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Existing parenting time/visitation orders: Are they immutable?

Perhaps you and your ex-spouse quickly and amicably agreed to child-related matters -- centrally custody and parenting time (often called visitation) -- during your divorce proceedings.

But then again, perhaps not. For many divorcing couples in Minnesota and elsewhere, child-centric issues reign supreme in the divorce process and can be more than a bit problematic.

At any rate, you ultimately did come to an understanding regarding parental roles in the care and oversight of your children, right?

What happens now, in the aftermath of that understanding (executed in writing and signed by a court) if you -- or your former partner -- deem it necessary to modify existing arrangements? Can you simply do so?

To a certain degree, yes. If both parties agree to a change, no matter if small or more substantial, court may not be necessary. A judge's input is not always required if the parents can resolve the issues outside of court. Through flexibility and cooperation, parents may be able to make required changes on their own.

If the matter at hand is disputed, though, and addressed in an existing court order, a judge's input will indeed be required.

Take modification of child custody and parenting time/visitation, for instance. We note on our website at the Twin Cities family law firm of Mack & Santana Law Offices, P.C., that legal standards exist in Minnesota for modifying current arrangements in those important areas. Statutory grounds are delineated, and a party seeking a modification to what was previously agreed to must convince a judge to change the order.

Our attorneys work with diverse family law clients every day and are intimately familiar with Minnesota standards and guidelines governing custody, support and other important child-related issues.

If you seek change to an existing court order or, alternatively, oppose modification of a previously agreed to arrangement, our law firm can work with you to articulate your position to the court and fully promote the best interests of the child or children involved.

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