Our Practice Areas

Maple Grove Child Custody Attorney

Family Law Attorneys in Maple Grove, Minnesota

At the law office of Terzich & Ort, LLP, we represent men and women throughout the 13-county area in and around Minneapolis-St. Paul. Our partners have both been designated as "Rising Stars" in the legal community multiple times by Minnesota Law & Politics. Attorney Jodi M. Terzich has also been lauded as a Minnesota "Super Lawyer" for 2009.

Though we recently went into practice together, we both have years of experience in a wide range of family law matters, including child custody. We have earned our recognition among our peers by providing high quality legal advice at reasonable rates, combining personal service and attention with a high level of responsiveness. To set up an appointment, contact our office or call us at 763-391-7354.

Helping You Find Creative Solutions to Child Custody Disputes

We work closely with parents, helping you establish and implement custody arrangements that place a priority on the best interests of your children while recognizing your rights and concerns as a parent. We will carefully explain the difference between legal and physical custody labels as well as parenting plans, and help you determine whether joint custody, sole custody or a parenting plan is best suited to your situation.

In our experience, the best custody arrangements are the ones you work out cooperatively with each other. When you cannot come to an agreement, the court will determine custody for you.

We have a comprehensive understanding of the 13 factors (cited immediately below) that the court considers when making a physical custody determination, and will carefully review each concern with you so that you have an early sense of your likelihood of success. We will identify for you the factors that we believe support your case and those that mitigate against you. We will be your advocate with the court, making certain your position is understood, clarifying issues for the court, and responding to any concerns or questions from the court.

The 12 Best-Interest Factors

Minnesota has new best interest factors for family courts to consider in child custody proceedings.

They are as follows:

  • A child's physical, emotional, cultural, spiritual, and other needs, and the effect of the proposed arrangements on the child's needs and development;
  • Any special medical, mental health, or educational needs that the child may have that may require special parenting arrangements or access to recommended services;
  • The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient ability, age, and maturity to express an independent, reliable preference;
  • Whether domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01, has occurred in the parents' or either parent's household or relationship; the nature and context of the domestic abuse; and the implications of the domestic abuse for parenting and for the child's safety, well-being, and developmental needs;
  • Any physical, mental, or chemical health issue of a parent that affects the child's safety or developmental needs;
  • The history and nature of each parent's participation in providing care for the child;
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to provide ongoing care for the child; to meet the child's ongoing developmental, emotional, spiritual, and cultural needs; and to maintain consistency and follow through with parenting time;
  • The effect on the child's well-being and development of changes to home, school, and community;
  • The effect of the proposed arrangements on the ongoing relationships between the child and each parent, siblings, and other significant persons in the child's life;
  • The benefit to the child in maximizing parenting time with both parents and the detriment to the child in limiting parenting time with either parent;
  • Except in cases in which domestic abuse as described in clause (4) has occurred, the disposition of each parent to support the child's relationship with the other parent and to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and the other parent; and
  • The willingness and ability of parents to cooperate in the rearing of their child; to maximize sharing information and minimize exposure of the child to parental conflict; and to utilize methods for resolving disputes regarding any major decision concerning the life of the child.

We will also work hard to protect your right to legal custody, or the right to participate in decisions regarding your child's upbringing, such as education, health care and religious training. Though the presumption in Minnesota is that the parents share legal custody, the court can consider factors that support a finding of sole legal custody.

When we work with parents in custody matters, we make no presumptions until we look at all of the facts, evidence and circumstances. We will look at all the different options and help you move toward a custody agreement that is in everyone's best interests.

Best Interest Factors

Parenting Classes for Contested Custody and Visitation

For parties who are unable to reach an agreement regarding custody and visitation, a combination of three classes is required. The two classes listed below are mandatory:

  • Hennepin County Education Video With Mediation. This three and one-half hour class is held at a variety of times and locations. This program is free. To register or learn more about available dates, please call 612-348-6734.
  • The LEAD Program. LEAD is an acronym for Legal and Economic Aspects of Divorce. It is a one and one-half hour class and costs $20.00 per person. A certificate of completion is given to all participants, which must be filed with the court. For more information, contact Storefront Youth Action at 612-861-1675.
  • The third class must be one of the programs listed below. Our firm can provide you with additional information on these:
  • Storefront Co-Parenting Program
  • Chrysalis Shared Parenting

Contact Our Office

To set up an appointment, contact our Maple Grove child custody lawyers or call us at 763-391-7354. We are available to meet with clients weekdays during regular business hours, and evenings and weekends by special request. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Creative Solutions Coupled With Sound Legal Advice