A non-custodial Michigan parent is simply someone who does not have physical custody of their child. However, there are several common myths that still linger about what a parent without custody is, what rights they have and how they interact with their children.
For starters, it is possible for a non-custodial parent to have legal custody even without having physical custody of a child. Another myth is that non-custodial parents are “deadbeats” because they don’t pay child support. While the majority of non-payers are typically non-custodial parents, there are many of them who are responsible and loving. It’s also commonly assumed that all parents not having physical child custody are fathers. However, many courts are recognizing the importance of keeping dads in the picture, so judges are often more willing to award joint or even sole custody to fathers.
Another widely believed myth is that parents who don’t have physical custody aren’t involved. While there are some non-custodial parents who prefer to forego direct involvement, many of them do remain accessible and as involved as possible because of the limited time they get with their children. Some people also say that non-custodial parents aren’t “real” single parents. However, many of them work very hard to make sure their kids’ needs are met during overnight or extended visits, especially during holidays or summer vacations. There are also instances of parents voluntarily giving up physical custody not for selfish reasons but because it’s what best for their child.
It tends to be easier for a child custody attorney to work out a fair arrangement if both parties can remain civil. Even if this isn’t the case, a lawyer may take steps to either seek joint custody, if possible, or negotiate a reasonable visitation schedule. In the event of unforeseen circumstances, such as relocation, an attorney might seek an appropriate child custody modification.