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HF 2699

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 03/22/2018 04:12pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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17.1

A bill for an act
relating to family law; changing certain custody and parenting time provisions;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 257.541, subdivisions 2, 3; 518.003,
subdivision 3; 518.091, by adding a subdivision; 518.131, subdivisions 1, 7;
518.155; 518.156, subdivision 2; 518.167, subdivision 2; 518.17, subdivisions 1,
3; 518.1705, subdivisions 3, 5, 9; 518.175, subdivision 1; 518.179, subdivision 1;
518.18; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 518.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 257.541, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Father's right to parenting time and custody.

(a) If paternity has been
acknowledged under section 257.34 and paternity has been established under sections 257.51
to 257.74, the father's rights of parenting time or custody are determined under sections
deleted text begin 518.17 anddeleted text endnew text begin 518.169 tonew text end 518.175.

(b) If paternity has not been acknowledged under section 257.34 and paternity has been
established under sections 257.51 to 257.74, the biological father may petition for rights of
parenting time or custody in the paternity proceeding or in a separate proceeding under
section 518.156.new text begin The rights of parenting time or custody must be determined under sections
518.169 to 518.175.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for temporary orders and child custody
determinations made on or after January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 257.541, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Father's right to parenting time and custody; recognition of paternity.

If
paternity has been recognized under section 257.75, the father may petition for rights of
parenting time or custody in an independent action under section 518.156. The proceeding
must be treated as an initial determination of custody deleted text beginunder section 518.17.deleted text endnew text begin andnew text end the deleted text beginprovisions
of chapter 518
deleted text endnew text begin provisions of sections 518.169 to 518.175new text end apply with respect to the granting
of custody and parenting time. An action to determine custody and parenting time may be
commenced pursuant to chapter 518 without an adjudication of parentage. These proceedings
may not be combined with any proceeding under chapter 518B.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for temporary orders and child custody
determinations made on or after January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.003, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Custody.

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties:

(a) "Legal custody" means the right to determine the child's upbringing, including
education, health care, and religious training.

(b) "Joint legal custody" means that both parents have equal rights and responsibilities,
including the right to participate in major decisions determining the child's upbringing,
including education, health care, and religious training.

(c) "Physical custody and residence" means the routine daily care and control and the
residence of the child.

(d) "Joint physical custody" means that the routine daily care and control and the residence
of the child is deleted text beginstructureddeleted text endnew text begin sharednew text end between the parties.

(e) Wherever used in this chapter, the term "custodial parent" or "custodian" means the
person who has the physical custody of the child at any particular time.

(f) "Custody determination" means a court decision and court orders and instructions
providing for the custody of a child, including parenting time, but does not include a decision
relating to child support or any other monetary obligation of any person.

(g) "Custody proceeding" includes proceedings in which a custody determination is one
of several issues, such as an action for dissolution, divorce, or separation, and includes
proceedings involving children who are in need of protection or services, domestic abuse,
and paternity.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for temporary orders and child custody
determinations made on or after January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.091, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Custody and parenting time requirements. new text end

new text begin Every summons must include
the notice in this subdivision.
new text end

new text begin PARENTS ARE ENTITLED TO A PRESUMPTION OF JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY
AND JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY WITH EQUAL SHARED PARENTING. THIS
MEANS EACH PARENT HAS AT LEAST 45.1 PERCENT PARENTING TIME, UNLESS
THE PARENTS AGREE OTHERWISE. CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS AND OTHER
PROVISIONS APPLY UNDER MINNESOTA STATUTES, SECTIONS 518.169 TO
518.175.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for summons issued on or after January
1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.131, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Permissible orders.

