Courts are eager to make all decisions involving children in the best interests of the child. The goal of a noncustodial parent is to enhance the child’s development and overall life. This includes involvement in school, extra-curriculars, and other activities the child is involved in. 

Research Has Shown That Noncustodial Parental Involvement in a Child’s Life Has Numerous Benefits

Research Has Shown That Noncustodial Parental Involvement in a Child’s Life Has Numerous Benefits, such as:

Boosted academic performance
Increased scores on achievement aptitude tests
Improved competency in math and problem-solving
Improved reading and writing skills
Stronger verbal skills 
Increased self-esteem 
Higher social and emotional competencies
Lower absenteeism and dropout rates


Parents who are involved both at home and at school demonstrates to the child that the parent cares enough to be involved. There are numerous steps a parent can take to stay involved in the child’s life, even if they do not have custody. 


Communication is critical in all aspects of a child’s care. Noncustodial parents have the right to communicate with the school and receive school-related documents, as long as the noncustodial parent requests information directly from the school. 

One method to facilitate this communication process to make an appointment for a meeting with school administrators at the beginning of the year. This meeting should occur with the custodial parent so that everyone is aware of what is going on. 

This meeting should discuss:

Any relevant court orders or other legal documents relating to the student
Their interests in and concerns about parent involvement 
The rights and responsibilities in requesting and receiving school-related information and mailings
How and when the school should contact the noncustodial parent


Involvement At Both School and At Home

Noncustodial parent involvement both at home and at school is important. A noncustodial parent can use technology, such as e-mail, the school website, or the school’s automated message system, to communicate and stay connected with the school. 

A noncustodial parent can also understand and enforce school policies on homework, projects, attendance, and behavior. They can work with the child’s teacher to ensure that the home environment is conducive to a strong academic environment as well. 


Involvement at the School Can Include: 

Joining the PTA
Chaperoning a field trip
Volunteering for school-related events
Coming to have lunch with our child 
Coach a team, lead a scout troop, or sponsor a club
Read to your child
Attend Back-to-School Night, parent-teacher conferences, athletic events, or other school-related activities 


These are just some of numerous steps a noncustodial parent can take to ensure they are acting in the best interests of the child. The attorneys at Smith Strong, PLC have much experience in advising noncustodial parents of the proper steps to take to ensure they are acting in their child’s best interests.  

H. Van Smith
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Trusted Virginia Attorney Serving Richmond to Williamsburg