Protecting your child’s future, is one of the most important issues to be addressed during the divorce process. At Dove Fretland & Van Valkenburg, we are dedicated to creating Child Custody agreements and parenting time/ visitation schedules that enable a safe, healthy future for your child.
The following describes some of the basic elements of child custody law in Minnesota:
LEGAL CUSTODY AND PHYSICAL CUSTODY
In the state of Minnesota there are two types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody:
Physical custody describes where the child will primarily reside and the way in which parents share the responsibilities in taking care of their child. Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make decisions about a child's health care, education and religious upbringing.
Legal Custody is most commonly shared between the two parents. The primary exception is when there is an issue (such as abuse) that could affect a child’s safety.
Physical Custody is often an issue during a divorce. There are two types: Sole physical custody is when one parent has the primary responsibility of the day-to-day care of the child. Joint physical Custody is when the parents share in the day-to-day responsibilities,
When parents are contesting custody, an evaluator will interview the parents, the children and witnesses named by each party. From these interviews, the evaluator will prepare a report that includes recommendations for custody and visitation. This is based on the best interests of the child. These recommendations will have a significant influence on the final outcome.
MODIFICATION OF CUSTODY
The court can modify custody if the situation of the child or a parent changes. The court will only look at facts that have changed since the original custody order was put in place.
The parent must bring a motion to court to change a custody order. In bringing the motion, the parent must have witnesses, affidavits or other documents to demonstrate a basis to modify custody.
Hennepin County Divorce Attorneys serving clients in Minneapolis, St Paul, St Louis Park, Edina, Minnetonka, and communities throughout the Twin Cities area