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How is child custody in Minnesota determined?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2020 | Firm News

Child custody is a concern that may come up for many parents in Minnesota at some point. Because it is an important concern, it is helpful for parents to know how child custody is determined in Minnesota.

Child custody, both physical and legal custody of the child, is determined based on what is in the best interests of the child. The best interests of the child is determined by the evaluation of a variety of factors including:

  • the child’s physical, emotional, cultural, spiritual and other needs;
  • any special medical, mental health or educational needs of the child;
  • the reasonable preference of the child based on the child’s age and maturity;
  • any domestic abuse;
  • any physical, mental or chemical health issue of the parents;
  • the history of each parent’s participation in caring for the child;
  • the willingness and ability of each parent to provide ongoing care for the child;
  • the ability of each parent to meet the child’s ongoing developmental, emotional, spiritual and cultural needs;
  • the ability of each parent to consistently follow through with parenting time;
  • the impact of changes to home, school and community on the child’s development and well-being;
  • the impact of any proposed child custody arrangement on the child’s relationships with parents, siblings and other significant persons in the child’s life;
  • the benefits of maximizing parenting time with each of the parents;
  • each’s parents disposition towards supporting the child’s relationship with the other parent and encouraging and permitting frequent and continuing contact between the child and the other parent; and
  • the willingness and ability of the parents to cooperate with each other

Using what is in the best interests of the child as a standard to guide them, parents and the family law court can arrive at a child custody arrangement that benefits the child and supports the child’s overall well-being and safety. The best interests of the child standard is designed to help reach a child custody arrangement that will best serve the child’s healthy growth and development which is why it is important to understand and follow.