Minnesota Scores a ‘B’ in Child Custody Laws

The National Parents Organization has conducted a nationwide study on each state’s child custody laws. The results rank the states based on the extent to which their legislation promotes shared parenting and the welfare of their state’s children. Minnesota came in with a ‘B’ score based on its specific laws relating to child custody. No U.S. state earned an A grade.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 17 percent of children with divorced or separated parents have shared parenting arrangements. This is problematic because studies show that children of divorced parents benefit greatly from significant access to both parents and a cooperative co-parenting arrangement. When this is not in place, it can have a very negative effect on the emotional and physical health of children.

States looking to promote effective co-parenting arrangements would first have to pursue legislation that promotes co-parenting arrangements. This could require an overhaul of existing laws that grant full custody to one parent and only visitation rights to the other. These arrangements may not capture the spirit of co-parenting and can impact the children involved.

Of course co-parenting among divorced children is not something that can simply be legislated. It requires a great deal of work from the divorced parents and they must put the needs of their children above their own differences with one another. This is not something that can usually be achieved right away, but must instead be earned over years of cooperation and careful planning.

Ultimately, the best co-parenting arrangements are often those that are formalized through written agreements and that delineate schedules and custody issues. They help to minimize disagreements and allow for predictability and consistency in the lives of the children. To pursue a sound co-parenting agreement with your former partner, work with the Minnesota family law attorneys at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. 

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