Parenting Plans in Minneapolis, Minnesota
A parenting plan in Minnesota is a formal agreement between two parties outlining how custody and parenting time, or visitation, will take place after a divorce or legal separation. It is a voluntary agreement, incorporated into a court order that is created instead of a traditional order for custody and parenting time. If both parties to a divorce or legal separation request a parenting plan instead of a traditional court order for custody and visitation, the court must honor that request if the parenting plan is in the best interests of the child.
If the parties to a divorce or legal separation both want a parenting plan, but cannot agree to all of the terms, the court can create a parenting plan for the parties. The court may request the parents both submit proposed parenting plans for the court’s consideration. The court may also order an evaluation or request the assistance of a guardian ad litem.
If neither party wants a parenting plan, the court may create one for them. However, this is not allowed if one parent has committed domestic abuse against a parent or child who is a party to the case.
Creating a Parenting Plan in Minnesota
Parenting plans in Minnesota must include the following items:
- A schedule of the time each parent spends with the child;
- A designation of decision-making responsibilities regarding the child;
- A method of dispute resolution.
Parties do not have to use the words joint or sole custody, or physical or legal custody. They can choose other words to refer to these statuses. However, any terms the parties decide to use must be defined in the parenting plan.
Restrictions on Parenting Plans in Minnesota
In specific cases of abuse and abandonment, the court may not require a parenting plan that provides for joint legal custody or the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes other than the court itself. These include when the court finds either party has committed the following towards a parent or child who is a party to the case:
- Acts of domestic abuse, including physical harm, bodily injury, and infliction of fear of physical harm, assault, terroristic threats, or criminal sexual conduct;
- Physical, sexual, or a pattern of emotional abuse of a child;
- Willful abandonment that continues for an extended period of time or substantial refusal to perform parenting functions.
Experienced Minneapolis, Minnesota, Family Law Attorney Can Help
A Minnesota parenting plan is a useful tool for setting the ground rules for successful co-parenting. There are many details about raising children and sharing costs that must be considered when making your parenting plan as no two families are alike.
An experienced Minnesota family law attorney can help you prepare your parenting plan. At Perusse Nixon PLLC, our professional legal team is ready to help you determine what is most important to include in your own parenting plan. Contact Perusse Nixon PLLC today.