In a proceeding brought for custody, dissolution,
or legal separation, or for disposition of property, maintenance, or child support following
the dissolution of a marriage, either party may, by motion, request from the court and the
court may grant a temporary order pending the final disposition of the proceeding to or for:

(a) Temporary custody and parenting timenew text begin pursuant to sections 518.169 to 518.175new text end
regarding the minor children of the parties;

(b) Temporary maintenance of either spouse;

(c) Temporary child support for the children of the parties;

(d) Temporary costs and reasonable attorney fees;

(e) Award the temporary use and possession, exclusive or otherwise, of the family home,
furniture, household goods, automobiles, and other property of the parties;

(f) Restrain one or both parties from transferring, encumbering, concealing, or disposing
of property except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life, and to account
to the court for all such transfers, encumbrances, dispositions, and expenditures made after
the order is served or communicated to the party restrained in open court;

(g) Restrain one or both parties from harassing, vilifying, mistreating, molesting,
disturbing the peace, or restraining the liberty of the other party or the children of the parties;

(h) Restrain one or both parties from removing any minor child of the parties from the
jurisdiction of the court;

(i) Exclude a party from the family home of the parties or from the home of the other
party; and

(j) Require one or both of the parties to perform or to not perform such additional acts
as will facilitate the just and speedy disposition of the proceeding, or will protect the parties
or their children from physical or emotional harm.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for temporary orders issued on or after
January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.131, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Guiding factors.

The court shall be guided by the factors set forth in chapter
518A (concerning child support), and sections 518.552 (concerning maintenance), deleted text begin518.17deleted text endnew text begin
518.169
new text end to 518.175 (concerning custody and parenting time), and 518.14 (concerning costs
and attorney fees) in making temporary orders and restraining orders.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.155, is amended to read:


518.155 CUSTODY DETERMINATIONS.

Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a court in which a proceeding for dissolution,
legal separation, or child custody has been commenced shall not issue, revise, modify or
amend any order, pursuant to sections 518.131, 518.165, 518.168,new text begin 518.169,new text end 518.17, 518.175
or 518.18, which affects the custody of a minor child or the parenting time of a parent unless
the court has jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to the provisions of chapter 518D.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.156, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Required notice.

new text begin(a) new text endWritten notice of a child custody or parenting time or
visitation proceeding shall be given to the child's parent, guardian, and custodian, who may
appear and be heard and may file a responsive pleading. The court may, upon a showing of
good cause, permit the intervention of other interested parties.

new text begin (b) Every summons must include the notice in this subdivision.
new text end

new text begin NOTICE OF CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME
new text end

new text begin PARENTS ARE ENTITLED TO A PRESUMPTION OF JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY
AND JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY WITH EQUAL SHARED PARENTING. THIS
MEANS EACH PARENT HAS AT LEAST 45.1 PERCENT PARENTING TIME, UNLESS
THE PARENTS AGREE OTHERWISE. CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS AND OTHER
PROVISIONS APPLY UNDER MINNESOTA STATUTES, SECTIONS 518.169 TO
518.175.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for summons issued on or after January
1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.167, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Preparation.

(a) In preparing a report concerning a child, the investigator may
consult any person who may have information about the child and the potential custodial
arrangements except for persons involved in mediation efforts between the parties. Mediation
personnel may disclose to investigators and evaluators information collected during mediation
only if agreed to in writing by all parties. Upon order of the court, the investigator may refer
the child to professional personnel for diagnosis. The investigator may consult with and
obtain information from medical, psychiatric, school personnel, or other expert persons who
have served the child in the past after obtaining the consent of the parents or the child's
custodian or guardian.

(b) The report submitted by the investigator must:

(1) state the position of each party;

(2) consider and evaluate the factors in section deleted text begin518.17, subdivision 1deleted text endnew text begin 518.169, subdivision
3
new text end;

(3) include a detailed analysis of all information considered for each factor;

(4) state the investigator's recommendation and the reason for the recommendation; and

(5) reference established means for dispute resolution between the parties.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for all investigations ordered on or after
January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 10.

new text begin [518.169] JOINT CUSTODY AND EQUAL SHARED PARENTING.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Public policy. new text end

new text begin (a) Recognizing the importance of protections afforded
children by their ability to develop strong parental bonds, and recognizing the fundamental
right and liberty interest that parents enjoy regarding the care, custody, and companionship
of their children, the legislature finds and declares the following with respect to the intent
of Minnesota laws relating to families:
new text end

new text begin (1) an intact, involved, two-parent home provides the optimal environment through
which children grow into productive and responsible adult citizens;
new text end

new text begin (2) parents play the primary role in the nurturing and development of their children. Our
society, state, and statutes are secondary structures designed to support, not supplant, both
parents in their role as the primary shapers of their children;
new text end

