What are the Rights of the Noncustodial Parent?

One common way two parents may set up a child custody arrangement is to allow one parent to have primary custody, with the other receiving visitation rights. In these situations, the custodial parent has the children live with him or her full time, and the kids may visit the noncustodial parent on the weekends or per an established parenting schedule.

If you are engaged in this type of agreement and you are the noncustodial parent, it’s important that you understand your rights.

The importance of a visitation agreement

Your visitation agreement (or order, if a judge has decided on the issue) should outline the days and times you are have parenting time with your children. You may be able to see your children more often than what appears in your visitation agreement by agreement, but the custodial parent cannot refuse visitation below the established minimums.

Unfortunately, some custodial parents try to prevent the other from visiting with their children, in which case it’s possible to seek relief from a court. Before you take this action, be sure to keep thorough records of each time the other parent denied your visitation rights — including text messages, emails and any other communication.

Additionally, if the custodial parent cancels a visit, you should make an effort to reschedule. You may be able to work out the issue without taking legal action, but you’ll also show a judge that you have been flexible and sincere in your efforts to see your kids. This could work in your favor if you do need the court to intervene.

To learn more about your child custody and visitation rights in Minnesota, consult a knowledgeable family law attorney with Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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