Visitation Lawyer in Minnesota Working for What’s in the Children’s Best Interests
Not getting to spend every day with your children can be a major adjustment, and legal custody and parenting time are two of the most important issues that the family courts handle. It’s hard to have someone who doesn’t know you, your children, or your family situation will be making all of the major decisions, and this is why it’s important to go into any child custody or visitation case with a clear understanding of your rights and options, so you’re fully informed. Find out more about how visitation works in Minnesota and the factors that can impact it below.
If you’re dealing with a visitation case, you need a child custody lawyer. Child custody attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you fight for your children and ensure you get the most amount of time with them as possible. Call TVA Law Group today to discuss your options.
How Does Child Custody Affect Visitation?
While they are often used interchangeably, child custody and visitation are two different things. Legal custody refers to who has decision-making power and is completely separate from physical custody, which is what people are talking about when discussing visitation. Learn more about the differences below and how situations like joint custody can impact your parenting time.
When the courts grant legal custody, it refers to who is able to make the legal decisions regarding the child’s life. For example, a parent who has legal custody would be able to make decisions about which doctor their child sees, what medical procedures or treatments they undergo, and what school they attend. Legal custody can either be sole or joint. In sole custody, the custodial parent is the decision-maker. In a joint custody arrangement, both parents have shared legal custody of the child, and they have to come to an agreement on these matters before moving forward or taking the case before a judge who will make the final decision.
Legal custody doesn’t have any impact on visitation or parenting time. You can be a noncustodial parent legally and still potentially get 50/50 shared parenting time.
Physical custody refers to how parenting time is handled. Parenting time is the more modern term for visitation. In a joint physical custody situation, the parents are expected to spend roughly equal amounts of time with the children. This could be a 50/50 split, but joint custody can also include 60/40 or 70/30 parenting time arrangements. If one parent is granted sole physical custody, it usually leaves the other parent with a maximum parenting time of every other weekend and one evening during the week.
What Are the Standards for Visitation in Minnesota?
In the state of Minnesota, there is no standard visitation schedule, and parents are encouraged to create a parenting time plan that works for the needs of both parents and represents the best interests of the children. A successful parenting time plan specifically outlines who will have physical custody of the child and when while still allowing for some flexibility when it comes to swapping days with the other parent or making similar changes. If you have questions about custody and visitation or how your parenting time may affect your child support obligations, discuss your options with an attorney.
Is It Possible to Get More Than Every Other Weekend With My Kids?
You’ve probably heard that noncustodial parents usually get parenting time that includes every other weekend and one evening during the week. And while this is possible as a parenting time arrangement, this default is outdated. Today, there are many different parenting time scenarios that can come into play. When it comes to joint physical custody, you may be able to have a week-on, week-off schedule or a more varied schedule, such as a 2-2-3-3, which means that you both get two days with the children and then three days before starting the pattern over again.
When you meet with a visitation lawyer, it’s important to discuss what your ideal scenario would be when it comes to parenting time. This ensures your attorney understands what you want to work toward and can help inform you on what’s realistic.
Can Grandparents Get Visitation Rights?
It used to be that only parents could petition the courts for custody or visitation rights involving their children, and this is still the case in some states. However, the state of Minnesota recognizes that grandparents play a vital role in their grandchildren’s lives and has legal provisions for them to ask for visitation rights.
Grandparents have two avenues to choose from when petitioning for visitation rights. The first is if their child — the grandchild’s parent — has passed away. If your child has died and their spouse isn’t letting you see your grandchildren, you can ask the courts to grant a visitation arrangement in the deceased parent’s stead. In any other situation, grandparents must go through the process for all third parties, which means presenting an argument to the court about why having court-ordered visitation is necessary and how it will be in the best interests of the child.
Because the courts still have to balance that parents have a right to decide who their child spends time with, it’s important to go into a grandparents’ rights case with clear and reasonable expectations. If you have questions about legal custody of your grandchildren or how to find out if you have grounds to ask for visitation rights, contact our firm today.
What Factors Can Impact How Much Visitation Time I Get?
There are several factors that can impact how much parenting time the courts grant you with your children. While it’s important to discuss your case with a child custody lawyer, the information below provides an overview of two important factors.
Legal and Physical Custody
Legal custody has less of an impact on the amount of visitation time you may have with your children, and even those with joint legal custody may not have a 50/50 parenting time. However, physical custody has much more of an impact on parenting time. If you have a sole physical custody arrangement and you are not the custodial parent, you may get less parenting time with your children than you would with shared physical custody.
One of the most important factors the courts take into consideration when deciding on custody and visitation is that the child’s upbringing is as safe and stable as possible. While having a criminal history doesn’t necessarily keep you from being able to parent your children, there are some circumstances where it can affect your parenting time. For example, being involved in current criminal activity — especially if there are charges involving illegal substances or violent crimes — could mean that you are only able to get supervised visitation with your children. If you are a registered sex offender or have been convicted of sex crimes, this can also impact your parenting time.
Consistent parenting time with your children is an important part of developing and maintaining your relationship. If you have questions about visitation or how to get more time with your children, call 651-571-8547 to contact TVA Law Group and speak to a child custody lawyer today.