Attorney Cynthia Brown recently spoke at a legal seminar offered to the judicial law clerks in Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Brown presented a summary of the recent amendments to Minnesota’s custody and parenting time statutes.

In May of 2015, Governor Mark Dayton signed into law a revises set of standards applicable to custody and parenting time disputes. The new law replaces a 40-year-old framework with a more refined view of the needs of children.

Brown offered the law clerks some legislative history, along with her thoughts on how the new “best interest” factors compare to the former. She said, “It’s enjoyable to get out and visit with court personnel outside of the courtroom.”

In addition to the new “best interest” analysis, Brown summarized the application framework that judges must take into account in issuing their decision. “It’s important to understand that as of August 1, 2015, there is no longer a presumption for, or against, joint physical custody,” Brown said.

Judicial law clerks are law school graduates who assist judges with decision-making and opinion writing. The Tenth Judicial District serves Anoka, Sherburne, Wright, Washington, Isanti, Pine, Chisago and Kanabec County.