Minnesota Modifying Child Custody

Modification of Physical Custody

provided by Eric C. Nelson, Esq.

A Court may not change physical custody from one parent to the other unless the change is in the best interests of the child.

Furthermore, even if the change of custody is in the best interests of the child, the Court cannot order a change of custody unless:

a) both parties agree to the change; OR
b) the child has been integrated into the family of the non-custodial parent with the consent of the custodial parent; OR
c) the child's present environment with the custodial parent endangers the child's physical or emotional health or impairs the child's emotional development, and the benefits of a change of custody outweigh the harm.

Where the parties do not agree to a change of custody, and the child has not been consentingly integrated into the family of the non-custodial parent, a change of custody can only be accomplished by proving that the child is endangered in the current custodial environment. In practice, this means that there must be strong evidence in favor of the change of custody, such as a child's strong desire to live with the non-custodial parent, physical, sexual or emotional abuse by the custodial parent, very poor discipline in the custodial home that adversely affects a child's grades or behavior, etc.

Eric C. Nelson, Esq.
Old Republic Title Building
400 Second Ave. S.
Suite 700
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
(612) 321-9402