Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody

Are you preparing to go through a divorce? You may have some questions regarding child custody. Below are answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions our divorce attorneys receive on this important issue:

Q: If one parent moves out of the home without the kids, does it hurt his/her chance to secure custody? 

That depends on the facts of a case. If one parent moves out and is uninvolved in the day-to-day parenting for a period of time before a case starts, it very well could affect a custody determination. But if someone moves out of the house and continues to be heavily involved in the parenting of the children, a court may determine the move does not affect a custody determination.

Q: Do mothers have an advantage over fathers when it comes to child custody? 

Although mothers historically tended to receive custody of children more often than fathers, this is no longer the case. The roles of mothers and fathers have become significantly less traditional in recent years. Mothers do not have an inherent advantage over fathers in custody matters. Custody determinations are based on a number of factors unrelated the traditional mother/father roles.

Q: Will one parent always receive sole custody?

No, there are plenty of joint custody arrangement possibilities available. Children might spend weekends with one parent and weekdays with another, or they could alternate weeks with their parents. Ultimately, the court will always create an arrangement it determines to be in the best interests of the children.

Q: How do courts determine how much visitation is reasonable? 

The parent with physical custody will have some say in terms of what is reasonable and fair visitation. However, a court will step in to make sure the noncustodial parent will receive some visitation time in accordance with his or her parental rights. In Minnesota, a noncustodial parent is afforded at least 25% of the time with the children according the statutes.

For further guidance and advice on child custody issues, speak with a dedicated Minnesota divorce attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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