Category: Child Custody

How to Plan a Parenting Time Schedule for Summer

May 1, 2024  |  Jason C. Brown

Child custody is a complex matter that can be difficult for parents and children. Summer vacation often brings further complications as children are off from school and families make travel plans. With summer quickly approaching, we’ve put together a guide of things to know and best practices to follow when making your summer parenting time schedule. Check Your Legal Papers The first step in planning time with your children this summer is to examine your court orders and legal agreements with the other parent. Parenting time is separate from custody, and non-custodial parents are generally awarded at least 25 percent of their children’s total parenting time. In Minnesota, parenting time is measured based on the number of overnights a child spends with a parent over an entire year. Your court-issued parenting time order may specify seasonal changes in these arrangements. Consider Summer Schedules Next, make sure to account for how everyone’s schedules may change during the summer, including you, the other parent, and your children. Do you or the other parent work seasonal jobs or attend school? Do either of you have summer hobbies that would affect your schedule? Your children may also work summer jobs or attend summer camps. Older children may have recently acquired driver’s licenses and desire to spend more…

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The Legal Framework Surrounding Custody Modification

October 16, 2023  |  Jason C. Brown

Few things in family court are more difficult than modifying custody. Though not impossible, the process can be daunting and require extensive legal legwork. Keep reading to find out more about the legal framework surrounding custody modification. Modifying Custody Custody modification involves multiple hearings and a four-pronged legal framework that has been in place for decades. The party seeking to modify must initially schedule a motion hearing and file the necessary papers with the district court. These factors are crucial: Whether there has been a substantial change in circumstance since the most recent custody order; Whether the best interest of the child is served by modifying custody; Whether the existing custodial parent’s home environment endangers the physical or emotional health of the child; Whether the harm caused by modification is outweighed by the benefit of the change The moving parties’ allegations are to be accepted as true by the court. If those assumed facts rise to the level of endangerment, the court will make a preliminary determination that an evidentiary hearing is necessary to make a final decision on the matter. The court may opt to modify custody or parenting time on a temporary basis, pending the outcome at the final hearing. If the court makes the preliminary finding that modification is appropriate,…

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Putting Children First: Co-Parenting Through a Pandemic

February 5, 2021  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

Co-parenting under normal circumstances presents many challenges for families of divorced or separated parents. Add a worldwide pandemic to a tenuous, oftentimes contentious, family dynamic and the results can be devastating for everyone involved. During COVID-19, many families are discovering that previous co-parenting arrangements may not withstand the demands associated with sheltering in place and remote/distance learning. This can amplify an already stressful situation. Read our blog as we discuss ways to help families cope with the challenges associated with co-parenting through a pandemic. Ensure safety when changing households Many parents wonder if it’s safe to have their children travel back and forth between two households, especially if the other parent is at a higher risk for exposure through work or contact with others like a stepparent or significant other. Some have even gone to court over such matters. Parents should make every effort to talk amongst themselves to discuss how to address safety concerns before getting the courts involved. Maintain open lines of communication Oftentimes separated or divorced parents are estranged from one another, making communication and planning quite challenging. However, parents should try to set aside their differences and focus on the heath and well-being of their children. Maintaining open and honest lines of communication is critical. If you find communicating…

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