According to statistics from KidsCount.org, approximately 357,000 children live in single-parent families in Minnesota. A divorced or separated couple may request that the court modify or enforce an existing child custody order due to a change in circumstance, or if the other party is not complying with their responsibilities. If you're looking to enforce or modify an existing child custody agreement, consulting with an experienced Minnesota family law attorney is key.
Attorney Glen A. Norton is highly knowledgeable and experienced in a variety of family law-related matters, including child custody modifications. He is available to discuss your unique circumstances and help you understand your available legal options. Whether you are looking to enforce or modify a child custody order or parenting plan, he can offer you the comprehensive legal guidance, support, and advocacy you need to make important decisions.
The Law Office of Glen A. Norton PLLC is proud to serve clients throughout Minnetonka, Minnesota, and the surrounding communities of Hennepin County, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Wayzata, and Eden Prairie. Call today to schedule a consultation.
Getting a non-compliant parent to follow the parenting plan may require intervention by the court. Because the parenting plan is a court order, it is legally binding and can be enforced by law. Some common violations that may require seeking enforcement of a parenting plan include:
Denying scheduled visitation
Denying the other parent access to see the child
Making legal or medical decisions for the child without consulting with the other parent
Violating vacation policies
Failure to adhere to the visitation schedule
Interfering with communication
Withholding parenting time for non-payment of child support
If one parent violates the terms or conditions of the parenting plan, the other party can file a motion to have the court enforce the plan and hold the offending parent liable through contempt. Failure to pay child support, however, is not a basis for withholding parenting time. You will need to go through the proper channels to change or enforce the parenting plan.
Minnesota courts make the best interests and stability of the child the priority. There is a specified timeline in which a change in the parenting plan or custody order may be requested. Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 518.18(a):
"Unless agreed to in writing by the parties, no motion to modify a custody order or parenting plan may be made earlier than one year after the date of the entry of a decree of dissolution or legal separation containing a provision dealing with custody."
In addition, if the court hears your motion for child custody modification, you must wait for at least two years before you can request another modification, regardless of whether the order was changed or not (Minnesota Statutes Section 518.18(b)).
According to Minnesota Statutes Section 518.18(d), the court may modify a child custody order if it finds that:
A change in the custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child
Both parents agree to the modification
The child's present environment endangers their physical condition, emotional health, or development
The primary custodial parent has relocated with the child to another state despite their relocation request being denied
According to Minnesota Statutes Section 518.175 Subd. 3., the parent with whom the child resides shall not move the residence of the child to another state except upon order of the court or with the consent of the other parent.
In order to determine whether to grant the relocation request, the court may consider the following factors:
The child's preference (provided that the child is mature enough)
The age, needs, and developmental stage of the child
The reasons the parents are seeking or opposing the move
The relationship between the child and either parent, siblings, and other family members
The possible effect of the relocation on the child's physical, educational, and emotional development
The possibility of preserving the relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent
Whether the move will improve the general quality of life for both the relocating parent and the child
Any history of domestic violence
Other factors pertaining to the child's best interests
Parenting plans aren't unchangeable. Even after finalizing your divorce proceedings, changes in circumstances may require you to request to have a child custody modification to suit your needs or those of your child. When trying to modify or enforce an existing parenting plan or child custody order, consulting with an experienced Minnesota family law attorney is important to protect your rights and receive proper guidance.
The Law Office of Glen A. Norton PLLC is devoted to providing knowledgeable legal services and handling complicated family law-related matters, including child custody modifications and enforcement. As your legal counsel, Glen A. Norton will assess your situation and explore your possible legal options. He will work meticulously to create a fair parenting plan and craft a solution that works best for you and your family.
If you are seeking to modify or enforce a child custody order, call The Law Office of Glen A. Norton PLLC today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. Attorney Glen A. Norton can offer you the legal guidance, advocacy, and support you need. The firm represents clients across Minnetonka, Hennepin County, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Wayzata, and Eden Prairie, Minnesota.