Few issues make parents as emotional as discussions about their parental rights at the end of a relationship. Some people simply cannot imagine their future without having their children present every day, while others worry that their children would experience neglect, abuse or other forms of mistreatment if left in the care of the other parent.
You and the other parent always have the option of working together to resolve your disagreements, or you can go to court and ask a judge to review your family’s situation and decide what would be fair and appropriate. If you go to family court, what are the rules for creating custody orders in Minnesota?
Children usually need support and time with their parents
A Minnesota family law judge will focus their decisions on what they think would be best for the children. State statute specifically requires that the best interests of the children remain the primary focus of the judge throughout the process.
To decide what would be best for the children, a judge will need to learn more about your family. The age of your children, your relationship with them now, your career and your health are all among the many factors that a judge will consider when dividing parenting time.
Despite the myth people frequently share that claims that judges often favor one parent over the other, the law is neutral when it comes to what rights parents have. Neither parent automatically has the right to more parenting time or parental authority than the other.
Being cooperative will help your case
You likely feel very strongly about protecting your relationship with your children and want to see them as much as possible. As you start preparing for custody litigation, understanding how to focus your efforts appropriately will improve your chance of success.
Judges want to do what is best for the children, so they typically like to see parents who cooperate with one another and who keep the focus of family negotiations on what would be best for the kids. A parent who is positive about the prospect of shared custody arrangements will have an easier time securing an outcome that aligns with their preferences than a parent who is openly hostile to the other parent or who demands sole custody without some kind of significant reason to justify their request.
When you keep the focus on your children, it will be less of a challenge for you and your ex to arrive at custody arrangements that you feel will work for your family. Making sense of the Minnesota approach to child custody matters will help parents concerned about the upcoming end of their marriages.