Custodial Parent

Definition - What does Custodial Parent mean?

A custodial parent is the parent who is granted sole custody of their child or is granted the physical custody of the child for the majority of time. Because the laws of child custody vary from state to state, the legal custody and physical custody rights of a custodial parent also differ. Although this is most commonly seen in divorce proceedings, people who have a child outside of wedlock should know their legal rights pertaining to custody.

Justipedia explains Custodial Parent

There are two types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody gives a parent the right to raise the child in their residence. Legal custody gives a parent the right to make decisions concerning the child’s education, discipline, religious training, etc. When a court orders joint physical custody of the child, such that the child will spend equal time with each parent, then both parents are considered to be custodial parents. The rights that a custodial parent has may differ depending upon the jurisdiction.

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