Minnesota's best interest of the child standard

When parties go through a divorce, they must make several considerations. This is especially true when there are children involved.

Throughout the divorce process, the court strives to operate in the best interest of the children. In making that determination, Minnesota courts abide by the best interest of the child standard.

Health and wellness

A child's mental, physical and emotional well-being are all major determining factors in deciphering the best interest of the child. Not only do they consider the effect of certain decisions on the health and wellness of the child, but the courts also look at the health and wellness of the parents and how it may affect their abilities to provide for the child's needs. In short, a parent being able to show stability and the ability to create a healthy environment for a child's growth can prove to be favorable.

Desires

Depending on the child's age and the court's perception of the child's relationship, the court may take the child's wishes into consideration. Particularly in regard to determining parenting time, if the child is able to articulate a desire to reside with a particular parent, the court is likely to oblige as long as it does not present a negative effect on the child. 

Domestic abuse

In any case, the court takes cases of domestic abuse seriously. Therefore, if there are any accusations of abuse, the court may investigate. Also, if there is any past history of domestic abuse, even if just between the parents, the court is likely to take it into consideration. It is important to note, the history of abuse does not necessarily have to be in regard to the parents or children, but can be related to anyone within the household.

Understanding Minnesota's best interest of the child standard can aid parents in creating strong cases. However, when parents work together and come to agreements on their own, the courts often let the parents' decision stand.

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