Minnesota Parenting Time & Child Visitation Rights Lawyers

Custody and parenting time can be one of the most emotionally difficult aspects of a divorce because all parties will need to transition to a new schedule and new surroundings. Regardless of the custody labels, legal and physical custody, noncustodial parents are usually entitled to visitation with a child. This is true whether the parents were married or not; the marital status of the parents only affects the procedure used to establish parenting time. The amount of visitation will vary with the desires of the parents and the inclinations of the judge, but Minnesota Statutes allow for a rebuttable presumption that a noncustodial parent should have at least 25% of parenting time with their child unless there has been domestic abuse.

There are also temporary and permanent custody labels and parenting time schedules, which can be adjusted by agreement or modified if you can meet the legal threshold. A court can restrict visitation or deny it altogether if the court believes the child might be placed in danger by being alone with the parent. If parents live far apart and regular weekend visitation is not feasible, it is common to allocate more summer vacation and school holidays to the noncustodial parent.

Typically, the parties can craft a schedule that works best for them- considering school, activities, school breaks, the parties work schedules, childcare, and holidays. There are a variety of common schedules that you can discuss with your attorney.
To help you navigate the complex world of custody and parenting time, you will need attorneys experienced various schedules and options to

Modifying an Existing Parenting Time Schedule and Custody Labels

If you have already been through the process of establishing a parenting time schedule and custody labels, it is possible to modify it. If both parents agree to a change, the parties can put that change in writing and submit it to the court. Otherwise, the parties may try to settle the issue in mediation, negotiate between counsel, or  submit the issue to the court to determine which parenting time schedule is best for the children.

The courts look at the best interest of the child to determine whether a modification of a parenting time schedule or custody labels is appropriate. Minnesota Statutes provide thirteen factors that the court  analyzes to make this decision, which can be found here: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/518.17. All thirteen factors must be considered; a judge may not look at one individual factor to the exclusion of all others. There are no time limitations on how often a parent may go to court to modify a parenting time schedule or custody labels.

If you would like to modify an existing parenting time schedule or custody labels, contact the family law attorneys at Heimerl & Lammers today to set up a free consultation.