Your Advocate In Divorce

Protecting your children’s future: Child custody and parenting time in Minnesota

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2024 | Child Custody

Divorce can be an emotionally charged experience, especially when children are involved. One of the most crucial decisions you’ll face is determining child custody and parenting time arrangements. These arrangements will shape your children’s lives and ensure they maintain healthy relationships with both parents. Understanding the various child custody options and the factors influencing parenting time is essential for navigating this important process.

Here’s what you should know about child custody and parenting time.

Minnesota courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining child custody. This involves considering several factors, such as the child’s age, emotional needs, relationship with each parent and the ability of each parent to provide a safe and nurturing environment. There are two primary types of child custody in Minnesota.

The first type is physical custody. This refers to the parent with whom the child will primarily reside. There are two options for physical custody:

  • Sole physical custody: One parent has primary responsibility for the child’s physical care, while the other parent has visitation rights (parenting time).
  • Joint physical custody: Both parents share physical custody of the child, with the child splitting their time between each household according to a court-ordered schedule.

The other type of custody is parenting time. This refers to the time the non-custodial parent spends with the child. Parenting time schedules can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the child’s age. The goal is to create a balanced arrangement that allows the child to maintain a strong bond with both parents.

Factors influencing parenting time

The court will consider several factors when determining a parenting time schedule, including:

  • The child’s age and needs: Younger children may require more frequent and shorter visits, while older children can handle longer periods with each parent.
  • The geographic proximity of parents’ residences: Distance between parents’ homes can impact the feasibility of certain parenting time schedules.
  • The parents’ work schedules and availability: The court will strive to create a schedule that accommodates both parents’ work commitments while maximizing parenting time with the child.
  • The child’s relationship with each parent: The court will consider the child’s existing relationships and preferences, ensuring they feel comfortable and secure during parenting time.

Creating workable child custody and parenting time arrangements can be complex. Having an experienced family law attorney by your side can help ensure the court considers all relevant factors and creates a plan that prioritizes your children’s well-being while protecting your rights as a parent.