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Role of a Custodial Parent in Family Law in Minnetonka

by | Jan 25, 2021 | Child Custody, Firm News

The aim of family law in Minnetonka is to help lawmakers make custody determinations that bring about stability in the lives of the children involved. The custody decisions enable the children, regardless of their age, to have a place they can call home, along with a sense of security. Needless to say, all custody determinations in Minnesota are made in keeping with the “best interests” of the children, without losing sight of child support laws 2018.

Under state law, family law in Minnetonka acknowledges two types of custody: legal and physical custody. Here’s a brief explanation of both.

1. Legal custody: This refers to the decision-making process involving crucial life choices for minor children. The parent with legal custody makes important decisions related to the child’s religion, medical care, and education, and schooling, among others.

2. Physical custody: This impacts the primary residence of minor children. The parent with physical custody is the one with whom the minor children will reside.

Broadly speaking, the custodial parent is the primary parent who the children live with. This usually means that the court has granted primary legal or physical custody to one of the parents, or the parents have made a mutual agreement, or only one parent is present in the children’s lives. Being the custodial parent, therefore, comes with several responsibilities.

The following tips are meant to help custodial parents in Minnesota better understand their role in raising their children.

1. Create and Follow a Visitation Schedule

The custodial parent should create a parenting plan and schedule with the non-custodial parent. Doing so will help you come up with a concrete visitation schedule. In the absence of such a parenting plan, the Minnesota court will enforce a visitation schedule for both parents to follow. If the visitation schedule needs any changes, the custodial parent should give the non-custodial parent advance notice about it.

2. Protect the Best Interests of Your Children

Family law in Minnetonka emphasizes the “best interests of the child” as the legal standard when pronouncing any child custody-related verdicts. The best interests of the child, essentially, means that the parents will always place the needs of their children before their own. This is done to ensure that the children’s physical and mental well-being are taken into account before any decision is made.

3. Consult the Non-Custodial Parent Whenever Necessary

A parent who shares joint custody of the children should make it a point to involve their ex whenever a meaningful issue related to their children’s upbringing springs up. It is important to remember that children need both their parents as they’re growing up. Have an honest discussion about how you and your ex will manage your children’s upbringing and the various challenges that come with it. This will help you put a plan of action in place, which can be implemented as and when required.

4. Record Child Support Payments

Your lawyer may have already acquainted you with the child support laws of 2018. Accordingly, if you receive child support payments, it is important that you chronicle them as they come in. This will help you gather proof of payment, in case you need to request back child support payments in court.

5. Inform the Non-Custodial Parent If Moving out of Minnesota with Children

If you desire to relocate with your children, you should discuss the matter with the non-custodial parent before acting on it. This is because family law in Minnetonka gives the non-custodial parent the right to know about the whereabouts of their children. Further, the non-custodial may approach the court for changing the child custody verdict as a result of your uninformed relocation.

Remember, the court will take into account multiple factors before allowing you to relocate. This is different from taking a vacation with your children though, in which case, the court may still ask you to inform the non-custodial parent about the vacation beforehand.

6. Consult the Non-Custodial Parent before Incurring Huge Childcare Expenses

If your ex is liable for covering half of the childcare expenses or extraordinary medical expenses of your children, you should consult with them before making any major related expenses. These reasons with the intention of upholding the best interest of the child. It is important to ensure that your ex is, in fact, capable of covering major costs. This, however, does not mean that you cannot make expensive purchases. The resolution can be as simple as waiting until payday and then making the purchase.


As you can see, being the custodial parent is no walk in the park. While you do get to share your home and life with your children, you also have certain responsibilities towards family law in Minnetonka as well as the non-custodial parent. The above tips will help you better understand your role in your children’s lives and make sound decisions in their best interests.

Reach out to Our Seasoned Family Lawyer in Minnetonka Today

Custody decisions can be life-changing for parents as well as children. Make sure your children are always under the best care and that their interests are well-protected. Our skilled legal team at Carlson & Jones, P.A. will help you understand family law in Minnetonka as well as its implications on your life. Call us right away at 855-762-6548 to schedule a free consultation. You can also reach us via our website.