How do I change a Minnesota child custody order?

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In Minnesota, Minnesota Statute Section 518.18 provides the law for changing a child custody order. The easiest way to modify a child custody order is by agreement. In other words, if both parents agree to change custody, it is going to be much easier to get an order from the Court that changes custody.

Many times, though, parties are not in agreement about modifying custody. If that is the case, then you will need to bring a motion to change custody. You have to have a statutory basis for bring your motion. Two examples of a statutory reason to bring a motion to modify custody include: (1)  denial of or interference with parenting time; or (2) physical or emotional endangerment to the child. A party also must show that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child.

The process of trying to change a child custody order can be very slow and expensive. Although emergency orders may be issued in some cases, many cases take between six months to a year to be resolved. When you believe your child is endangered, the wait can be agonizing. In some cases, parents may try to contact Child Protective Services in order to report the abuse.

Elizabeth Rosar Chermack is a Minnesota Family Law Attorney.  Call (952) 491-0390 or send an email to to schedule a consultation with Liz.

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