Factors the Court Considers When Awarding Child Custody

If you are approaching divorce, you and your spouse must settle certain issues before you can live your new lives. These issues include division of property and assets, spousal maintenance, and child custody and support.

Many couples are able to agree on conditions regarding all of these matters except child custody. As a parent, you want what is best for your child. In most instances, so does your spouse. If you and your spouse cannot come to a child custody agreement on your own, the court must intervene. However, when settling a custody issue, the court is less concerned about what is in your or your spouse’s best interests — it primarily cares about the child’s welfare and well-being.

Some of the factors the court considers when awarding child custody in Minnesota include:

  • The wishes of the child, assuming he or she is of sufficient age to express a preference (keep in mind there is no defined age a child gets to make his or her issues known)
  • Which parent has been the child’s primary caretaker
  • The intimacy of the relationship between each parent and the child
  • The interaction and interrelationship of the child with a parent or parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests
  • How the child has adjusted to home, school, and his or her community
  • How long the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity
  • The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home

These are only a few of the factors reviewed by the court when determining custody. For more information on child custody or divorce in Minnesota, seek help from a skilled family law attorney today.

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