From the moment two parents in Minnesota decide to divorce, decisions will need to be made regarding how their child will be cared for. While the divorce proceedings are ongoing, a temporary child custody and visitation agreement may be necessary to ensure the child's needs are being met and that the child is able to maintain a relationship with each parent. And, once the divorce is complete, a legally enforceable child custody and visitation order will be established. This order will be based on the best interests of the child, but it is important that both the custodial and non-custodial parents' rights are upheld as well.
However, as time passes disputes may arise with regards to the original child custody and visitation order. For example, perhaps one parent is failing to pick up or drop off the child for visitation periods at the agreed upon times. This behavior may not only be in violation of the child custody and visitation order, but it may harm the child who needs the security and predictability the order offers, as well as the ability to retain a meaningful relationship with each parent following a divorce. If the child custody and visitation order is not being followed, a parent can seek to have it enforced by the court. Unfortunately, there may even be times when one parent fears the other parent is jeopardizing the child's emotional or physical health. This may also be the impetus for modifying a child custody order.
In addition, it is important to remember that there are many people in a child's life who love the child and want to be a part of the child's life. In Minnesota, grandparents and other parties may have the right to seek visitation with their grandchild under certain circumstances. Again, when creating any type of visitation order, the child's best interests are the primary concern.
When a parent believes an existing child custody or visitation order needs to be modified or enforced, it is important that they understand how the process works and what their rights are. Parents in Minnesota can learn more about Minnesota's child custody and visitation laws and how those laws apply to their specific situations. At our law firm, we attempt to help our clients with child custody disputes.