Divorce may not only represent the separation of two previously intertwined lives. It can also mean the splitting up of an entire family, so child custody can be an extremely important aspect of a divorce. Because of this, Minnesota courts follow a strict formula when determining which parent will become the custodial parent. But, what contributing factors does the court take into consideration before rendering a final child custody decision?It's important to remember that the primary factor a Minnesota court will consider for child custody is the best interests of the child. Therefore, one of the first issues that it will consider is which parent the child wants to stay with. However, the court will only consider the child's choice if it believes that the child is mature enough to articulate their preference. As a complementary factor, the court will also consider the wishes of the child's parents as well.
After these two factors, the court will also take into account which parent is the child's primary caretaker as well as the type of relationship the child has with both parents. These two aspects of the child's life are important to the court because it wants to know if both parents play an equal part in the physical and emotional development of their child.
Additional factors that a Minnesota court will examine include how child custody can affect the child's adjustment to school, home and the local community. It will also look at the cultural background, how much time the child has lived in a stable environment and the physical and mental health of the child and the parents.
Child custody can become a thorny issue during a divorce. However, any Minnesota resident who is going through this process may want to speak to a child custody attorney in order to examine all of the issues that a court may consider during this process.
Source: hg.org, "Minnesota Divorce Law," Accessed Feb. 21, 2016