Child Custody in Minnesota

Familiarize Yourself with Child Custody Laws in Minnesota

Mother holding daughter (6-7) in park
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Minnesota uses several criteria to determine child custody. Primarily, a court in Minnesota determines custody based on the best interests of the child. Parents who wish to file for child custody in Minnesota should first become familiar with the custody statutes.

Custody Orders in Minnesota

After parents separate or divorce, a Minnesota court will determine physical and legal custody of the child, as well as child support. The court will also grant parents the following rights:

  • Access to copies of school, medical, dental and religious training records
  • Access to medical and dental insurance available to a child
  • Contact with the child's teachers and the ability to attend parent-teacher conferences
  • Knowledge of the name and address of the child's schools

Best Interests of Child

Child custody in Minnesota is based on the best interests of the child. Factors included in a best interest of the child determination are:

  • The wishes of the child's parents
  • The child's wishes, if the child is considered to be of a sufficient age and maturity level to express a reasonable opinion (generally age 12 or older)
  • The child's adjustment to home, school and community
  • The mental and physical health of the parties involved (a disability is not a determinative factor for custody of the child)
  • The child's cultural background
  • The child's relationship with his/her parents, siblings and extended family members
  • Any history of abuse
  • The child's primary caretaker
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable environment

Joint Custody in Minnesota

A court in Minnesota presumes that joint legal custody is in the child's best interests. When parents seek joint child custody in Minnesota, the court will consider the following factors prior to reaching a decision:

  • The parents' ability to communicate with one another in decisions that affect the rearing of the child
  • Whether it would be harmful to the child if one parent would have sole decision-making responsibility regarding the rearing of the child
  • The parents' willingness to employ cooperative, diverse methods when making decisions that affect the child
  • Whether there is a history of domestic violence between the parents

For more information about child custody in Minnesota, speak with a qualified attorney in Minnesota or refer to the Minnesota statutes.