What does it mean to be the primary residential parent? Is it the same as the old custodial parent?
Technically, “primary residential parent” means the parent with whom the child resides more than fifty percent (50%) of the time. In most cases, however, the primary residential parent will have the child in that parent’s care much of the time, except for every other weekend, holidays, and special events. Most parenting plans will read: “Each parent will make decisions regarding the day-to-day care and control of each child while the child is residing with that parent.” Because most parenting decisions fall under the “day-to-day” designation, the determination of primary residential parent is most important. The “custodial parent” and “primary residential parent” designations are not exactly the same. Under prior law, “custodial parent” generally meant the parent who exercised final decision-making authority and the parent with whom the child primarily resided. Under the new parenting plan law, these concepts are split. Final decision-making authority is discussed separately from resid