From job opportunities to a distaste for cold weather, a variety of factors may prompt divorced parents to leave Minnesota. Such departures may be totally justified, but they still cause considerable upheaval for the children of divorce. An out-of-state move may prompt new custody and parenting time concerns, as outlined below:

Preserving the Best Interests of the Child

In general, Minnesota courts seek to preserve the best interests of the child in all divorce arrangements. This includes, of course, the child’s living situation. When in doubt, local courts prefer stability, as divorce prompts enough upheaval as is. Hence, the child’s intended residence can play a role in ongoing custody negotiations. After the divorce has been completed, however, the parent who holds custody is by no means barred from moving — unless the other parent objects.

Non-moving parents who object to relocation can make their intentions known by filing a motion in the district court. From there, it is up to the judge to determine whether such a move could prove damaging to the child in question. The court may schedule an evidentiary hearing. During this procedure, the moving parent must explain why, exactly, the move is in the child’s best interests.

Changing the Parenting Plan

If both parties consent to the move, they can work together to alter the previously established parenting plan. An out-of-state move constitutes the ‘substantial change’ in circumstances needed for modification. During this process, parents should strive to ensure that both can maintain strong relationships with their children.

No matter the circumstances of your Minnesota divorce and its aftermath, you deserve support from an attorney who understands the local legal system. Reach out today to learn how the team at the Brown Law Offices can help.

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Photo of Cynthia Brown Cynthia Brown

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia served…

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia served as the law clerk to the Honorable Timothy R. Bloomquist, retired Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Upon completing her clerkship, Cynthia practiced with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003.

Cynthia has handled a wide variety of family law matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child protective services, orders for protection and harassment restraining orders. Many of her clients have also asked her to provide guidance concerning their estate planning needs.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor, public defender and criminal investigator. In addition to her family practice, Cynthia routinely represents clients facing criminal charges such as DWI, assault, theft and criminal sexual misconduct.

Cynthia founded the Amigos de Guatemala Foundation in 2007. She is a former Board Member and President of the Foundation, which provided educational, health and financial resources to underprivileged Guatemalan citizens. Her interest in serving the impoverished began with a medical mission trip to Honduras in 1994.

When she is not practicing law, Cynthia enjoys scrap-booking, soap-making, ATV riding and spending time with family.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Child Protective Services
  • Restraining Orders
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Bar Admission
  • Minnesota State Bar, 1998
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 1998
  • University of South Dakota, 1995
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Panel Attorney, Anoka County County Family Law Clinic
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper
  • Author, Family Law Forum
  • Author, Divorce Magazine