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When is a child custody modification possible in Minnesota?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2023 | Family Law

Once a child custody order takes effect in Minnesota, both parents must abide by its terms until the child either comes of age or a modification occurs. State courts may decide to modify existing child custody orders in some circumstances, and there are certain things they consider when deciding whether a child custody modification should take place.

Per the Minnesota Revisor’s Office, for a parent to ask the state to consider modifying a child custody order, the original order, in most cases, must have taken effect at least a year ago. However, the court may make exceptions in cases of child endangerment, or in situations when one parent is intentionally interfering with the other parent’s time with the child. Otherwise, either parent may be able to ask for a modification if the following holds true.

A notable change in circumstances occurred

If a parent or the child had a significant change in circumstances, such as a child experiencing neglect or abuse, such a change may warrant a child custody modification.

The change in circumstances was recent

The parent who had the significant change in circumstances also needs to prove that the change occurred recently. This means it must have taken place after the initial child custody order took effect.

The change would benefit the child

Arguably the most pertinent thing a parent asking for a child custody modification must prove is that the change would serve the child’s best interests.

Modifying a Minnesota custody order is often a complex process. Because courts often give children time with both parents unless extenuating circumstances exist, it is up to the parent asking for the change to demonstrate how and why they do.