Many people are aware that courts take into account a wide variety of factors when making child custody determinations. Collectively, these factors are referred to as the best interests of the child. Included in the statutory list of these factors is everything from the medical, mental health and educational needs of the child to the willingness and ability of each parent to provide ongoing care for the child and to cooperate with the other parent.
One particularly important factor courts take into consideration when determining the best interest of the child for purposes of custody is whether there has been domestic abuse in the picture. Obviously, abuse of the child is a very serious issue and would dictate against the abusing parent receiving a favorable custody determination, but Minnesota law also directs judges to consider other forms of abuse as well.