new text begin (3) mothers and fathers provide unique and invaluable contributions toward the
development of their children. Each parent's contributions to the upbringing of their children
are indistinguishable and equally necessary to assure children the best opportunity to develop
into healthy citizens;
new text end

new text begin (4) children should be separated from their parents only under the most compelling and
unusual circumstances in order to protect a child from endangerment;
new text end

new text begin (5) it is in the best interests of children to have frequent and continuing physical contact
with both parents under joint legal and joint physical custody when the parents live separately,
including after parental separation or dissolution of marriage. The proper role of the state
is to interfere to the least degree in familial relationships with the specific purpose of
preserving maximum time allocations with each parent and their children;
new text end

new text begin (6) parents may, and should be encouraged to, reach any agreement mutually acceptable
to them regarding their parenting time allocations that reflects the individual circumstances
of the parents and children. In the event parents cannot reach agreement on a parenting
arrangement, it is the specific intent of Minnesota law that parents have a right to a rebuttable
presumption of equal time with their children; and
new text end

new text begin (7) the judiciary in contested custody proceedings should demonstrate consistent
application of the rebuttable presumption in favor of joint legal and joint physical custody
in order to minimize the adversarial nature of custody proceedings.
new text end

new text begin (b) The purpose of this section is to prevent children from being alienated or
disenfranchised from their parents' lives through the unwarranted interference of either
parent.
new text end

new text begin (c) This section establishes clear legislative policy regarding the relationship of children
with each parent when the parents live separately.
new text end

new text begin (d) In accordance with the findings in paragraph (a), the legislature declares that public
policy is advanced and the best interests of children are promoted through equal and shared
parenting and the recognition of both parents' fundamental freedoms to actively participate
in the care, custody, and companionship of their children.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Presumption of joint legal and physical custody and shared parenting. new text end

new text begin This
subdivision applies to temporary and final orders in marriage dissolution, custody
determinations, and parenting plans ordered by the court. Upon request of either or both
parties, the court shall use a rebuttable presumption that joint legal custody and joint physical
custody, with equal shared parenting, is in the best interests of the child. For purposes of
this subdivision, "equal" means a minimum parenting time for each parent of 45.1 percent.
The percentage of parenting time may be determined by calculating the number of overnights
that a child spends with a parent or by using a method other than overnights if the parent
has significant time periods on separate days when the child is in the parent's physical
custody but does not stay overnight. The parenting time must be spread throughout one
calendar year in a way that best meets variable circumstances for the parties, unless both
parents agree to a different division of time or schedule.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Overcoming presumption. new text end

new text begin If the parents are unable to reach an agreement on
joint legal custody and joint physical custody and equal shared parenting, the burden of
overcoming the presumption of joint legal custody, joint physical custody, and equal shared
parenting rests on the parent challenging the presumption. To overcome the presumption,
the court must find that the parent challenging the presumption has established by clear and
convincing evidence that:
new text end

new text begin (1) the other parent's actions rise to the level of endangering the child due to any of the
following:
new text end

new text begin (i) abandonment under section 260C.007, subdivision 6, clause (1); 260C.301, subdivision
2; or 518.1705, subdivision 6, paragraph (b), clause (3);
new text end

new text begin (ii) physical or sexual abuse under section 260C.007, subdivision 6, clause (2);
new text end

new text begin (iii) neglect under section 260C.007, subdivision 6, clause (3) or (8);
new text end

new text begin (iv) allowing the child to live in injurious or dangerous conditions under section
260C.007, subdivision 6, clause (9);
new text end

new text begin (v) egregious harm under section 260C.007, subdivision 14;
new text end

new text begin (vi) emotional maltreatment under section 260C.007, subdivision 15;
new text end

new text begin (vii) great bodily harm under section 609.02, subdivision 8;
new text end

new text begin (viii) conviction of child abuse as defined in section 609.185, paragraph (d);
new text end

new text begin (ix) child maltreatment under section 626.556; or
new text end

new text begin (x) domestic abuse as defined in section 518B.01, except when:
new text end

new text begin (A) a parent has petitioned for an order for protection and the petition has been dismissed
or denied by a court, or an order for protection was filed by agreement of the parties without
a finding of domestic abuse and the agreement and order incorporating the agreement did
not provide otherwise, in which case the court must find that no domestic abuse has occurred
with respect to matters that were alleged or could have been alleged; or
new text end

