North Carolina parents who have physical custody of their children for the majority of the time are known as custodial parents. While this does not necessarily mean that the non-custodial parent, or the parent who does not have the children for the majority of the time, is not involved, most of the responsibility for raising the children falls to the custodial parent.
There are many benefits to being a custodial parent. For example, custodial parents get to have more one-on-one time with their children even if the other parent has regular visitation. Custodial parents are more likely to be deeply involved in their children’s day-to-day life and activities. They also may have more influence over their children’s interest. Further, custodial parents are also often eligible to receive child support. This monetary support from the noncustodial parent can be used to help pay for the children’s schooling, medical needs and other associated expenses.
Most parents assume that they are the custodial parent if the children live with them for the majority of the time. However, parents should make sure that they are considered to be the children’s custodial parent in they eyes of the court. This means actually filing for custody.
Determining which parent has custody of the children will impact where they go to school, what types of activities they may be involved in and how they will spend their time when at home. Even if parents are not able to be the custodial parent due to work or other external factors, they still may have certain visitation rights.