Minnesota Divorce Custody
Minnesota divorce custody guidelines are similar to the child custody laws of many other states in USA. The guidelines specify that the best interests of the child should never be compromised. Following factors are considered while awarding child custody:
- The basic wishes and interests of the child are first considered while awarding child custody by the courts of Minnesota. What is the child-parent bond and which parent provides emotional succor to the child are determined by the judges.
- The opinion of the child is asked if the child is considered mature and wise enough to have parental preferences. The actual reason for such a preference is analyzed by the courts handling Minnesota divorce custody cases.
- The family unit offered by the divorced parents should preferably be stable and ensure continuity to the child. A stable community having the child’s friends, teachers etc help the child grow in a fruitful manner. This upbringing is essential as the child has also undergone the travails of a divorce and the consequent custody battle.
- Courts prefer awarding custody to the parent who encourages the child to have good relationship with the other parent and does not alienate that parent and the child. According to Minnesota divorce custody laws, even if a parent has all the right qualities of parenting and dealing with the child but suffers from jealousy and “parental alienation syndrome”, then courts do not award custody to that parent.
- Judges are known to assess the police records for any child abuse or cases of child neglect or domestic violence history in the family. If the child is a witness or a victim, the issue of child custody becomes more complicated. The guilty parent would not be considered for awarding the custody of the child.
- While ruling for custody issues, courts prefer joint custody if it is found to be beneficial for the child and is not at all detrimental to the best interests of the child. If the parents are willing to cooperate with ach other for child care, then both the parents get a chance to contribute in the raising up of the child.
- Minnesota courts have made it mandatory that in joint custody cases, there should be access to records of child by both the parents. These records refer to the child’s school, medical/dental record etc. Parents are expected to keep each other informed regarding the child’s academic progress and inform about any health related matters.
- Judges deciding on Minnesota divorce custody cases advise parents to first arrive at a sound custody plan regarding which parent gets the custody of the child “outside the court” so that it is less emotionally tiring to them. When they are unable to do so, then the courts may ask them to participate in child custody mediation or child custody evaluation.
- Visitation schedules and parenting plan may be formulated by the mediator who may or may not seek the approval of both the sets of parents. However, the final visitation schedule is drafted and the parents need to comply with it. The non-custodial parent gets a legal access to the child under his visitation rights.
- The current Minnesota divorce custody laws have made pooling both the incomes of the child to be considered for child support. Earlier that was not the case, and the law had made it mandatory for the non-custodial parent to extend the child support only.