new text begin (B) a parent knowingly makes false allegations of domestic abuse as defined in section
518B.01, subdivision 2. Making a false allegation of abuse is sufficient grounds to challenge
the custody and parenting time of the accuser. Allegations raised in the context of custody
proceedings that do not display evidence of a previous pattern of abuse deserve heightened
scrutiny as to their veracity; or
new text end

new text begin (2) the other parent is incapable of self-management or management of personal affairs
and would jeopardize the safety of the children due to current habitual and excessive use
of alcohol, drugs, or other mind-altering substances and the related actions due to the
substance abuse demonstrate endangerment to the well-being of the child.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Consideration of geographic limitations. new text end

new text begin This subdivision applies when the
presumption has not been overcome, but due to the parents' different geographic locations,
a 45.1 percent minimum parenting time for each parent would prevent the parents from
keeping the child in one school during a school year. During the pendency of the custody
proceeding, the child shall remain in the same school district which the child currently
attends or most recently attended, unless the parents agree otherwise, or except in cases
under section 518B.01 where the parent or child involved in the proceeding is endangered.
If the parents do not agree otherwise, the court shall determine which parent has the majority
of parenting time using the best interests of the child factors under section 518.17, subdivision
1, provided that a minimum of 25 percent parenting time must be granted to the other parent,
making every attempt to exceed this amount and maximize the parental involvement of
each parent.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Findings and order. new text end

new text begin (a) If the court finds the presumption has been overcome,
the court shall make detailed written findings that enumerate and explain which of the factors
in this section are applicable and what evidence supported these factors. The court shall
restrict physical custody and parenting time with the other parent as to time, place, duration,
or supervision and may deny parenting time entirely, as the circumstances warrant.
new text end

new text begin (b) If the court finds the presumption was not overcome, the court shall issue a custody
order or parenting plan with a minimum 45.1 percent parenting time for each parent, or a
different division of time agreed to by the parents, or as provided under subdivision 4, if
applicable.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for temporary orders and child custody
determinations made on or after January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.17, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Best interests of the child.

(a) In evaluating the best interests of the child
for purposes of determining issues of custody and parenting time, the court must consider
and evaluate all relevant factors,new text begin subject to section 518.169, andnew text end including:

(1) a child's physical, emotional, cultural, spiritual, and other needs, and the effect of
the proposed arrangements on the child's needs and development;

(2) any special medical, mental health, or educational needs that the child may have that
may require special parenting arrangements or access to recommended services;

(3) the reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient
ability, age, and maturity to express an independent, reliable preference;

(4) whether domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01, has occurred in the parents'
or either parent's household or relationship; the nature and context of the domestic abuse;
and the implications of the domestic abuse for parenting and for the child's safety, well-being,
and developmental needs;

(5) any physical, mental, or chemical health issue of a parent that affects the child's
safety or developmental needs;

(6) the history and nature of each parent's participation in providing care for the child;

(7) the willingness and ability of each parent to provide ongoing care for the child; to
meet the child's ongoing developmental, emotional, spiritual, and cultural needs; and to
maintain consistency and follow through with parenting time;

(8) the effect on the child's well-being and development of changes to home, school,
and community;

(9) the effect of the proposed arrangements on the ongoing relationships between the
child and each parent, siblings, and other significant persons in the child's life;

(10) the benefit to the child in maximizing parenting time with both parents and the
detriment to the child in limiting parenting time with either parent;

(11) except in cases in which domestic abuse as described in clause (4) has occurred,
the disposition of each parent to support the child's relationship with the other parent and
to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and the other
parent; and

(12) the willingness and ability of parents to cooperate in the rearing of their child; to
maximize sharing information and minimize exposure of the child to parental conflict; and
to utilize methods for resolving disputes regarding any major decision concerning the life
of the child.

(b) Clauses (1) to (9) govern the application of the best interests of the child factors by
the court:

(1) The court must make detailed findings on each of the factors in paragraph (a) based
on the evidence presented and explain how each factor led to its conclusions and to the
determination of custody and parenting time. The court may not use one factor to the
exclusion of all others, and the court shall consider that the factors may be interrelated.

(2) The court shall consider that it is in the best interests of the child to promote the
child's healthy growth and development through safe, stable, nurturing relationships between
a child and both parents.

