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Making changes to a custody order

When Minnesota parents go through a divorce, they often finalize a custody agreement that determine who the child will live with, when the child will spend time with the other parent and how the child will be raised. There are many parents who are able to make a child custody agreement work for them even as the child grows older and the parents' situations change. However, there may come a time when the child custody order that is in place no longer works.

A parent who wants to make changes to a custody order will need to go to the original court where the order was finalized and ask to modify it. Generally, changes to the child custody order will only be made if the circumstances have changed substantially and modifying the court order is in the child's best interest.

For example, if it suddenly becomes apparent that a parent cannot properly provide for their child due to drug abuse or being convicted of a crime, the other parent can potentially seek to have the court order modified. A parent who has moved to a different jurisdiction can ask that the court in their jurisdiction modify the order, though there is a likelihood that they may have to go back to the court where the order was finalized.

Most noncustodial parents have certain visitation rights that are laid out in the child custody order. However, if the noncustodial parent's situation changes and the custodial parent has evidence to believe that it is not in the best interests of the child to continue to be as involved with them, they could ask the court to modify their child custody order. A family law attorney may assist with filing the paperwork and arguing the motion in court.

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Juvenile Criminal
Defense Strategies

Christa Jacqueline Groshek
© 2012 Aspatore Books from
Thomson Reuters Westlaw.
Reproduced by permission