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An Overview of the Rights of Non-custodial Parents

A non-custodial parent is the parent who does not have primary custody of a child. This parent may or may not have a set parenting time schedule.

There are some circumstances in which the non-custodial parents will have some limited legal rights in terms of their ability to make decisions on behalf of the child. However, except in special circumstances, non-custodial parents will still have basic rights (in accordance with a custody or visitation order) such as:

  • The right to parenting time/visitation
  • The right to spend time with a child on certain holidays
  • The right to access the child’s medical and educational records
  • The right to pay child support in a manner appropriate for their level of income
  • Other rights as defined in the child custody order specific to the relationship

Judges will take a variety of factors into consideration when determining custody arrangements and parenting time schedules, focusing first and foremost on what is in the child’s best interest. But unless there is any reason to believe spending time with the parent would put the child at risk or would otherwise not be in their best interest, the above rights will not be infringed upon by the court. The custodial parent is expected to be respectful of these rights and not stand in the way of the non-custodial parent maintaining a relationship with the child.

For more information about your rights as a parent, even a non-custodial parent, we encourage you to contact a trusted Minnesota divorce attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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  • "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.

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