Custodial And Noncustodial Parents

If there are children in your family and you split with your spouse, then who gets custody of your children will be an issue that has to be resolved. When the divorce is finalized, one of the things that the court will decree is who will be the custodial parent, and who will be the non-custodial parent.

Custodial and Non-Custodial Parent

A custodial parent is the one that has primary custody of the children from a recent marriage. Courts recognize that caring for children can be expensive. Between day-to-day expenses like food and clothing, and irregular payments like summer camp or doctor's visits, the costs of bringing up a child can be hefty.

Because custodial parents have to care for the children more than the other parent, they will be paying for more of these expenses than the non-custodial parent. To offset this difference, courts require that non-custodial parents pay child support to the custodial parent.

However, courts also recognize the common need for both parents to be in the lives of their children. To make this happen, courts grant visitation rights to the non-custodial parent, so they can see their child and be a part of his or her life.

Visitation and Support are Separate Issues

In Texas, the visitation rights and the child support obligations of a non-custodial parent are not dealt with together. Instead, the court's divorce decree grants visitation rights and allows for visitation distinctly, as separate subjects. Because they are separate issues in the decree, if you fall behind on child support, it does not mean that your ex-spouse, as the custodial parent, can stop you from visiting your child. However, this also applies in the other direction, as well: If your ex-spouse is the custodial parent and blocks your visitation rights, that does not mean you can stop paying child support in retaliation.

Contact Our Office for Help

If your ex-spouse is not fulfilling their obligations under the divorce decree, and are either withholding child support or not letting you visit your children, the best response is to hire a family law attorney like Brian Turner, rather than taking matters into your own hands. Our law office is located centrally in Bryan, Texas. Call us at 979-583-9200 or contact us online so we can help fight for your rights under the divorce decree and protect your interests and your ability to be a figure in the lives of your children.