What rights does a non-custodial parent have?

In addition to the rights provided in the judgment with respect to parenting time and anything else agreed upon between the parties or ordered by the court, a non-custodial parent has certain statutory rights. They are set forth in ORS 107.154 as follows:

107.154 Authority of parent when other parent granted sole custody of child. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, an order of sole custody to one parent shall not deprive the other parent of the following authority:
(1) To inspect and receive school records and to consult with school staff concerning the child’s welfare and education, to the same extent as the custodial parent may inspect and receive such records and consult with such staff;
(2) To inspect and receive governmental agency and law enforcement records concerning the child to the same extent as the custodial parent may inspect and receive such records;
(3) To consult with any person who may provide care or treatment for the child and to inspect and receive the child’s medical, dental and psychological records, to the same extent as the custodial parent may consult with such person and inspect and receive such records;
(4) To authorize emergency medical, dental, psychological, psychiatric or other health care for the child if the custodial parent is, for practical purposes, unavailable; or
(5) To apply to be the child’s conservator, guardian ad litem or both.

This does not mean that the other parent has to provide information to the non-custodial parent, but rather that the non-custodial parent has the right to access said information. A custodial parent’s refusal to provide such information could reflect poorly on him/her in future litigation.

About Daniel Margolin

Daniel Margolin is a founding partner of Stephens & Margolin LLP and a Portland, Oregon native. His practice focuses on all aspects of family law litigation. Dan applies his litigation expertise to provide additional expertise when assisting clients with Family Law Appeals and Collaborative Divorce matters. To find out more or contact Daniel Margolin, visit Stephens & Margolin LLP
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11 Responses to What rights does a non-custodial parent have?

  1. Collin Coffey says:

    I recently found out that my daughter (4yrs old) has been accompanying my ex during her visits to her psychologist for ptsd and add. I asked her who she was taking my daughter to see and she stated, ‘it is none of your business’. There is no court order preventing me from access to school and/or medical records so how do I get them? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Dear Collin:

      Per ORS 107.154, a non-custodial parent has the same rights to consult with mental health professionals as a custodial parent. If your ex won’t tell you, and you can’t determine the provider through insurance billing information, a court would likely require disclosure if contact information of the child’s therapist.

  2. Greg Price says:

    I’ve been outta my kids loop for quite sometime physically due to geographic locations, but i’ve stayed in contact with my kids via phone,Facebook, etc. The mother continually makes decisions concerning the well being of our children without my consent..IE: enrolling them in private schools etc. then complains to the child support agency and requests modification so that her support go up because she cant afford the school. what rights do i have in stopping this madness? she refuses to educate herself to make a better living but expects myself to change professions so i can make more money. what do i do?

  3. This is some very helpful information, thanks for sharing.

  4. Jason Davis says:

    Thank you very much. This information was very helpful. The only other thing that I was wondering was if the sole custodian can take across state lines. Or if they wanted to move.

  5. Keith Klein says:

    I am non custodial parent and I have found out my children have been given alcohol in the home. I understand in Georgia it is legal to do that if the parent or guardian is present, but what about me? do I have the right to say NO? I do not agree with underage drinking and I feel for one that i should have some say in this, and for another thing, I think the mother and grand parents give it to them just because they know I hate it.

    What is my rights on this subject?

  6. Tim says:

    I am an involved and nurturing non-custodial parent and I am very frustrated. My ex refuses to give me information unless she wants money, or sometimes, last minute she lets me know that my daughter has appointments or events planned for the time she is with me. I miss out on information from schools (once even found out 2 weeks in that she was attending a particular school another time missed an important parent’s night meeting.) I figured out that my daughter has been seeing a counselor for two years, I have even been denied information from a school when I requested it. If the custodial parent is not obligated by law to provide the information, and the non custodial parent isn’t even aware that there is information he/she should be getting, then who is responsible to provide said information?

    • Stephens Margolin says:


      It’s challenging being a non-custodial parent with an uncooperative ex. ORS 107.154 provides you have these rights, but how do you know where to go to get the information absent the custodial parent telling you?

      Courts generally take a dim view of parents that mislead schools and ask them not to share information with the other parent, absent a court order permitting the information to be withheld. ORS 107.164 obligates parents to immediately notify the other parent of any emergency circumstances or substantial changes in the health of a child. Read in conjunction with ORS 107.154, she may be obligated to provide notice at the outset of counseling.

      Some parents modify the parenting plan to make more specific the custodial parent’s obligation to provide contacts and notice regarding treatment, counseling, etc., and then pursue failures to disclose with an enforcement of parenting time action. I previously blogged about it here.

      Sean Stephens, Google +,
      View all posts by author Sean Stephens

  7. Cindy says:

    I’m a custodial parent and have made a therapy appointment for my daughter. I gave the non-custodial parent 2 weeks notice of where and when the appointment is, a week more than our agreement requires. The non-custodial parent wants me to cancel it and find a therapist closer to his residence. Also, my daughter must have mentioned something about us looking at houses. I’m not planning a move for over 8 months and I really do not want my ex’s input about where I move. He has made many selfish decisions in the past, while my decision to move will take into consideration the school system, quality of neighborhood, accessibility to her father and my job and her activities. He also harasses me when ever I don’t tell him everything that’s going on in my life and/or give him all the time he wants. This is specifically why we went to court in the first place, to establish boundaries. Our agreement says that I only have to give him 30 days notice prior to my move. Is there any reason why he could get the case reopened or take legal action against me for not changing the therapy appointment or not telling him of my very vague thoughts about moving in eight months?

  8. Christine says:

    I am a custodial parent. My child has scoliosis, a medical condition. My child’s father holds the insurance. He fights me about getting any kind of care and states I have to ask his permission and have his consent in order to take her to the doctor, at all. Is this true? What can I do to stop having to have these arguments? my child is sick and every time she needs care, it is a battle! I am trying to do all that I can to help my child. Please assist if possible. Thanks.

    • Sean Stephens says:


      It sounds like you already have a custody or divorce judgment. The judgment is going to have language about who must carry medical insurance, and if there are any notice provisions. If the judgment is silent as to needing the father’s consent, then you don’t need it to seek treatment. If the judgment does have treatment restriction language, a judge would likely find it untenable that a child with a serious medical condition could be kept from necessary treatment. You could modify your judgment to remove any restrictions, or if the medical expenses are recurring and can be annualized, they could be wrapped into a child support payment. You should call our office to discuss further.

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