Washington County, Minnesota Family Law Attorneys Explain Parenting Time and Visitation

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In a Minnesota divorce, the noncustodial parent is almost always awarded parenting time (also known as child visitation). In fact, Minnesota’s parenting time statute states that a court must grant parenting time unless it holds a hearing and determines that visitation with the noncustodial parent would endanger the child’s health or emotional development.

At Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., we are dedicated to helping parents overcome legal obstacles and maintain their relationships with their children. Serving all of Minnesota, including Washington County, Dakota County, Burnsville, Stillwater, Oakdale and Woodbury, our attorneys have more than 30 years' combined experience in family law.

Can a Minnesota court restrict child visitation?

A court can order that the noncustodial parent’s parenting time be supervised or otherwise restricted, but the court can do so only if it holds a hearing and finds that unsupervised visitation is likely to result in physical or emotional harm to the child.

A court can outright deny visitation, but if it does so, it must specify the reasons that the child’s interests would be harmed by visitation with the noncustodial parent. In denying visitation, a court also must give specific reasons that the child would benefit from a denial of visitation.

What is a parenting time expeditor?

A parenting time expeditor is a neutral person authorized to use a mediation or arbitration process to resolve parenting time disputes. A parenting time expeditor attempts to resolve the dispute by facilitating negotiations between the parties to promote settlement. If it becomes apparent that the dispute cannot be resolved by an agreement of the parties, the parenting time expeditor is authorized to make a decision resolving the dispute.

Under Minnesota law, the purpose of a parenting time expeditor is to resolve parenting time disputes by enforcing, interpreting, clarifying and addressing circumstances that are not specifically addressed by an existing parenting time order and, if appropriate, to make a determination as to whether the existing parenting time order has been violated. A parenting time expeditor may be appointed to resolve a one-time dispute or to provide ongoing parenting time dispute resolution services.

Call Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. for a free consultation

For high-quality legal representation from experienced family law attorneys, contact Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. We work hard to minimize the conflict associated with family law disputes. For your free initial consultation, call 651.760.7524 or contact us online.