Custody is the most difficult area of practice, as children are the most important part of the family to parents. Family law deals with some of the most stressful events that will ever occur in an individual’s life. These are emotional times that can be incredibly difficult and inspire less than ideal behavior from otherwise mature adults. If you have children, you must have a child custody attorney on your team in your Edina, MN case; a family law case should never be handled on your own.
From Jane’s interview for the Masters of Family Law series on ReelLawyers.com.
The family law attorneys at Van Valkenburg Law are experienced in handing delicate issues like child custody, separation, divorce, alimony, and visitation rights with compassionate expert care. Most people are not comfortable sharing the private details of their marriage with someone they have only just met. It is important to find a divorce attorney you can trust to handle your case in Hennepin County, MN discreetly.
A skilled and experienced child custody attorney in Edina, MN can put you at ease and protect your legal rights. Family law cases are simply too important to be left in the hands of just any attorney. If you are facing a divorce, separation, custody dispute, or issues regarding child support or alimony, call Van Valkenburg Law and speak to one of our Hennepin County family law lawyers about your case. You will not regret investing in an attorney who will make sure that your interests are represented in family law court.
How Is Custody Decided In Minnesota?
Child custody is one of the most sensitive areas of family law. In some cases, custody can be divided relatively easily, as both parents have the same idea about who should have custody. However, in many cases, parents are at odds about custody.
Every state has its own standards for determining custody, all with the ultimate goal of protecting the best interests of the child or children. In Minnesota, judges are required to consider 13 different factors in order to decide which custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child/children. These are:
- The parents’ wishes
- The preference of the child (if they have the capacity to state one).
- How close and attached each parent is to each child, and vice versa.
- Which parent (if either) has been the primary caretaker of the child.
- Relationships between the child and their parents, siblings, or any other person that may affect their best interests.
- Whether they live in a “stable, satisfactory environment”, and for how long, as well as how desirable/beneficial it would be to maintain continuity in that environment.
- The child’s level of adjustment and development in their home, school, and community.
- The child’s cultural background.
- The “permanence as a family unit” of each proposed custodial home.
- The health (mental, physical, and emotional) of all individuals involved. Notably, a parent’s disability cannot determine custody outcome on its own, unless the arrangement is otherwise deemed not to be in the child/children’s’ best interests.
- Each parent’s ability to give the child love, education, affection, and guidance, and to teach them about their family’s culture/creed/religion.
- Any domestic abuse that occurred between the parents, or with either parent and another individual, which may have affected the child/children.
- Each parent’s ability and willingness to allow the other parent to maintain frequent and continuing contact with the child/children (except in cases with orders of protection and convicted domestic abuse).
As you can see, these factors are rather extensive. This means that if you want to make a truly compelling case for yourself, you need to show the judge your side in a way that reflects upon all of those standards. This can be extremely hard for someone to do on their own, both because of a lack of legal knowledge and emotional closeness to the case.
In these cases, it is therefore very seriously recommended that you bring an experienced, skilled attorney into your corner, to help make your case for you. An attorney with the right skills and knowledge can speak to the factors judges consider when deciding custody.
In Edina, Minnesota, Jane Van Valkenburg is that attorney. Attorney Van Valkenburg is a fourth generation Minnesota family lawyer. Her dedication to her clients, as well as her extensive legal background, her acclaimed courtroom skill, and her effective legal strategizing, all make Jane Van Valkenburg a stand-out attorney with proven effectiveness in custody matters.