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Typical duties of a custodial parent

Child custody can be one of the most volatile topics during a divorce. And while most courts want to give both parents joint custody of their child, there are times when primary custody is given to only one parent. When those situations arise, it's very important for the custodial parent to remember that they have specific responsibilities regarding their child custody arrangement. So, here is a brief look at some of these typical custodial parent duties.

One of the responsibilities of a custodial parent is to try and maintain the child visitation schedule with the non-custodial parent. A child needs the caring and love of both parents in order to develop properly and adhering to the visitation schedule agreed to by the parents or ordered by a court is one way to help accomplish this. The custodial parent should also remember to notify the custodial parent if they have to change the visitation schedule for any reason.

A custodial parent should also keep accurate records of all child support payments. This includes payments that have been received and payments that were not made. This is critical because should the custodial parent need to ask a court to order back child support payments, the parent will need to produce accurate records to prove the person's case.

Another duty of a custodial parent is to notify the non-custodial parent ahead of time if they decide to move out of state. This is important because the non-custodial parent may not agree with the custodial parent's decision to move out of state and may go to court to prevent this from happening. A court will then consider several factors before making a decision on this topic.

It's also important for a custodial parent to always act with the best interests of the child in mind. However, any Virginia resident who wants to develop a child visitation plan may want to speak with a child custody attorney in order to learn some additional custodial parent responsibilities.

Source: "Custodial parent responsibilities," Accessed August 14, 2016

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