Child Custody Issues
Child custody issues often create the most emotional stresses in any divorce.
The considerations are complex when dealing with the impact of divorce upon children. On the one hand, many couples stay together “for the sake of the children” trying to put aside or hide their own mounting differences. On the other hand, children learn from their parents’ behavior; it may be that all they know about marriage is what they observe in their own home. Lack of respect, lack of physical affection, verbal and physical abuse, etc., may be learned by children and repeated in their own relationships. As parents, we would not want that.
At the heart of it all, of course, are the children who are innocent victims. At Dittrich & Lawrence, P.A., our child custody attorneys are experienced in helping clients reach acceptable resolutions in child custody disputes. We exclusively practice Minnesota family law, and have considerable experience in how the courts will apply the child custody laws and principles in our state.
There are two kinds of custody in all Minnesota divorce cases: “Legal” custody and “physical” custody. There are important differences between the two. Joint legal custody is “presumed” in Minnesota. While joint physical custody is legally possible, it is not favored by courts in Minnesota. You will need to discuss your situation with an experienced Family Law attorney to understand your rights and choices, and what the Courts are likely to do when faced with the facts of your case.
The “non-custodial” parent is entitled by law to “Parenting Time.,” a term now used instead of “visitation.” The purpose of Parenting Time is to allow the non-custodial parent a greater opportunity to continue and expand his or her relationship with the children. One of our experienced divorce attorneys can help you understand what are typical Parenting Time arrangements, including weekends, evenings, vacations, holidays, etc.
We can tell you about “Parenting Time Expeditors,” and advise you how Parenting Time disputes are often resolved. We can also tell you about “Guardians ad Litem,” and under what circumstances a Court would be likely to appoint such a guardian.
You may hear or read the terms “Early Neutral Evaluator or Evaluation.” This is a form of alternative dispute resolution that attempts to assist the parties in determining what a likely outcome of a child custody dispute between them might be at a very early stage in their dissolution case. Child custody trials are time-consuming and expensive. They inevitably will do harm to the family’s relationships and the child’s interests in maintaining a good relationship with each of his or her parents. Your child custody attorney can assist you in resolving these disputes with the best interests of your child in mind.
Our child custody lawyers are familiar with the new concept of “Virtual Visitation.” They can explain it to you and suggest whether it is applicable to your family situation.
Child custody arrangements can be modified or reversed under some circumstances. Our child custody lawyers can help you understand whether the test for such modification is likely to be “best interests of the child” or “physical or emotional endangerment of the child.” The experienced child visitation attorney can also help you deal with the issues associated with one parents’ attempt to relocated the residence of the child, either within the state or out of the state.