What rights do I have as a noncustodial parent?

Unless restricted by court order, the non-custodial parent has unsupervised visitation, equal access to school and medical records, and may attend any public event in which the child is participating. You also have the right to communicate with your child on a regular basis provided it does not disrupt the child’s home life.

Rights of a Noncustodial Parent

As a result of most custody proceedings in family court, one parent is awarded sole or primary custody of the child(ren) while the other parent has unsupervised visitation on weekends, holidays, and time during the summer. The parent who has custody of the child the majority of the year is often referred as the primary custodian. The other parent is referred to as the noncustodial parent.

Both parents may have a right to make decisions in regards to the child(ren)’s health, education, and welfare. However, the Court has the discretion to vest final decision making authority in the primary custodian.

Noncustodial parents still have the right to full involvement in their child(ren)’s lives. Pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §63-5-30, noncustodial parents have the same right as the primary custodian to obtain access to educational and medical records of their minor child(ren). In addition, unless restricted by court order, the noncustodial parent may also attend school, church, and community events in which the child(ren) is participating, whether or not they have visitation at the time of the event.

Additionally, noncustodial parents have the right to communicate with their children on a regular basis through e-mail, telephone, or mail, to the extent it does not disrupt discipline and activities of daily living in the child(ren)’s home.


Disclaimer:  Information contained in this column is meant to be of general information on frequently asked questions concerning disability, elder law, estate planning and probate law, and does not contain specific legal advice to a client.  No attorney-client relationship is created by reading this column.

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