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

Cynthia Brown is a founding shareholder with the Brown Law Offices, P.A., a northwest Twin Cities divorce and family law firm. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia’s practice focuses almost exclusively

Cynthia Brown is a founding shareholder with the Brown Law Offices, P.A., a northwest Twin Cities divorce and family law firm. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia’s practice focuses almost exclusively on divorce and family law issues. She publishes a monthly family law column for the Minnesota Lawyer newspaper, and has contributed to Divorce Magazine and The Family Law Forum. Cynthia also serves as a panel attorney for the Anoka County Family Law Clinic.