Child Custody Battle or Dispute?
Let Our St. Paul and Minneapolis Family Attorneys Fight for You and Your Children
Most times, parents going through a divorce can decide on child custody and visitation. But there are some circumstances in which the parents cannot decide on which parent should have primary custody. In these cases, it is best to retain a qualified Minneapolis and St. Paul family attorney to help a parent through the divorce process, including the child custody process.
If the parents cannot decide on who should have primary custody and who should have secondary custody with fair and reasonable visitation and both parents are equally good parents, the Court will decide for the parents. The Court can look at what is in the best interests of the minor children.
Occasionally, parents will not be able to agree on primary custody. But one parent may have a problem like drug use or mental illness that may make it not in the best interest of the minor children. If you feel you need primary custody because you fear the actions of your spouse are not in the best interests of the minor children, contact a qualified Minneapolis family lawyer to help you present the issues surrounding child custody and child support.
Minnesota Laws on Best Interest of the Child
If the parents cannot decide which parent should have primary custody, the Court will decide for them. The court uses case law guidelines outlined in Minnesota Statutes 518.17 to make its determination:
- Where the child’s parents wish the child to be—with the mother or the father
- If the child is of a sufficient age to express preference, the Court will ask the child’s preference
- The child’s primary caretaker throughout the marriage
- The relationship between the child and each parent, including the interaction and interrelationship of the child with each parent, both parents and siblings
- Whether the child will have to adjust to a new home, school and/or community if the child goes with one parent or another
- The length of time the minor child has lived in a stable environment
- How permanent the family unit is of the existing or proposed custodial home
- The mental and physical health of each parent and the other children, if applicable. A disability of one parent is not “held against” the disabled parent
- The ability and capacity of each parent to give the child love, affection and guidance, the ability to continue the child’s education and to raise the child in his or her culture and religion or creed, if applicable
- The minor child’s cultural background
- Domestic abuse issues
- The ability of a parent to not hinder visitation with the other parent
Further, it is not in the best interest of the minor child for the parents to involve the children in the parents’ disputes. The Court will look at whether one parent or the other is disrespectful to the other parent or in front of the children.
A qualified St. Paul and Minneapolis family lawyer at Steven H. Snyder & Associates can help resolve disputes between parents regarding joint custody. The primary parent should be willing—even if he or she cannot agree on custody—to allow visitation with the secondary parent. The primary parent should also not hinder the secondary parent’s access to school and medical records for the minor children. If you want what is in your child’s best interests, contact the Minneapolis and St. Paul family attorneys at our law firm to help you now.