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 J. Brown Cynthia J. Brown

“Some lawyers play a lot of games. That’s not my approach. There is a lot of gray area in the law, but I try to keep things relatively straightforward for my clients. That way, we can all focus on what’s really important: getting…

“Some lawyers play a lot of games. That’s not my approach. There is a lot of gray area in the law, but I try to keep things relatively straightforward for my clients. That way, we can all focus on what’s really important: getting matters settled fairly and cost-effectively. We’re certainly ready to litigate, but favor empowering clients to control the outcome of their case.”

Cynthia is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. She publishes extensively on divorce and family law issues.

Cynthia Brown 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 family law with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A., in 2003.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor and public defender. In the last decade, however, Cynthia’s practice has focused primarily on family law. She has handled a wide variety of matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child support, alimony, paternity, step-parent adoption, harassment and grandparent rights.

Cynthia publishes extensively on divorce and family law issues. She is a contributing author to the Family Law Forum, the quarterly publication of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. Cynthia also writes a bi-monthly family law column for the Minnesota Lawyer newspaper, and monthly articles for Divorce Magazine.

Cynthia obtained her Bachelor’s Degree, magna cum laude, from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, and her Juris Doctorate from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.

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, beading and spending time with family. She and her husband, Jason, also an attorney, have two children.