During the divorce process, the court will determine custody based on the best interests of the children. However, over time, these interests may change. It is often the case that one parent eventually will seek out the opportunity to spend more time with his or her child.
Getting the court to modify custody can be an almost impossible task. Therefore, many parents attempt to get a modification of the parenting time schedule instead. Our custody agreement lawyers in Minnesota can help you present, or defend against, a request to modify your parenting time schedule.
Modifying Parenting Time as Compared to Custody
Getting a custody modification is a very difficult process that usually will depend on proof of child endangerment. In a custody modification claim, it is often necessary to show that one parent is “unfit” in some way.
However, a change in the parenting time schedule, so long as not “substantial” does not require as extreme a showing. That’s why modification of parenting time is typically the better solution for most parents.
In a modification of parenting schedule claim, it is necessary to show that the change in schedule aligns with the best interest of the child. This usually means that the same standard that was first applied in the original custody ruling will now be applied to change the parenting time post-decree.
This does not mean that one parent has to be the “bad guy.” Instead, this means you simply need to be able to show that more time with your child is good for the child.
Custody Labels and Schedules
According to several recent decisions by the Minnesota Court of Appeals, scheduled time with a child is not the same as child custody.
For example, the court may award joint physical custody to parents, but this does not mean that each parent will spend equal time with the child. In fact, joint physical custody is not even required for parents to have equal access to their children.
Given these opinions, it is very possible to modify a parenting schedule previously established custody labels with the help of our custody agreement modification lawyers in Minnesota.