Divorces in Minnesota often center on child custody agreements. These sensitive matters, along with property division, typically form the core issues at the end of a marriage. This atmosphere has the potential to cause a decent amount of posturing by one side or another, but the court systems tend to maintain a focus on the best interest of the child.
The prevailing viewpoint is that children benefit from having both parents in their lives. Until significant scientific evidence comes to light that casts doubt on this general presumption, it is unlikely for courts to favor so-called sole custody agreements.
According to FindLaw, there are two types of custody in Minnesota. Legal custody is a right to make decisions about major elements of a child's life. Physical custody is the right to provide a home for the child. Most parents share decision-making and care responsibilities.
There are some situations in which one party to a divorce could potentially lose custody rights. However, this is uncommon. It would likely correlate with a legal end to the parent-child relationship. Here are some examples of the many conditions that Minnesota Statutes set for a potentially successful petition to terminate parental rights:
- Good cause and written consent of a parent who wishes to waive rights
- Child abandonment
- Egregious neglect or refusal of basic duties
- Continuous failure in various parental responsibilities
- Lack of fitness
Depending on the nature and details of a divorce, each party could explore various ways to terminate the other's parental rights. However, the success of this strategy is unlikely. Absent of a voluntary and well-intentioned waiver of rights, approval of such a petition would likely require significant evidence.