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How much legal right does a bio dad have as far as getting son's hair cut?

Saint Paul, MN |

I share joint legal custody w/my son's bio dad. I have full physical custody. This is a very trivial question, but I want to know my right as a mother!My son has semi curly hair. As it has grown longer it's gotten curlier. He is 19 months old & I have yet to cut it. His bio dad told me if I do not get it cut by 5/24/13 he is going to take him in to get it cut because he, his girlfriend & their son along w/our joint son are getting "family photos" taken. Can he legally take our joint son in to get his hair cut if I object to it? I keep our son's hair groomed daily & it's not ratted or messy. If he put some gel in it, the curls look extremely cute & fit him. I do not neglect him in the slightest so i do not see how he cannot use that as reasoning for taking him against my request not do.

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Attorney answers 3


I am afraid that it is an issue that is not covered under the law. Joint legal custody really only covers important events and issues like medical decisions, religious upbringing and the like. A hair cut is generally in the discretion of either parent. You can seek to mediate the issue to seek a resolution, if you believe it is an issue.

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Generally grooming/hygiene should fall under day to day care. The custodial parent is responsible for day to day care when the child is with him or her. Legal custody, as counsel stated, refers to only major medical, religious, and educational decisions. Hair cuts don't fall in any of those categories.

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Hello. Based on my many years of professional experience, I have had the occasion to see court orders that specifically include a provision that one parent may not cut the hair of the child. The most recent court order I saw with this particular issue addressed was created in 2013. I urge you to confer with attorney counsel at this time, in part because it is quite likely that you have other concerns that you would like addressed. Some attorneys, myself included, will confer for free, no charge, initially. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys, myself included, will provide a reduced fee for need. All the best to you.

Tricia Dwyer, Esq., Family Law, Child Custody & Child Support Law, Rule 14 Qualified Neutral, Minnesota Supreme Court Roster Mediator, Tricia Dwyer, Esq. & Associates PLLC, Phone: 612.296-9666 EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR until 8 p.m. daily. See



We were recently in court in Feb 2013. We tried mediation and spent 6 hours just for him to back out at the signing of the "agreement". After going to court (the judge ended up denying my move to Texas as she said my son is too young to move from his bio dad being they are just building their relationship) it took over 2 weeks to draft the court order as he kept being extremely difficult and changing his mind every other day. As much as I would like to go to court to get it in writing about him not being able to cut his hair, it unfortunately wouldn't do anything but cause more stress on me as I am dealing with the most immature "adult" out there. Thanks for your help!