Minnesota parents have the option of petitioning the court to have their current child custody arrangement modified if they believe they have valid reasons to do so. However, parents should keep in mind that judges will always base their decisions on what it in the best interest of the child and will closely examine the reasons provided for wanting to alter a current arrangement.
The court may consider modifying a child custody arrangement if there is evidence that the child is in danger while in his or current residence. Factors that will be considered will include whether domestic violence has occurred in the home, if the child is in imminent danger and if the child has demonstrated a willingness to leave the home.
The physical relocation of either parent is another reason a modification may be requested. The reason for the parent’s relocation, how the child’s life will be affected and how the move will affect the visitation schedule will be considered by the court. If one parent fails to adhere to the current visitation schedule, the other parent may have a basis for requesting a modification in the child custody arrangement. The court will reflect on why the parent did not follow the current schedule and the quality of communication between the two parents. The court may deem it necessary to change the current child custody arrangement after the death of one of the parents. Giving full responsibility to the non-custodial parent would be ideal, unless the court hears evidence that proves otherwise.
A family law attorney may assist parents who are seeking to have their child custody order modified. The attorney may work to demonstrate to the court that a client’s reason for the request is valid and is also in the best interests of the child.