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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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  • "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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