From Family Loss
Protecting Your Children’s Interests — And Your Parental Rights
Few legal disputes involve such high stakes as child custody. It’s not just your relationship with your children that’s on the line; it’s also their future. The outcome could affect their lives for a long time to come.
Whether you’re facing custody issues as a result of divorce, separation, paternity proceedings or the untimely death of the children’s parents, don’t tackle them alone. At Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz, P.A., our lawyers can provide the trusted and experienced guidance you need to move forward with confidence.
We recognize the importance of what’s at stake in custody proceedings. You can expect us to take your case as seriously as you do.
How Is Custody Determined?
All custody determinations must be based on the best interests of the children. But how do you apply that overarching standard to specific situations?
To put some parameters on this often gray area, Minnesota child custody laws require considering, at minimum, how a proposed arrangement would affect:
- The child’s needs (including any special needs)
- The role each parent has played — and the extent of their involvement — in the children’s lives
- Each parent’s ability to adequately provide for the children (emotionally, developmentally, spiritually and culturally)
- The children’s schools, extracurricular activities and community involvement
- The children’s relationships with siblings and other relatives
- Any history of substance abuse or domestic abuse
Your children’s preferences may also be a factor if they’re old enough and mature enough to articulate an independent opinion.
Ultimately, the court must approve your custody arrangement. In many cases, however, parents can play a big role in making the decision. Alternative dispute resolution processes (such as mediation and early neutral evaluation) can help you work toward an agreement, placing more of the decision-making power back in your hands rather than the judge’s. These processes are voluntary and confidential.
Whatever path your case takes, you can rely on our custody attorneys for advice, guidance and advocacy each step of the way.