Role of a Custodial Parent in Family Law in Minnetonka

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) 976-2444 to schedule a free consultation. You can also reach us via our website.

How to Win Full Child Custody as Per Family Law in Buffalo, MN

When children are involved, the trickiest and most challenging factor in a divorce is child custody. As both parents are equally entitled to get custody of their children, the battle to win full or sole custody often drags on for years.

If your spouse is unwilling to compromise or wants to harass you, they will block your every attempt to win full custody of your kids. As professional divorce attorneys in Buffalo, we have come across more than a few such cases. However, the court will always take the children’s best interest into consideration when making child custody decisions.

A. Becoming the Custodial Parent

In Minnesota, the court awards two types of child custody: physical and legal custody.

Physical custody determines where the children will live after the divorce, and the parent awarded this custody raises the children. Like most states, physical custody is often awarded to one parent in Minnesota as well. The other parent gets visitation rights.

Legal custody involves the right to make important decisions about the children, such as religious upbringing, medical and healthcare, and education. Usually, the court will award legal custody to both parents.

Most parents want to win primary physical custody and become a custodial parent. As the court has the final say in this matter, you need to hire a lawyer who knows the divorce law in Buffalo inside-out. Only an experienced, professional, and skilled lawyer can help you become a custodial parent.

B. Tips to Win Full Custody

As mentioned, the court considers the best interest of the children when making the custody decision. There are a few ways to prove to the court that you are worthy of raising your child. If you can prove this, the court may award you full custody.

1. UnderstandFamily Law

The first step is to understand the family law in your jurisdiction. While you can find a lot of information online, it is better to consult an attorney practicing family law in Buffalo. They can help you understand the factors that courts usually consider when determining child custody.

Furthermore, each child custody case is unique. So, consulting a divorce attorney in Buffalo will help you know exactly where you stand. For example, in most cases, the court will award joint legal custody while awarding physical custody to only one parent. In some cases, however, one parent can get both legal and physical custody. Talk to your lawyer to know the most likely outcome in your case and how to proceed.

2. Try to Be a Better Parent

When seeking sole custody, you should focus on being a better parent. In other words, you will need to ensure your children’s physical as well as mental well-being. Make sure you are aware of their routine. Keep track of all their school activities, medical appointments, sleeping and eating habits, and social interactions.

You will also need to look after the mental well-being of your kids. You need to help your children adjust to their new lifestyle. Divorce can be hard on many children. So, you will need to be extra careful during this time. As a better parent, the court will expect you to provide your kids with an overall healthy lifestyle. Be sure to provide them with it.

3. Be Practical and Honest

Although family law in Buffalo allows you to get full custody, you need to be practical. You need to consider your work schedule, location, and income, among other things, before you decide to fight for sole custody.

For example, if you are working two jobs, you are less likely to spend time with your kids. Would you rather your kids spent time with your ex or a nanny? It is usually in the best interest of children to be with their parents.

If your current work location is in a different city, state, or country, you will need to consider if your children can adapt to this change. As your kids are going through considerable emotional stress already, the last thing you would want is to take them away from their friends.

That’s why you should always be practical and honest when making custody-related requests in court. Being unreasonable will only turn the odds against you. You can talk to your lawyer and even your ex to work out a solution suitable for everyone.

4. Document Your Actions

As per the family law in Buffalo, the burden of proof lies on the parents. You may already be a better parent than your ex or soon-to-be-ex. However, you will need to prove it in court. You will need to gather evidence to prove your active involvement in your children’s lives.

So, you need to maintain your own records of everything, including parenting schedule, school activities, and visitation schedule, among other things. You can talk to your lawyer to know what needs to be documented and for how long.


In most cases, more than anything, divorcing parents want full custody of their kids. However, custody battles are often challenging. Hopefully, these tips will help you prepare for yours. Remember though, as each child custody case is unique, be sure to talk to a competent attorney before making any decisions. Good luck!

Need a Consultation on Family Law in Buffalo? Call Us Now!

As a leading divorce attorney in Buffalo, Carlson & Jones, P.A. can provide you with all services related to divorce and child custody. No matter how complicated your case is, our experts will help you find a suitable solution. Call us on (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know more about our legal services.

