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Can parenting time be determined without going to court?

One of the most common issues during a divorce is deciding on custody and related issues. As you work through your divorce in Minnesota, you may wonder if the court really must be involved in this process. In most cases, you can likely work out parenting time between you and your spouse. However, the Minnesota Judicial Branch notes that in custody cases involving paternity issues or domestic abuse, the court may have to step in. 

Parenting time is often called visitation. It is the agreement on how often the child will spend with each parent. It usually includes details on vacation schedules and may also include information on weekly schedules and holidays. If you can agree on a parenting plan, then you can file this plan with the court. The court will usually agree as long as the plan does not produce legal issues. 

If you cannot agree on a parenting plan, then the court steps in. The court makes visitation decisions based on what is in the best interest of the child. This could mean you get more or less parenting time than you planned. The court's plan may not consider things such as family traditions or special circumstances. It is usually a general order that maintains one parent as the parent with physical custody and grants the other parent visitation times. 

When you create your own plan, you have more freedom. You also have the ability to share parenting duties more equally and to ensure that the schedule works for everyone. This information is for education and is not legal advice. 

 

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