Parenting time is the term of art used in Minnesota for
custody or visitation schedules. It is addressed
specifically under Minnesota Statutes Sex. 518.175
Parenting Time Orders
First, in all proceedings for dissolution
or legal separation, and thereafter, the court shall, upon the
request of either parent, grant such parenting time on behalf of
the child and a parent as will enable the child and the parent
to maintain a child to parent relationship that will be in the
best interests of the child.
Determining Best Interests of a Child
The term Best
Interests of the Child encompasses many things and generally
means an all inclusive look at the circumstances surrounding any
proposed parenting time.
Only if a court finds, after a hearing, that
parenting time with a parent is likely to endanger the child's
physical or emotional health or impair the child's emotional
development, the court shall
restrict parenting time with that parent as to time, place,
duration, or supervision and may deny parenting time entirely,
as the circumstances warrant.
The court shall consider the age of the child and
the child's relationship with the parent prior to the
commencement of the proceeding.
Parenting Time Separate from
Minnesota Statutes clearly state that a parent's
failure to pay support because of the parent's inability to do
so shall not be sufficient cause for denial of parenting time.
Enforcement of Parenting Time
Order by Police
Enforcing a parenting time order may often be difficult.
Law enforcement often will treat denials of parenting time as
civil matters. However, a Court order can include language that
specifically requires law enforcement to enforce a parenting
time order. This is specified under Minnesota Statutes 518.175.
It states as follows:
"The court may provide that a law enforcement
officer or other appropriate person will accompany a party
seeking to enforce or comply with parenting time."
Specific Schedules Preferred.
Minnesota's Statutes also prefer
specific schedules over general provisions such as "reasonable
and liberal visitation." Such vague orders are fodder for
dispute and impossible to enforce. As a result, upon
request of either party, to the extent practicable an order for
parenting time must include a specific schedule for parenting
time, including the frequency and duration of visitation
and visitation during holidays and vacations, unless parenting
time is restricted, denied, or reserved.
Rebuttable Presumption 25% Parenting
State statutes also indicate that in the absence
of other evidence, there is a rebuttable presumption that a
parent is entitled
to receive at least 25 percent of the parenting time for the
child. For purposes of determining parenting time, the
percentage of parenting time may be determined by calculating
the number of overnights that a child spends with a parent or by
using a method other than overnights if the parent has
significant time periods on separate days when the child is in
the arent's physical custody but
does not stay overnight.
Informing Children of
Rights and Court Orders.
Upon the request of either parent,
the court may inform any child of the parties, if eight years of
age or older, or otherwise of an age of suitable comprehension,
of the rights of the child and each parent under the order or
decree or any substantial amendment thereof. The parent with
whom the child resides shall present the child for
parenting time with the other parent, at such times as the court
Modifications to parenting plans.
A parenting schedule may be modified
if the Court finds that the modification would serve the best
interests of the child so long as the modification does not
change the child's primary residence.
Modifications Based on Failure
to Exercise Parenting Time.
Minnesota statutes also allow a
court to specifically modify a parenting schedule if the parent
has chronically and unreasonably failed to comply with
court-ordered parenting time.
Remedies for Denial of Parenting
Minnesota statutes also spell out
a myriad of remedies when parenting time is denied or subject to
court may provide for one or more of the following remedies for
denial of or interference with court-ordered parenting time:
If the court finds that a person
has been deprived of court-ordered parenting time, the court
shall order the parent who has interfered to allow
compensatory parenting time to the other parent or the court
shall make specific findings as to why a request for
compensatory parenting time is denied. If compensatory
parenting time is awarded, additional parenting time must
If the court finds that a party has wrongfully failed to
comply with a parenting time order
or a binding agreement or decision under section
518.1751, the court may:
at least of the same type
and duration as the deprived parenting time and, at the
of the court, may be in excess of or of a different type
than the deprived parenting time;
- taken within one year after the deprived parenting time;
- at a time acceptable to the parent deprived of parenting
A civil penalty imposed under this paragraph must be
deposited in the county general fund and must be used to fund the costs of a parenting time
expeditor program in a county with this
impose a civil penalty of up to $500 on the party;
require the party to post a bond with the court for a
specified period of time to secure the party's compliance;
award reasonable attorney's fees and costs;
require the party who violated the parenting time order
or binding agreement or decision
of the parenting time expeditor to reimburse the other party
for costs incurred as a result of the
violation of the order or agreement or decision; or
award any other remedy that the court finds to be in the
best interests of the children
program. In other counties, the civil penalty must be
deposited in the state general fund.
If the court finds that a party has been denied
parenting time and has incurred expenses in
connection with the denied parenting time, the court may
require the party who denied parenting
time to post a bond in favor of the other party in the
amount of prepaid expenses associated with
upcoming planned parenting time.
Proof of an unwarranted denial of or interference with
duly established parenting time
may constitute contempt of court and may be sufficient cause
for reversal of custody.
Right of First Refusal
Minnesota Statutes the court may
also allow additional
parenting time to a parent to provide child care while the
other parent is working if this arrangement is reasonable and in the best interests of the
child. In addition, the court shall
the ability of the parents to cooperate;
methods for resolving disputes regarding the care of the
child, and the parents' willingness to use those methods; and
whether domestic abuse, as defined in section
518B.01, has occurred between the parties.
For a Consultation call (612) 240-8005.