The Dos and Don’ts of Winning Your Child Custody Battle in Brainerd, MN

If you are getting a divorce and have children, the most challenging part of your legal separation will be the child custody battle. In their heart, both parents are committed to winning the primary physical child custody. However, most custody battles are difficult to win, owing to the complications involved in such cases.

Custody battles are also time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining. You need to have a proper plan of action to increase your chance of winning custody. If you are consulting an experienced child custody lawyer in Brainerd, they will probably discuss a strategy with you before filing for custody.

If you haven’t already hired an attorney, the following dos and don’ts can prove helpful.

1. Try to Work Out a Solution with Your Ex

One of the best ways to resolve a custody dispute quickly and cost-effectively is to collaborate with your spouse. As parents, you both have the right to love and take care of your children. Even if you have fallen apart with your ex, they are still a part of your children’s lives.

Showing a willingness to resolve the custody dispute amicably can benefit your children in the long run. Before resorting to any legal means, make sure to sit down with your ex and discuss the issue.

Be practical when deciding who gets primary physical child custody. As a parent, you should always keep your children’s best interests in mind when making these decisions.

2. Don’t Despise Your Ex

Another essential measure is to keep your emotions out of the picture until your child custody dispute settles. Trash-talking your ex in front of the judge and the jury, or even your experienced child custody lawyer in Brainerd is not a good idea. Talking negatively about your ex is usually frowned upon by almost everyone involved in this legal process.

You should also not speak negatively about your ex to your children. Many divorcing couples use their children as pawns to assassinate the character of their spouse. However, this strategy is almost always likely to backfire in court. Plus, you will be putting your children through additional emotional stress in what already seems like an unbearable situation for them.

3. Document All Your Communication

If possible, try to communicate with your ex. You need to proactively inform your ex about your children’s schedule, school activities, medical appointments, and other social activities.  However, make sure to document all your communication. Keep a record of everything from text messages and emails to voicemails and video chats. You can talk to your attorney about any additional precautions you need to take when communicating with your ex.

Your communication is a critical piece of evidence that can help prove your willingness to cooperate. So, make sure to share your children’s report cards, activity schedules, and other important stuff with your ex. Documenting communication can also help prove your ex’s unwillingness to collaborate, strengthening your chance of winning the custody battle.

4. Don’t Behave Recklessly

As soon as you start your custody battle, your experienced child custody lawyer in Brainerd will tell you to be on your best behavior. Make sure to take their advice seriously. You need to avoid any friction with the law while your child custody case is going on.

You must never drink too much alcohol or consume any drugs even when your kids are not around. Remember, a simple DUI can also impact the outcome of your child custody case. The court may see you as an irresponsible or reckless individual, deeming you unfit as a parent. Apart from ruining your chances of winning custody, these poor life choices will also hurt your children.

5. Make Sure to Follow Court’s Requests

As mentioned, child custody battles are time-consuming. Until there is a verdict, the court will pass several temporary orders for both parties. These orders are meant to ensure the well-being of children until the process is complete.

Whether you need to attend a counseling session or share your children’s schedule with your ex, you need to follow every request the court makes of you. By doing so, you can show the court your commitment to cooperate and resolve the dispute amicably.

6. Don’t Hide Anything from Your Lawyer

Lastly, try not to hide anything from your attorney. If you withhold information or lie, not even an experienced child custody lawyer in Brainerd can help you win. Make sure to provide your lawyer with all the facts related to your custody dispute.

Don’t exaggerate any facts about your ex. Your ex’s lawyer will unearth your secrets at some point during the custody dispute, making it difficult for your lawyer to win the case. Whether you are seeing a psychiatrist or were arrested for a DUI recently, make sure to share this information with your attorney immediately.


While hiring the best attorney can help increase your chances of winning child custody, you also need to take a few additional precautions. Although there are no guarantees, hopefully, these dos and don’ts can help strengthen your case. However, no two child custody disputes are the same. So, make sure to consult your lawyer before making any decisions.

