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Modification Of Child Custody And Parenting Time

Life goes on after parents split up. Changes in your work, personal life and/or economic circumstances can necessitate a change in the parenting time or custody arrangement of your children. Ideally, both parents will work together on a solution, but unfortunately that is not always the case.For anyone considering a modification of child custody or parenting time, it is important to make sure you have an advocate on your side who can explain how changes in child custody and parenting time are handled in Minnesota and how to ensure they are handled properly.Whether you are pursuing full custody, joint custody, or modifying your parenting time, at Steele Law PLLC attorney Heidi Viesturs will walk you through the modification process, let you know what to expect and take the necessary steps to maximize the chances of a successful modification.

The Rules For Modifying Custody In Minnesota

When can custody be modified in Minnesota? To prevent the courts from being clogged with modification petitions, Minnesota has set up the following timeline restrictions on when a parent may petition for a change in custody:

One year — A parent must wait one year from the entry of dissolution of marriage or separation before a custody order can be modified, except in situations where the child may be endangered or it can be shown that one parent has intentionally denied custody to the other parent.

Two years — If a motion has previously been made to modify custody, a parent must wait two years to make another motion unless the other parent agrees.

Why You Should Not Rely On An Informal Change Of Custody Or Parenting Time Arrangement

Parents sometimes try to avoid court costs by informally changing their custody or parenting time arrangement. While this may work for parents in the short term, it often backfires when there is a dispute between parents.

If changes of custody or parenting time are not formally adjusted with the court, a parent could allege the other parent has violated the parenting time agreement or denied custodial rights. In addition, child support may be affected and one parent may be responsible for back child support despite a change in the parenting time arrangement.

Do not take chances. Make sure you use a lawyer to formalize any agreed-upon changes in custody or parenting time, and have those changes submitted to the court. The modest cost now will likely save you thousands down the road.

Schedule an appointment to talk with Heidi about your options for modifying your custody or parenting time. Call our office directly at 612-285-3756 or send us an email and tell us about your circumstances.