Minneapolis Child Custody and Parenting Time/Visitation Lawyers
At Mack & Santana Law Offices, P.C., in the Twin Cities area, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of parents and their children. Our team of experienced lawyers uses in-depth knowledge of the law and effective advocacy to help you achieve equitable results in a wide range of child custody and parenting time/visitation matters. These include determination of child custody and parenting time/visitation during a divorce or paternity proceeding, as well as enforcement and modification of existing child custody and parenting time/visitation orders.
Child Custody and Parenting Time in Divorce
The question of how the divorce will affect the children is often the most important to parents. While each family is different, we can help you anticipate how Minnesota law may apply to your family. Our attorneys can discuss matters of child custody and parenting time (visitation), and the factors that are important to determining those issues.
When it comes to child custody, Minnesota law is gender neutral – favoring neither fathers nor mothers in custody determinations. Custody determinations include the determination of legal and physical custody, which can be joint or sole. Under Minnesota law, it is a rebuttable presumption that a parent will share joint legal custody and enjoy equal rights and responsibilities in making decisions about a child’s upbringing. Presently, there is no presumption regarding physical custody one way or the other. Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean equal physical custody. Apart from custody, the court also decides the parenting time (visitation) schedule between the child(ren) and the parents.
Factors When Determining Custody
The court takes a series of factors into account when determining child custody and parenting time. These include looking at which parent has been the child’s primary caretaker and which parent is more likely to help build meaningful relationships between the child and the other parent. The court also looks at matters like domestic violence that occurred during the marriage and allegations of alcoholism or drug use. Evidence of substance abuse and mental health issues that affect a parent’s ability to care for a child may provide a basis for determining that the parent is not fit to have custody of the child. It is important to have an attorney who understands the factors that the court will consider in making its determination in the best interests of the child and who can assist you in presenting the evidence for each factor.