Talk to an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer in BrainerdNow

Most child custody disputes are challenging, requiring you to hire competent, experienced, and professional lawyers like Carlson and Jones, P.A., in Brainerd. Our team will go the extra mile to help you win your children’s custody. Call us on (855) 976-2444 to know more. You can also contact us through our website.

How Your Criminal History Can Impact Your Child Custody Case in Brainerd, MN

It is relatively easier for married couples who don’t have children to get a divorce. But for divorcing parents, the topmost concern is getting child custody.

Child custody disputes are often challenging, especially when both parents provide the court with compelling arguments. Both parents are interested in winning either physical or legal custody of their kids as soon as possible.

Like in any other state, the courts in Minnesota also consider the best interest of the children when settling custody disputes. That’s why, the criminal history of both parents plays a critical role in determining child custody. If you have a criminal record, no matter how insignificant, you should consult an experienced child custody lawyer in Brainerd, MN before taking any decision.

Let’s see how the process works and whether you can win a child custody battle despite having a criminal record.

1. How Is Child Custody Determined in Brainerd, MN

In Minnesota, you need to meet the residency requirements to file for child custody. The law states that the child must have lived with the parent or the person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months. There are exceptions to this rule. However, it is better to consult an experienced child custody lawyer in Brainerd, MN to understand whether these exceptions apply in your case.

Like most other states, Minnesota also offers two primary forms of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody determines which parent the children can stay with. Usually, one of the parents gets physical custody. In some cases, however, both parents can share joint physical custody of their children.

On the other hand, legal custody determines which parent will have the right to make decisions about the upbringing of the children. It usually gives you the right to make decisions regarding religion, medical treatment, and education, among other things.

2. Factors Considered to Determine the Child Custody

Keeping the best interests of the children in mind is top priority when making child custody decisions in Minnesota. As per the Minnesota law, the courts consider 12 different factors when determining child custody.

First on the list is the physical safety and mental well-being of the children, followed by their educational and medical needs. The court will also consider children’s preferences if they are old enough. Furthermore, the court will take into account parenting time, social development of the children, physical and mental fitness of parents, financial situation, and willingness of both parents to cooperate.

However, each child custody case is different. That’s why you are better off consulting an experienced child custody lawyer in Brainerd, MN before making any decision. It is also possible to resolve custody issues amicably or through mediation, which is less stressful and more affordable.

3. Can You Win a Child Custody Battle Despite a Criminal Record?

When determining child custody in Minnesota, the court will look at your and your spouse’s criminal history. They will also check the criminal record of your new partner if you are in a relationship. However, the family court will look at your criminal history from the perspective of how it could affect your ability to raise the children.

In other words, if your criminal record consists of felony offenses and convictions, you are less likely to win a child custody battle. For example, if you have a history of violence, it will most certainly affect your ability to get custody even if the crime was committed before the child was born.

If you have been convicted of crimes like domestic violence, sexual abuse, and child abuse, the court is more likely to sack your rights as a parent. The court will take this decision based on the logical assumption that it is not in the best interest of the children to stay with a violent and/or abusive parent.

However, if you have an isolated incident, such as underage drinking or a DUI, you are still likely to win a child custody battle as the family court will be considerate. Also, if you are being charged with a crime and not yet convicted, your experienced child custody lawyer in Brainerd, MN can pursue the court to put less weight on charges compared to a conviction.

But, if you are convicted of the said crime, it could result in the revocation of your parental rights in future. That’s why you should make sure your criminal defense lawyer and child custody attorney are on the same page. You should never hide any criminal history from your lawyer.


As you can see, your criminal history may have a significant impact on your child custody battle. However, there are no generalizations when considering prior criminal behavior of a parent filing for child custody as each case has its own merits and demerits. Overall, it is necessary to hire a competent child custody attorney as soon as possible to increase your chances of winning your children’s custody.

Talk to an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer in Brainerd, MN Today!

As a parent, you have the right to be involved in your children’s lives even after the divorce. If you are filing for or contesting child custody in Brainerd, MN, Carlson & Jones, P.A. can help you. Our experienced lawyers will fight for and protect your parental rights. Call us on (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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