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Understanding Child Custody in Minnesota

June 3, 2016

Minnesota Child CustodyWhen you are contemplating a divorce and have children, one of the most difficult things to think about is how you and your soon to be ex-spouse will divide time with your kids.  This likely causes significant anxiety, sadness and worry.  Child custody issues are extremely complex as there are often multiple and differing opinions about what is in the children’s best interest.  Johnson Mediation of Chanhassen, Minnesota can help a divorcing couple come up with a Parenting Plan, which outlines how the children’s time will be divided on a regular basis.  In addition to comprehensive mediation services during the divorce negotiations, our team also offers a wide variety of parenting classes and programs to help parents navigate this part of the divorce process.

Issues To Consider With Child Custody Cases

Minnesota, like all states, uses a “best interest of the child” standard when it comes to determining child custody.  You may wonder what the court system takes into account when making this determination.  Below are some general factors that the court considers in custody cases:

  1. Age of child/children: This is less emphasized than in the past, but if a child is very young and still nursing, a court may favor the mother for primary custody.
  2. Living situation of the parents: Continuing to live in the family home is looked at as providing stability for the children during a divorce, so the parent who lives there may have a slight advantage in the eyes of the court.  If you want to ensure that you can spend a significant amount of time with your kids, be sure that your living space is conducive to children.
  3. Relationship between parents: The parent who is generally seen as more cooperative may also have an advantage in the eyes of the court.
  4. Relationship between each parent and the child/children: The court looks at the long term relationship between each parent and the children when considering custody.
  5. Wishes of the child/children: In divorce cases where the child or children are 12 years old or older, the court may decide to get feedback directly from them (or from a mediator) to take their preferences into account.
  6. Any unique situations or circumstances: A court will look at issues such as abuse, neglect or other factors when deciding to limit time with children.

Minnesota Child Custody Mediation Services

Johnson Mediation is a leading divorce mediation provider, focusing on helping your family navigate the difficult process and find common ground and a way forward that is healthy for all involved.  We offer comprehensive, as well as specific programs, that are geared toward child custody mediation services issues.  Call (952) 401-7599 for more information or to speak with a member of our expert team.

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