Child Custody Mediation Attorneys in Minnesota
Helping Families Find Amicable Child Custody Solutions in Washington County, the Twin Cities & Across MN
Deciding whether to divorce or separate from your spouse or significant other is a major decision. In many cases, couples endure life with someone with whom they are not compatible to spare their children from the hardships of watching their parents split up. However, your personal happiness and the wellbeing of your children do not have to be mutually exclusive propositions.
Are you concerned about how divorce or custody litigation might affect your child? Get in touch with FairWell Family Law Mediation to discuss your case with an experienced Minnesota child custody mediator.
Our mediation team has experience negotiating disputes arising from issues of child custody in mediation settings. Through mediation, you can potentially save thousands in litigation expenses—as well as hours of time—all while sparing your child of the undue hardship that comes with going through a divorce or custody dispute.
Please call our Minnesota child custody mediation law firm at (651) 409-9093 for more information about our mediation services. We have locations throughout Minnesota's Twin Cities!
How Is Child Custody Determined in Minnesota?
When the parents of a minor child decide to get a divorce—or are otherwise unmarried and separated—one of the most important issues to resolve involves how a child will spend time with their parents, or a parent’s responsibilities to care for their child.
Under Minnesota law, child custody is decided with the child’s best interests at heart. This means that a court will determine the child’s living arrangements based on their best interests. This means that even the child’s parents’ interests cannot be an overriding factor when resolving child custody issues.
In determining the child’s best interests, a judge will consider the following:
- The parents' wishes
- The child's preference, if the child is of sufficient age to have a mature opinion;
- The child's primary caretaker;
- The child’s attachment with each parent;
- The child’s relationship with each parent, siblings, and any other person who may be involved in the child’s daily life;
- The child's adjustment to home, school, and community;
- The amount of time the child has lived in a stable environment;
- The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home;
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved. However, disability can't determine the outcome unless the arrangement isn't in the child's best interests;
- Each parent's ability to give the child love, affection, and guidance, and to continue educating the child about the family culture and religion/creed, if any;
- The child's cultural background;
- The effect of domestic abuse on the child that has occurred between the parents or between a parent and another individual; and
- Each parent's willingness to encourage and permit continued contact between the other parent and the child.
Types of Child Custody in Minnesota
In Minnesota, custody can be categorized into the following:
- Physical Custody: A parent who is granted physical custody of their child has the right and responsibility to control the child’s daily care. Divorcing parents can either share this right and responsibility—known as joint physical custody—or one parent can be granted sole physical custody.
- Legal Custody: A parent’s right to determine their child’s upbringing—such as making decisions regarding education, medical treatment, and religion on the child’s behalf—is known as legal custody. Like physical custody, both parents can have joint legal custody, where the parents have equal rights and responsibilities in making decisions for their child.
What Can I Expect at Child Custody Mediation?
The most common topics discussed and resolved during child custody mediation are:
- Living arrangements or relocation;
- Child support;
- Health issues;
- Education and religion;
- Parenting time;
- Overseas travel; and
- The division of payment for additional expenses, such as extracurricular activities.
Both parents may be asked to prepare a short statement to bring to the initial session, outlining what they hope to achieve from mediation.
How Long Does Child Custody Mediation Take?
A mediation session could run anywhere from three hours to a full day, and it may take multiple sessions to resolve more complicated issues. However, if both parents are prepared and willing to compromise, the process could be expedited.
How to Get Full Custody in MN
In order to get custody of your child in Minnesota, you must first meet the residency requirements, outlined by the Minnesota Courts as follows:
"The child must have lived in Minnesota with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six (6) consecutive months (180 days) before starting the court process."
In order to get full custody of your child in Minnesota – meaning you have sole custody – you will need to present a strong case to the judge proving that it is in your child's best interest for you to have full custody and that it would be detrimental to the child for the other parent to have custody. This is why it's so important to have an excellent custody attorney on your side.
Mediation May Be the Solution You Are Looking For
Issues of child custody can be difficult to resolve, as the matter inherently involves important interpersonal relationships concerning the parties. In a litigation setting, the parties are concerned about who “wins” and who “loses.” However, this attitude toward resolving issues of child custody can be harmful to the child.
In order to preserve the child’s best interests, the parties in a child custody dispute can significantly benefit from informal mediation proceedings. Such proceedings help ensure that a child is not treated as a trophy to be won. Instead, the parties’ mediation attorneys—under the guidance of an experienced mediator—strive to find a custody arrangement that minimizes the harms of divorce for their child.
Mediation can significantly help parents develop a parenting plan whereby they organize and schedule their respective rights and responsibilities when it comes to providing for the care and upbringing of their children.
Parenting plans must include the following:
- A schedule apportioning the parents’ time with their child
- Provisions designating the parents’ respective decision-making responsibilities
- An approach to resolving custody disputes
At FairWell Family Law Mediation, our MN child custody mediation attorneys understand the importance of finding a just and right resolution to legal disputes concerning child custody. During family law litigation, it can be easy for the parties to lose sight of what is most important. However, in a mediation setting, such as divorce mediation, the parties are positioned to find common ground to help put aside their differences for the good of their child.
Reach Out to an Experienced Child Custody Mediator in MN
Are you concerned about how a courtroom battle might impact your child? If so, you should reach out to FairWell Family Law Mediation to discuss your concerns and questions with an experienced child custody mediator in Washington County, Minnesota.
Our team of skilled mediators can appreciate the consequences a divorce can have on a child. That is why we are committed to helping families resolve child custody issues through compromise and mutual understanding. Additionally, we can assist families through child support mediation and alimony.
You should not have to choose between obtaining a divorce or separation and protecting the interests of your children. You can count on our Minnesota child custody mediation lawyers to help you find an amicable solution to your dispute.
We understand that divorce can become a lengthy process. Our priority at FairWell is to help give you peace of mind by helping to make your divorce as efficient and as quick as possible.
Our FairWell Guides have decades of collective experience in successfully guiding couples through our divorce mediation process and helping them come to an agreement.
Our state of the art FairWell document creation system makes it so that we are able to provide our clients with fixed pricing, error-free court documentation, and a faster divorce process.
We understand the financial burden and stresses of a divorce. Our goal at FairWell is to help give you peace of mind in knowing that a divorce is possible without the stresses of unknown expenses.