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As a Family Law Attorney, What Are the Most Common Issues You Handle when It Comes to Child Custody Matters?

Van Valkenburg Law May 5, 2022

The most common issues presented to me are those of extra time to be spent with each parent in a schedule.

What Is a Temporary Child Custody Order?

A temporary child custody order is an order that is put in place either by stipulation of the parties or through the court to set out what the provisional schedule will be for the children during the pendency of the legal matter.

What Is Joint Custody and Sole Custody Under Minnesota Law?

The two types of custody are legal and physical custody. It is presumed by statute that legal custody will be joint. This presumption may be overcome by showing there has been domestic abuse between the parties or that there is no manner in which the parents can make major decisions regarding the children. For joint legal custody, the parents jointly decide significant matters in the child’s life such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. If it is a sole legal custody situation, one parent has the authority to make those decisions. Physical custody of a child refers to where the child primarily lives and the routine daily care of the child. Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean that the parents have fifty-fifty scheduling, but they are sharing the access of the child or children in some fashion.

What Are the Rules and Restrictions to Relocation of A Parent Due to Work or Other Factors?

When a parent wants to move the child out of the state of Minnesota, they either must have written permission from the other parent or a court order. If the matter goes to court, the parent seeking to move out of the state with the child must show that it is in the child’s best interest. The court considers the child’s relationship with the other parent, which entails the schedule, how close they are, and what the other parent has to offer the child. They will also examine what would be lost for the child if they were to leave the state and weigh that against the benefit of the move. It can be quite a challenging process.

What Is a Parenting Plan and Do We Need One?

Parents can work together to form a parenting plan for the child. A parenting plan sets out the schedule for the child or children without necessarily setting out custody labels. It may also get into the minute details such as how the child is to be cared. A parenting plan may establish how the parents will handle such things as doctor’s appointments, transportation to school, child’s haircuts, and other small details to encourage the parents to communicate and collaborate in raising the child. It can work with parents who get along very well, but it also can be an excellent structure for parents who are having trouble deciding how to move forward.

Can the Court Reject the Custody or Visitation Plan Even if Both Parents Agree on It?

In Minnesota, we call it Parenting Access not visitation. When there is an agreement surrounding the children, the court is to look at the family and what is in the child’s best interest. Sometimes, courts reject parenting plans. It can be because the court does not believe the plan is in the children’s best interest. The court may consider such things as location of each home and how close those homes are to each other and to the children’s schools. It is quite rare but does happen from time to time.

Do Grandparents Have Custody and Visitation Rights in Minnesota?

Grandparents may be granted visitation or custody rights in Minnesota. The grandparents must have a significant relationship with their grandchild or children for the court to consider this. Grandparents may also bring a third-party custody action, which the courts examine thoroughly. The courts look at the level of involvement of each parent. Further the courts evaluate the strength of the bond between the child and the grandparent which includes how much time the children spend with the grandparents. Another factor to consider is whether the grandparent’s relationship with the child will interfere with the parent’s relationship with the child. This becomes an issue when grandparents and parents are at significant odds. The other time they can restrict grandparent’s visits is if the grandparent’s visiting time would significantly interfere or limit one parents’ access to the child.

For more information on Child Custody & Parenting Time In Minnesota, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.