Minnesota Child Custody Laws

Minnesota Child Custody Issues & Resources

Minnesota Child Custody

Minnesota child custody may be awarded to either party based upon the best interests of the child standard. In determining best interests, a Minnesota Court court will consider the following factors: 
  • the child's cultural background; 

  • physical and mental health of all parties; 

  • capability and desire of each parent to give the child love, affection and guidance, and to continue raising the child in the child's culture and religion or creed, if any; 

  • preference of the child, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity; 

  • the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity;

  • the wishes of the parents;

  • the child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;

  • the mental and physical health of all individuals involved; 

  • the relationship of the child with parents, siblings, and other significant family members;

  • the conduct of the proposed guardian only as it bears on his or her relationship with the child; 

  • the stability of the home environment likely to be offered by each parent; 

  • a need to promote continuity and stability in the life of the child;

  • the effect of any child or spouse abuse on the child; 

  • the child's primary caretaker; and 

  • any other relevant factors.

The Minnesota Court may also order joint custody. Absent a history of domestic violence, if both parents request joint custody, there is a presumption that such an arrangement will be in the best interests of the child. If there has been any history of spousal abuse, there is a presumption that joint custody is not in the best interests of the child. In determining whether joint custody is proper, a Minnesota Court will consider the parties dispute resolution methods, the effect of one parent having custody and the ability of the parents to cooperate and make decisions jointly.

If both parents seek custody of a child who is too young to express a preference, the "primary caretaker" is to be awarded custody.

Additional visitation may be ordered for wrongful denial or interference with visitation orders.

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