Parenting Time & Visitation Rights

Minnesota Parenting Time & Child Visitation Rights Lawyers

Noncustodial parents are usually entitled to visitation with a child. This is true whether the parents were married or not; the marital status of the parents only affects the procedure used to establish parenting time. The amount of visitation will vary with the desires of the parents and the inclinations of the judge, but Minnesota Statutes allow for a rebuttable presumption that a noncustodial parent should have at least 25% of parenting time with their child.

A common visitation schedule might include the following:

  • every other weekend (Friday evening through Sunday);
  • a week night (for dinner);
  • half of the child’s winter and spring breaks
  • alternate major holidays; and
  • two to six weeks in the summer.

If parents live far apart and regular weekend visitation is not feasible, it is common to allocate more summer vacation and school holidays to the noncustodial parent.

A court can restrict visitation or deny it altogether if the court believes the child might be placed in danger by being alone with the parent.

Modifying an Existing Parenting Time Plan

If you have already been through the process of establishing a parenting time plan, it is possible to modify it. If both parents agree to a change, the parties should put that change in writing and submit it to the court. Otherwise, the parties may use a mediator or the court to determine which parenting plan is appropriate.

The court looks at the best interest of the child to determine whether a modification of a parenting plan is appropriate. Minnesota Statutes provide thirteen factors that the court is to review and make this decision. All thirteen factors must be considered; a judge may not look at one individual factor to the exclusion of all others. There are no time limitations on how often a parent may go to court to modify a parenting plan.

If you would like to modify an existing parenting plan, contact the family law attorneys at Heimerl & Lammers today to set up a free consultation.

Minnesota Divorce Lawyers

Child support payments are independent of visitation rights, so a custodial parent may not deny visitation if the noncustodial parent falls behind on child support payments and a noncustodial parent may not stop payment of child support because of denied parenting time. If you have questions about parenting time or its interaction with child support, contact the experienced family law attorneys at Heimerl & Lammers today.