Search Site

Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Noncustodial Parent

There are a lot of pop culture myths about custody and visitation. If you’re a noncustodial parent—meaning your child’s other parent has full physical and legal custody—it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities.

Petitioning for custody or visitation

Parents generally have the right to petition for custody and visitation, subject to specific state procedural laws and past judgements. While many people believe that the custodial parent has the right to determine when and how the noncustodial parent can see the kids, that’s not necessarily true.

As a parent, you’re not guaranteed custody and visitation, but you do have the right to request it. Generally, courts determine custody and visitation based on the best interests of the child. They tend to favor arrangements where both parents get to spend time with their children, as long as it’s safe. For example, if a noncustodial parent is deemed ineligible for custody but suitable for visitation, the court may grant supervised or unsupervised visitation.

Financial support

Parents are also jointly financially responsible for paying for their child’s upbringing. The noncustodial parent often must pay child support to the custodial parent, which is then used to offset the costs of raising a child.

Child support is awarded based on income or potential income, and can be modified when circumstances change. For example, if you’re ordered to pay child support but later become permanently disabled and unable to work, the court may modify the support agreement.

Finally, it’s important to remember that just because you pay child support does not mean a court will grant custody or visitation time. These are separate determinations, and for best results, you should have a child custody attorney advocate on your behalf.

When you need help negotiating custody arrangements, the trusted custody lawyers at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in St. Paul, MN can advocate for you and your child. Call today to get started.

Our Attorneys
Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties.Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


Contact us

Quick Contact Form