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Legal Topics: Child Custody and Parenting Time

This page has been redesigned. Please click here for the new Child Custody Legal Topics page.

Statutes: (Additional statutes, regulations & opinions may apply to your specific situation.)

  • The central concept to custody decisions in Minnesota is the "best interests of the child." The factors to be considered are laid out in Minnesota Statute §518.17.
  • Minnesota Statutes, index topics for Child Custody and Parenting Time.

    Resources: (Print resources are available at the Law Library and in county law libraries around the state.)

  • Basics on Child Custody & Parenting Time, from the Self-Help Center.
  • Child Custody, from the 4th District (Hennepin County) Courts.
  • Child Custody and Parenting Time, from the Self-Help Center.
  • Custody and Parenting Time, from LawHelpMN.org.
  • Forms -- Child Custody & Parenting Time, from the Self-Help Center.
  • Minnesota Family Law Practice Manual, 3rd ed. (Lexis, 2001) Reserve Room KFM5494.A6 D3 2001. This title discusses and explains the law while the footnotes point to the statutes and leading cases. Volume 2 contains forms.
  • A Parental Guide to Making Child-Focused Parenting Time Decisions, Prepared by the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Task Force on Visitation and Child Support Enforcement (scroll down)
  • Request for Parenting Time Assistance, forms and instructions from the Self Help Center
  • When a child's preference will be taken into account by the court in making a custody decision will depend on many factors. A good explanation can be found in the Minnesota Family Law Practice Manual, § 5.17 Subsection E.
  • When a custodial parent can move out of state with a child is covered in the Minnesota Family Law Practice Manual, §6.09. See also Minn. Stat. §518.175 Subd. 3.
  • A Note About Emergency EX PARTE Motions: Emergency custody issues are treated at the end of the Self-Help Center's forms page. Be sure to carefully review the statutes and rules linked on that page. Generic motion forms are available from Ramsey County (in Word format) and Dakota County . You should be prepared to explain in your affidavit how the child is in immediate danger.

    Family members who are taking over care of children whose parents cannot care for them may find the following book useful: Legal Steps: a Kinship Caregiver Resource Manual, from the Minnesota Kinship Caregivers Association.

    Related Topics: Child Support; Divorce; Motions; Paternity.

    DISCLAIMER:  As librarians and not lawyers, we can suggest resources but cannot give legal advice (such as which form to file), or legal opinions, (such as how a statute might apply to particular facts.)  To do so could be considered the unauthorized practice of law.  Even though we try to suggest materials that will be of help, further research is usually required to find a complete and correct answer.  For many questions, the best answer may be to consult an attorney.  For links to resources on finding an attorney, see http://www.lawlibrary.state.mn.us/selfhelp.html#atty.

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    Minnesota State Law Library: Legal Topics: Child Custody and Parenting Time

    Last updated on January 21, 2014.
    Links checked on July 3, 2012.

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