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What Factors Do You Look at With Your Client in Determining Whether Taking a Custody Case to Trial Is the Next Right Step or Not?

Van Valkenburg Law May 5, 2022

A determination of custody looks at the best interest factors set out in Minnesota statute. Courts are supposed to consider what is appropriate for the child, what each of the parents wants for the schedule, how it will benefit the child, and how it may be detrimental to the child’s relationship with either parent. The child’s life before the parents separated is also considered to best maintain the routine and structure that was once present. Suppose disabilities or concerns impact the abilities of the parents to care for the child. In that case, they’ll look at what those are, and the emphasis is not on what the disability or the impairment, but how the parent and child can maximize their relationship. Parental communication is also considered, as the party who better communicates with each other and the child will benefit.

Other relationships such as grandparents, possible siblings, and established relationships also determine what will make up the child’s best interest. The more those connections can be maintained, the more likely the court will find in your favor.

What Should I Expect at A Custody Hearing?

A custody hearing is an evidentiary hearing meaning that everything comes in by live testimony. Each parent has the opportunity to testify, and if there are people that you believe have something to add to those best interest factors, they will be compelled to testify. During custody trials, we will also have to face the fact that the other parent will bring in testimonials that may be difficult to hear and detrimental to your case or character. This means that custody hearings are emotional, draining, and challenging, and the primary reason is that both parties feel how meaningful their relationship is with the child and want that to be maximized.

Once a Custody Decision Is Made Final, how Soon After Will the Order Actually Be in Effect?

Often, the judges will determine how long until the order will take effect. However, in the decision, the court can rule the order or schedule will take effect shortly to limit one party’s access or time spent. For example, suppose there’s clinical dependency or mental health issues. In that case, they may want to put certain protections in place to allow the parenting time to move forward in the safest manner possible.

If a parent does not have significant time, the court may allow for a ramp-up in that time with the child to become comfortable with the other parent and the new process. But typically, it’s determined immediately.

Can I Appeal a Final Custody Decision Made by The Court?

You can appeal a custody decision. It’s an entirely foreign process from the initial ruling. Still, once there’s a determination, steps need to be taken if you wish to appeal. Still, when a final custody decision is made, it is absolutely reviewable by the appellate court.

What Are the Most Important Reasons Someone Needs to Seek the Counsel of An Experienced Family Law Attorney Such as Yourself to Assist in Custody Matters versus Ever Trying to Do It on Their Own?

Custody matters are the most emotional decisions that are made. You want your attorney who knows the law, has the experience and has addressed custody matters before the courts to present the best possible situations to the court. Sometimes what clients believe are important issues that they want to bring to the court’s attention are not something the court feels is necessary. It could be inconsequential, and you don’t know it because you don’t have counsel. Personally, having an experienced family law attorney is the most important thing you can do when addressing custody matters, whether it’s first-time, modifications of parenting time, or modifications of custody. It’s a complicated and emotional issue that you need the assistance of someone with the experience of knowing how best to put together and advocate for you and your children.

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.