(3) The court shall consider both parents as having the capacity to develop and sustain
nurturing relationships with their children unless there are substantial reasons to believe
otherwise. In assessing whether parents are capable of sustaining nurturing relationships
with their children, the court shall recognize that there are many ways that parents can
respond to a child's needs with sensitivity and provide the child love and guidance, and
these may differ between parents and among cultures.

(4) The court shall not consider conduct of a party that does not affect the party's
relationship with the child.

(5) Disability alone, as defined in section 363A.03, of a proposed custodian or the child
shall not be determinative of the custody of the child.

(6) The court shall consider evidence of a violation of section 609.507 in determining
the best interests of the child.

(7) There is no presumption for or against joint physical custody, except as provided in
clause (9).

(8) Joint physical custody does not require an absolutely equal division of time.

(9) The court shall use a rebuttable presumption that upon request of either or both
parties, joint legal custody is in the best interests of the child. However, the court shall use
a rebuttable presumption that joint legal custody or joint physical custody is not in the best
interests of the child if domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01, has occurred between
the parents. In determining whether the presumption is rebutted, the court shall consider
the nature and context of the domestic abuse and the implications of the domestic abuse for
parenting and for the child's safety, well-being, and developmental needs. Disagreement
alone over whether to grant sole or joint custody does not constitute an inability of parents
to cooperate in the rearing of their children as referenced in paragraph (a), clause (12).

(c) In a proceeding involving the custodial responsibility of a service member's child, a
court may not consider only a parent's past deployment or possible future deployment in
determining the best interests of the child. For purposes of this paragraph, "custodial
responsibility" has the meaning given in section 518E.102, paragraph (f).

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.17, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Custody order.

(a) new text beginSubject to section 518.169, new text endupon adjudging the nullity of
a marriage, or in a dissolution or separation proceeding, or in a child custody proceeding,
the court shall make such further order as it deems just and proper concerning:

(1) the legal custody of the minor children of the parties which shall be sole or joint;

(2) their physical custody and residence; and

(3) their support. In determining custody, the court shall new text beginuse section 518.169, or if section
518.169 is not applicable then
new text endconsider the best interests of each child and shall not prefer
one parent over the other solely on the basis of the sex of the parent.

(b) The court shall grant the rights listed in subdivision 3a to each of the parties, regardless
of custodial designation, unless specific findings are made under section 518.68, subdivision
1
. The court shall include in the custody order the notice under subdivision 3a.

(c) The court may waive any of the rights under this section if it finds it is necessary to
protect the welfare of a party or child.

(d) If a court order or law prohibits contact by a party, the notifications and information
required to be sent under subdivision 3a, clauses (1), (2), (3), (5), and (6), shall not be made
by direct communication of the parties. Third-party communication shall be limited to the
specific purposes delineated in this subdivision or subdivision 3a. Nothing in this subdivision
or subdivision 3a shall modify, suspend, revoke, or terminate a court order or law that
prohibits contact by a party.

(e) If one of the parties is a program participant under chapter 5B, the other party shall
send all information and notifications required under subdivision 3a, clauses (1), (2), (3),
(5), and (6), to the participant's designated address. The program participant is exempted
from the requirements of subdivision 3a.

(f) Failure to notify or inform a party of rights under subdivision 3a does not form a
basis for modification under section 518.18, paragraph (d), clause (iv), unless other grounds
are alleged which would support a modification.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.1705, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Creating parenting plan; restrictions on creation; alternative.

(a) Upon the
request of both parents, a parenting plan must be created in lieu of an order for child custody
and parenting time unless the court makes detailed findings that the proposed plan is not in
the best interests of the child.

(b) If both parents do not agree to a parenting plan, the court may create one on its own
motion, except that the court must not do so if it finds that a parent has committed domestic
abuse against a parent or child who is a party to, or subject of, the matter before the court.
If the court creates a parenting plan on its own motion, it must not use alternative terminology
unless the terminology is agreed to by the parties.

(c) If an existing order does not contain a parenting plan, the parents must not be required
to create a parenting plan as part of a modification order under section 518A.39.

(d) A parenting plan must not be required during an action under section 256.87.

