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Can a parent unreasonably restrict parenting time in Minnesota?


When a couple decides to end their marriage, it is rarely an easy decision. If there are children involved, emotions can run even higher and the divorcing couple must figure out a way to end their legal marriage and maintain their biological relationship with their children. Child custody therefore can often be the most contentious aspect of divorce.

Minnesota differs from many states in the way it deals with parenting time. Firstly, as per the Minnesota Statutes, the court has to grant parenting time that will allow the parent and the child to maintain a relationship that is in the best interests of the child. To this end, the statute further goes on to stipulate a rebuttal presumptive minimum for parenting time - where there is no evidence provided to the contrary, a parent is entitled to receive at least 25 percent of the parenting time for the child.

Parenting time can be restricted if the court finds that a parent has unreasonably failed to keep up with the parenting time that the court has ordered. Part of the court's analysis will also be if one parent is helping foster a relationship between the child and the other parent. This means they can also consider a parent's conduct if it seems they are intentionally trying to alienate a parent from the child. For this purpose, they can also consider emails, texts and voice messages.

Even though emotions can be running high during a divorce, ultimately parents want the same thing the court is aiming for - a determination that is in the best interests of the child. The court considers many factors when making a child custody determination relating to parenting time, and consulting an experienced attorney may be one way to ensure you can present all the evidence required to ensure your parenting time is not restricted unreasonably.

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