noncustodial parent

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A non-custodial parent is the parent whose children do not live with them for a majority of the time. This situation usually arises after separation or divorce, where one parent has primary physical custody instead of the parents sharing joint custody. Often times, non-custodial parents are still financially responsible for their children, and can visit their children freely or on a schedule agreed upon in the custody arrangement. Further, physical custody differs from legal custody. Thus, a non-custodial parent could still have legal custody of their children.

[Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]