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Creating a Parenting Plan When a Same-Sex Marriage Ends

In Minnesota, there are two ways for parents to handle custody and parenting time issues in a divorce. The first is to litigate the case, having your lawyer argue in your favor, but ultimately leaving the decisions up to the judge. The second is to create a parenting plan, also called a parenting agreement or a parenting contract, a deal negotiated between the parents that specifies how a wide variety of parenting issues will be handled.

When parents are opposite genders, a judge will often award primary custody to the mother and allow the father to have visitation on weekends, holidays and certain other times. When a same-sex couple is ending their marriage, however, a judge may have no idea what arrangement would work best for your family. Each family is different, and only you and your spouse know what is in the best interests of your children.

In these cases, we help parents work out a contract that meets their specific needs. Topics included in these agreements include:

  • Physical custody. Where will the child or children spend the majority of their time? Will they primarily stay with one parent, or will they switch back and forth regularly?
  • Legal custody. Are decisions about the child’s upbringing, including education and healthcare, left to one parent or made mutually by both parents?
  • Visitation. How will parenting time work? Is it supervised or unsupervised? How much time does the child spend with the noncustodial parent? Who does the driving? When and where will the child be picked up or brought back? Where does the child spend holidays?

Some parenting contracts also specify child support amounts, but decisions on this topic, as well as any agreements on issues of custody or visitation, must be approved by a judge before they become final.

If your marriage is coming to an end and you want to reach an optimal resolution to child custody issues, consult an experienced Minnesota child custody attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. today.

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Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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