visitation, rather than custody, is the best way to handle the situation, until the parent can prove that there is no longer any risk of danger to the child. This is in accordance with S.C. Ann. Code Section 63-15-230.
As such, the court might place restrictions on the noncustodial parent’s ability to visit with their child. Visitation might be limited in time or may have to be supervised, until the noncustodial parent can demonstrate that he or she is ready for a different visitation or custody arrangement. This is typical in situations where the noncustodial parent has a drug or alcohol addiction problem that they are working through, or has a history of domestic violence, for example.
But as a general rule, as a noncustodial parent, you have a lot of the same rights as a custodial parent, when it comes to your child. Unless a court order indicates something to the contrary, noncustodial parents can:
- Have access to the child’s medical records
- Pick up their child from school, sign permission slips, attend parent-teacher conferences, and receive school records
- Attend their child’s extracurricular activities
Contacting A Charleston Child Custody Attorney
When you are split from your child’s other parent, it can make things difficult in terms of seeing your child. Even as the noncustodial parent, you have certain rights when it comes to your child. Contact an experienced child custody attorney to discuss your particular situation. The Charleston child custody lawyers at Sarji Law Firm, LLC are ready and available to assist you today. Please get in touch with us by calling 843-323-4341.