(e) If the parents do not agree to a parenting plan and the court does not create one on
its own motion, orders for custody and parenting time must be entered under sections deleted text begin518.17
and
deleted text endnew text begin 518.169 tonew text end 518.175 or section 257.541, as applicable.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.1705, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Role of court.

If both parents agree to the use of a parenting plan but are unable
to agree on all terms, the court may create a parenting plan under this section. If the court
is considering a parenting plan, it may require each parent to submit a proposed parenting
plan at any time before entry of the final judgment and decree. If parents seek the court's
assistance in deciding the schedule for each parent's time with the child or designation of
decision-making responsibilities regarding the child, the court may order an evaluation and
should consider the appointment of a guardian ad litem. Parenting plans, whether entered
on the court's own motion, following a contested hearing, or reviewed by the court pursuant
to a stipulation, must be based on deleted text beginthe best interests factors indeleted text end section new text begin518.169, new text end518.17new text begin,new text end or
257.025, as applicable.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.1705, subdivision 9, is amended to read:


Subd. 9.

Modification of parenting plans.

(a) Parents may modify the schedule of the
time each parent spends with the child or the decision-making provisions of a parenting
plan by agreement. To be enforceable, modifications must be confirmed by court order. A
motion to modify decision-making provisions or the time each parent spends with the child
may be made only within the time limits provided by section 518.18.

(b) The parties may agree, but the court must not require them, to apply the best interests
standard in section 257.025 or 518.17, as applicable, for deciding a motion for modification
that would change the child's primary residencenew text begin or the physical custody arrangement for
the child
new text end, provided that:

(1) both parties were represented by counsel when the parenting plan was approved; or

(2) the court found the parties were fully informed, the agreement was voluntary, and
the parties were aware of its implications.

(c) If the parties do not agree to apply the best interests standard, section 518.18,
paragraph (d)
, applies.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.175, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

General.

(a) deleted text beginIn all proceedings for dissolution or legal separation,deleted text endnew text begin Subject
to section 518.169,
new text end subsequent to the commencement of deleted text beginthedeleted text end new text begina custody new text endproceeding and
continuing thereafter during the minority of the child, the court shall, upon the request of
either parent, grant such parenting time on behalf of the child and a parentnew text begin who does not
have temporary or permanent sole or joint physical custody of the child
new text end as will enable the
child and the parent to maintain a child to parent relationship that will be in the best interests
of the child. The court, when issuing a parenting time order, may reserve a determination
as to the future establishment or expansion of a parent's parenting time. In that event, the
best interest standard set forth in subdivision 5, paragraph (a), shall be applied to a subsequent
motion to establish or expand parenting time.

(b) If the court finds, after a hearing, that parenting time with a parent is likely to endanger
the child's physical or emotional health or impair the child's emotional development, the
court shall restrict parenting time with that parent as to time, place, duration, or supervision
and may deny parenting time entirely, as the circumstances warrant. The court shall consider
the age of the child and the child's relationship with the parent prior to the commencement
of the proceeding.

(c) A parent's failure to pay support because of the parent's inability to do so shall not
be sufficient cause for denial of parenting time.

(d) The court may provide that a law enforcement officer or other appropriate person
will accompany a party seeking to enforce or comply with parenting time.

(e) Upon request of either party, to the extent practicable an order for parenting time
must include a specific schedule for parenting time, including the frequency and duration
of visitation and visitation during holidays and vacations, unless parenting time is restricted,
denied, or reserved.

(f) The court administrator shall provide a form for a pro se motion regarding parenting
time disputes, which includes provisions for indicating the relief requested, an affidavit in
which the party may state the facts of the dispute, and a brief description of the parenting
time expeditor process under section 518.1751. The form may not include a request for a
change of custody. The court shall provide instructions on serving and filing the motion.

deleted text begin (g) In the absence of other evidence, there is a rebuttable presumption that a parent is
entitled to receive a minimum of 25 percent of the parenting time for the child. For purposes
of this paragraph, the percentage of parenting time may be determined by calculating the
number of overnights that a child spends with a parent or by using a method other than
overnights if the parent has significant time periods on separate days when the child is in
the parent's physical custody but does not stay overnight. The court may consider the age
of the child in determining whether a child is with a parent for a significant period of time.
deleted text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for child custody determinations made
on or after January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.179, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Seeking custody or parenting time.

