When Do the Minnesota Family Courts Grant Parents Sole Custody?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | Family Law

Parents sometimes choose to stay in unhappy marriages because of their children. People worry that divorce can be disruptive and stressful for children, so they try to make the marriage work for their kids. They may eventually decide that they need to leave to set a better example. Usually, when parents divorce, the courts order them to share custody. In Minnesota, most divorces with children result in shared parenting arrangements.

Many people dislike the idea that they have to see their co-parents regularly and split time with their children, but they may come to embrace that such arrangements are in the children’s best interests eventually. A child’s best interests are the consideration that determines what happens with both legal custody or decision-making authority and physical custody or parenting time.

How can one parent obtain sole custody in a Minnesota divorce?

Through mutual agreement

The law does not require custody litigation. Contested custody proceedings occur with parents cannot reach an agreement between themselves, but parents can also reach mutual agreement. Occasionally, one parent may acknowledge that their living arrangements, personality or lifestyle may not be conducive to effective parenting. Parents can sometimes reach an arrangement in which one adult has primary or sole custody of the children while the other may provide financial support or enjoy liberal visitation. If parents can agree on such arrangements, they can deviate from what the courts might do during litigation.

With compelling evidence

The only other scenario in which someone can obtain so custody is if they can convince a judge presiding over their divorce proceedings that such arrangements are in the best interests of their children. To do so, they would need more than just their own claims. Testimony from childcare professionals or those providing mental health support could benefit someone seeking sole custody. Police reports and medical records showing acts of violence or serious injuries could also help. Compelling proof of an untreated substance abuse disorder involving drugs or alcohol could also impact custody determinations.

Discussing the reasoning behind seeking sole custody at length with a knowledgeable legal team may help people better evaluate their chances of success and determine if they have the necessary evidence to convince the courts in the event of litigation. Ultimately, parents facing divorce in Minnesota need to understand custody rules and seek support whenever necessary, if they hope to establish the best possible arrangements for their families.