The issue of child custody and parenting time can be contentious in divorce proceedings. I always advise people that it is best to resolve disagreements about child custody and parenting time amicably. This can happen in discussions between the parties, but more likely it will happen in negotiations between the attorneys or in mediation.
If you and your spouse have a significant disagreement about child custody or parenting time, you probably need a lawyer. This is especially true if your spouse has his or her own attorney. If you are unsure about whether you should hire an attorney, you should do a simple cost / benefit analysis. What do you stand to lose? What do you stand to gain? What is it worth to you?
There are many nuances to Minnesota child custody laws. And even though there is a Minnesota family law statute that sets out 13 factors a court should consider, there are dozens of important appellate court decisions interpreting those factors and describing how they apply in very specific fact situations.
It is important to me that my clients understand all of the 13 factors and see how they apply, or do not apply, to their specific situation. Sometimes I encourage a client to do “homework” so he or she has knowledge that is important to a custody and parenting time decision. Sometimes I might suggest that a client make some changes to his or her routine. Sometimes I might suggest that a client make changes to his or her living situation.
If you are thinking about moving out, you need to obtain legal advice first. While from a strictly legal perspective whether a parent moves out should not impact the application of the 13 factors, nonetheless, when a parent moves out of the home, he or she sends a very clear signal to the court about who the real primary parent is. A parent should never move out until he or she has had the opportunity to review the move with an experienced attorney.
If you are considering a divorce, you should feel free to call me to schedule a divorce case analysis. I am not able to give out legal advice over the telephone to people who are not already my clients. But, I am more than happy to meet with you for 45 minutes at no cost to discuss your case.
I am Daniel Fiskum. I am a divorce lawyer and family law lawyer based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. I have practiced family law in the Twin Cities for over twenty-one (21) years. My office, Fiskum Law Office, P.A., is conveniently located in the Carlson Office Towers at the intersection of Highway 494 and Highway 394, in Minnetonka. Please feel free to call me at (952) 270-7700 to schedule a divorce case analysis.