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What factors are used to determine child custody?

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2022 | Child Custody

Child custody can be a challenging topic for many parents facing divorce and the need to work out a child custody arrangement. If you are going through a divorce and have child custody concerns, it is helpful to know how child custody determinations are made and what they are based on.

Factors used in Minnesota to determine child custody

There are many factors used to determine what is best for the child which is what all child custody decisions are based on. Factors include:

  • The physical, emotional, cultural, spiritual and other needs of the child and the impact of the proposed child custody arrangement on the needs of the child and their development.
  • Any special medical, educational or mental health needs the child may have that can impact the services the child needs and the parenting arrangement and access to those services.
  • The reasonable preference of the child if the family law court considers the child to be of sufficient again, ability and maturity to express a preference that is both reliable and independent.
  • Any history of domestic abuse in the households of the parents or in their relationship. The potential implications of any domestic abuse on the child’s safety, well-being and developmental needs will also be considered.
  • Any physical, mental or chemical health issue of a parent that impacts the child’s safety or developmental needs.
  • The nature and history of each parent’s involvement in caring for the child.
  • The willingness and ability of each of the parents to provide ongoing care for the child and to meet the needs of the child.
  • The impact of any proposed arrangement on the child’s well-being and development and any changes to home, school or community.
  • The impact of any proposed arrangement on the child’s relationships with each parent, their siblings and other significant people in the child’s life.
  • The benefit of maximizing parenting time with both parents.
  • The inclination of each parent to support the child’s relationship with the other parent and encourage continued contact with the parent except in situations of domestic violence.
  • The willingness of each parent to cooperate in raising the child.

Other factors the family law court considers relevant may also be taken into account. The family law process can help divorcing couples resolve concerns that are important to them like child custody.