Overview

There are two forms of custody in Minnesota: Legal Custody and Physical Custody.

The Court will award custody based on the best interests of the children. The Family Law Attorneys at Clausen & Hassan, LLC are experienced with a variety of issues related to Child Custody and will help you understand the process and your rights.

Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody
Legal custody refers to major decisions regarding your child, including their health, education, and religious upbringing.
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Parenting Plans
A parenting plan is a written document that outlines custody and parenting time. It includes the access schedule with the child for each parent and assigns responsibility to each or both parents for making major decisions regarding the minor child. A parenting plan also articulates a method of resolving future disputes regarding the minor child.
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Relocation of a Parent to Another State or Country
Once a divorce decree is final, and if Minnesota has jurisdiction to address the issues involved, a parent can request to relocate to another state or country with the minor child. This is done by bringing a Motion to Relocate before the Court.
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Child Custody Modification
A Modification of child custody is usually the best option when the current custody arrangement is no longer in the best interest of the child. Both parents may or may not agree to the modification. Our Minnesota family law attorneys can help you either bring or respond to a Modification of Child Custody.
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Father's Rights in Minnesota
Unwed fathers are often uncertain what their parental rights are. Minnesota’s family and divorce law isgender neutral.
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Mother's Rights in Minnesota Child Custody
Both parents have legal rights to their children. The mother of the minor child has automatic sole legal and sole physical custody where the parties are not married and a Recognition of Parentage was not signed. A mother’s rights can be defeated if it is shown that the mother is unfit or has abandoned the child.
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Grandparent Rights
It is common for family members such as grandparents to become very important people in children’s lives. Sometimes when a couple with children decides to separate, it is unfortunate that grandparents may miss out on spending time with the children because the family, as a unit, changes drastically.
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Parenting Time & Visitation Rights
Even if you do not have custody of your child, you still have parenting time rights. “Parenting time” refers to the amount of time that the non-custodial parent (parent that does not have physical custody) spends with the minor child. In many divorces or separations, child custody is a major issue.
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Guardians ad Litem
A Guardian ad Litem (“GAL”) is an individual appointed by the court to advocate for the best interests of a child in a juvenile or family court proceeding. The GAL appointment is either Mandatory or Permissive.
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Custody Evaluations
If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on custody, a neutral evaluator may perform a custody evaluation to protect the best interests of the child. A custody evaluation will provide the Court with recommendations based on the best interests of the child and what the evaluator believes is the most appropriate custody arrangement.
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Parenting Consultants
If both parties agree, a Parenting Consultant is a neutral outside party who can make custody and parenting time decisions once the Divorce Decree is issued. The parties must sign a contract, which outlines what the Parenting Consultant can do, and how the cost will be divided.
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Parenting Time Expeditors
The divorce process is always difficult, especially when the best interests of the children are involved. AParenting Time Expeditor (PTE) is a neutral who operates based upon the authority set forth in Minnesota statutes.
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Mediators
A Mediator is a neutral third party who can assist divorced (or divorcing) parents or never married parents in resolving disputes. Many couples decide to go to Mediation because it is more affordable and less time consuming than turning to the Court to resolve disputes.
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Interstate and International Child Custody
When children and child support are involved, jurisdiction is often decided based on a set of uniform laws adopted by all fifty states in order to provide consistency and protect the interests of the children.
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