Notwithstanding any contrary
provision in sectionnew text begin 518.169,new text end 518.17new text begin,new text end or 518.175, if a person seeking child custody or
parenting time has been convicted of a crime described in subdivision 2, the person seeking
custody or parenting time has the burden to prove that custody or parenting time by that
person is in the best interests of the child if:

(1) the conviction occurred within the preceding five years;

(2) the person is currently incarcerated, on probation, or under supervised release for
the offense; or

(3) the victim of the crime was a family or household member as defined in section
518B.01, subdivision 2.

If this section applies, the court may not grant custody or parenting time to the person
unless it finds that the custody or parenting time is in the best interests of the child. If the
victim of the crime was a family or household member, the standard of proof is clear and
convincing evidence. A guardian ad litem must be appointed in any case where this section
applies.

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 518.18, is amended to read:


518.18 MODIFICATION OF ORDER.

(a) Unless agreed to in writing by the parties, no motion to modify a custody order or
parenting plan may be made earlier than one year after the date of the entry of a decree of
dissolution or legal separation containing a provision dealing with custody, except in
accordance with paragraph (c).

(b) If a motion for modification has been heard, whether or not it was granted, unless
agreed to in writing by the parties no subsequent motion may be filed within two years after
disposition of the prior motion on its merits, except in accordance with paragraph (c).

(c) The time limitations prescribed in paragraphs (a) and (b) shall not prohibit a motion
to modify a custody order or parenting plan if the court finds that there is persistent and
willful denial or interference with parenting time, or has reason to believe that the child's
present environment may endanger the child's physical or emotional health or impair the
child's emotional development.

(d) If the court has jurisdiction to determine child custody matters, the court shall not
modify a prior custody order or a parenting plan provision which specifies the child's primary
residencenew text begin or the physical custody arrangement for the childnew text end unless it finds, upon the basis
of facts, including unwarranted denial of, or interference with, a duly established parenting
time schedule, that have arisen since the prior order or that were unknown to the court at
the time of the prior order, that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or
the parties and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the childnew text begin,
consistent with sections 518.169 to 518.175
new text end. In applying these standards the court shall
retain the custody arrangement or the parenting plan provision specifying the child's primary
residencenew text begin or the physical custody arrangement for the childnew text end that was established by the prior
order unless:

(i) the court finds that a change in the custody arrangement or primary residence is deleted text beginin
the best interests of the child and
deleted text endnew text begin consistent with a standard to whichnew text end the parties previously
agreed, in a writing approved by a court, deleted text beginto apply the best interests standard in section
518.17 or 257.025, as applicable;
deleted text end and, with respect to agreements approved by a court on
or after April 28, 2000, both parties were represented by counsel when the agreement was
approved or the court found the parties were fully informed, the agreement was voluntary,
and the parties were aware of its implications;

(ii) both parties agree to the modification;

(iii) the child has been integrated into the family of the petitioner with the consent of
the other party;

(iv) the child's present environment endangers the child's physical or emotional health
or impairs the child's emotional development and the harm likely to be caused by a change
of environment is outweighed by the advantage of a change to the child; or

(v) the court has denied a request of deleted text beginthe primary custodialdeleted text end new text begina new text endparent new text beginwith sole or joint
physical custody
new text endto move the residence of the child to another state, and the primary custodial
parent has relocated to another state despite the court's order.

In addition, a court may modify a custody order or parenting plan under section 631.52.

(e) In deciding whether to modify a prior joint custody order, the court shall apply the
standards set forth in paragraph (d) unless: (1) the parties agree in writing to the application
of a different standard, or (2) the party seeking the modification is asking the court for
permission to move the residence of the child to another state.

(f) If a parent has been granted sole physical custody of a minor and the child
subsequently lives with the other parent, and temporary sole physical custody has been
approved by the court or by a court-appointed referee, the court may suspend the obligor's
child support obligation pending the final custody determination. The court's order denying
the suspension of child support must include a written explanation of the reasons why
continuation of the child support obligation would be in the best interests of the child.

new text begin (g) There must be no modification of an existing custody order based on the joint physical
custody provisions of section 518.169 until July 1, 2019, unless the child's environment
presently endangers the child's physical or emotional health or impairs the child's emotional
development.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end