Non Custodial Parents
A non-custodial parent (NCP) in Pennsylvania may have been awarded partial custody or visitation rights to their child. The NCP may also have been granted shared (joint) legal custody over their children. This is important, because even though parenting time is less than the custodial parent’s, the non-custodial parent still has the right to make important decisions regarding his/her child, and must be included in all such decision-making by the other parent.
Legal custody is the right of a parent to make major decisions on behalf of their child such as those regarding education, religious pursuits, and medical treatment.
Legal Issues for Non-custodial Parents in PA
Raising children is challenging for all parents, whether their child lives in one home, or two. Parents also have needs that can affect the needs of their children. When this happens, even the best lines of communication can begin to break down. Some issues faced by an NCP include:
- Child Support. Issues over how much financial support each parent should contribute.
- Scheduling. Changes in the schedules of a child or parent that affect the existing custody arrangement.
- Step-parents. Issues relating to the step-parenting of your children.
- Paternity. Legally establishing the paternal and parental rights with a child.
- Residency. When a custodial parent wishes to relocate with your child(ren).
- Decisions. Making and agreeing upon major decisions on behalf of your children.
- Expenses. Issues over agreeing on who pays for major expenses of your child.
When parents encounter these kinds of disputes, they can look to the courts and a judge to impartially settle the matter for them. Family court adjudicators have significant discretion in arriving at resolutions, so whenever possible, you and the custodial parent should try to work matters out together.
In the event that you and the custodial parent cannot work through the dispute, there are some key considerations to take in to account.
DO try to remain calm and keep your emotions in check. You should document and/or collect evidence to support your side of the dispute should you need to present to a judge.
Do Not take matters into your own hands. For example, quitting your job solely because of a dispute may result in your income being imputed, and your unemployment being garnished.
DO notify your ex about a new mailing address and/or new contact information as soon as possible. You should use both verbal and written (i.e. email) communications to do so.
DO talk to a qualified, local family law attorney who can help you resolve your issue, and who can represent you in and out of court. Many NCP disputes can be resolved by filing for a modification of custody or child support orders.
At Tibbott & Richardson, practicing Family Law means understanding a family’s dynamics so that we can fully represent our client’s needs and interests. If you are a non-custodial parent in Allegheny County or Cambria County, call us today and receive a confidential, free consultation with our exceptional Family Law attorneys.
Allegheny County: 412-690-0225 or Cambria County: 814-419-6440