Can I Have Parental Rights Without Custody?

Custody grants parents certain rights regarding their children. These rights are specific. You can still have certain parental rights even if you don’t have custody. The rights that custody can grant you have to do with where your child lives and who makes important decisions regarding him or her. Understanding your rights as a parent without custody requires a quick look at what rights custody does grant.

Physical vs. Legal Custody

Having physical or legal custody of your child means you have more rights than a parent without custody has. Physical custody gives you the right to have your child live with you. This also means you are responsible for your child while he or she is in your care. Legal custody gives you the right to make major decisions about your child’s health, education, or upbringing. Both types of custody can be sole or shared by the parents. Custody is awarded to the parent or parents who can best provide for and meet the needs of the child.

In many cases, a parent without physical or legal custody will still have the right to an appropriate amount of parenting time. This is the time you get visit with your child. The custodial parent does not have the right to interfere with your parenting time, even if you fail to pay child support. It is vitally important you exercise and defend the right to parenting time in order to be a positive presence in your child’s life but also ensure your rights won’t be taken away. Your parental rights can be limited if you fail to exercise parenting time, and having them reinstated is not always easy. You may also lose the right to access any information about your child. Not having custody does not necessarily mean your parental rights have been terminated.

Fight for Your Parental Rights

Your parental rights are important. If you don’t have custody but would like to learn about your parental rights, consult with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney. If you have parental rights, it is very important that you exercise them. Learning about the full extent of your rights is the best way to do that. An attorney can advise you of your rights as a parent and help you protect them.

Do you have questions about child custody in New Jersey? Williams Law Group, LLC is here to advise you of your rights and help you defend them. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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