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In Minnesota, as in most states, a variety of factors are considered when determining custody. These are covered in detail in MN Statute 518.14. Read on to learn more about this important statute and its impact on Minnesota custody proceedings:

Best Interests of the Child

Above all else, Minnesota courts make custody decisions based on what is deemed in the child’s best interests. What, exactly, constitutes a child’s best interests can vary significantly from one family to the next. Generally, however, courts consider:

  • How proposed arrangements might impact the child’s physical and emotional needs
  • Special needs regarding medical care or mental health
  • The child’s reasonable preference if he or she is of sufficient age and ability to make such a decision
  • Current or past domestic abuse in either household
  • Each parent’s emotional ties to the child — and the ability to maintain such ties following divorce

What About Joint Custody?

MN 518.14 specifically addresses the issue of joint custody, highlighting that courts should hold no presumption for or against such an arrangement — unless evidence indicates a history of domestic abuse in either household. The statute also mentions that parenting time need not be exactly equal for parents to receive joint custody.

Parental Rights Granted By Minnesota Courts

Regardless of custodial designation, Minnesota courts typically grant both parents the following rights:

  • Access to school, medical, and police reports
  • Notification of accidents or serious injuries
  • Notification if the child is the victim of a crime
  • Reasonable electronic contact with the child

No matter your preferred strategy for resolving custody issues, you can count on the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. for strong legal representation. Reach out at your earliest convenience to learn more about our approach to family law.