In our last post on custody in Minnesota, we explored the various factors used to determine custody and parenting time. Now that you understand the basics, it’s time to delve into specifics regarding paternity, residency requirements, and parenting plans.
How Paternity Impacts Custody
While the Minnesota marriage rate remains higher than that in most states, it’s quickly dropping — in part because more couples opt for cohabitation. Whether parents live together or apart, children conceived out of wedlock are not automatically presumed related to the father. To achieve custody or parenting time, the father must officially establish paternity. Otherwise, state law mandates that the mother receives sole custody.
To qualify for a Minnesota judge’s declaration in custody decisions, your child must have resided in the state with a parent or eligible guardian for six consecutive months. Exceptions sometimes apply in emergency situations.
Custody arrangements in Minnesota can be altered following a court order, but only if the court deems that the family’s situation has changed significantly — and that a new order will benefit the child. When determining possible changes, courts only examine new circumstances.
Parenting plans help divorced or separated parents determine the specifics of child care. Topics covered may include education, emergency medical treatment, residential arrangements, and more. The state provides a parenting plan worksheet that can be used as a blueprint for parenting discussions or as a tool to prepare for courtroom proceedings.
Still confused about custody and visitation in Minnesota? You’re certainly not alone. Don’t hesitate to seek additional information from our knowledgeable and caring team at the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. Call (763) 783-5146 today to schedule a consultation.