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HF 2722

as introduced - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 04/28/2014 01:29pm

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

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Current Version - as introduced

A bill for an act
relating to family law; making changes to custody and parenting time provisions;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 518.17, subdivision 2; 518.175,
subdivisions 1, 5.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 518.17, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Factors when joint custody is sought.

(a) There is no presumption for or
against joint physical custody, except when domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01,
has occurred between the parents.

(b) In addition to the factors listed in subdivision 1, where either joint legal or
joint physical custody is contemplated or sought, the court shall consider the following
relevant factors:

(a) (1) the ability of parents to cooperate in the rearing of their children;

(b) (2) methods for resolving disputes regarding any major decision concerning the
life of the child, and the parents' willingness to use those methods;

(c) (3) whether it would be detrimental to the child if one parent were to have sole
authority over the child's upbringing; and

(d) (4) whether domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01, has occurred between
the parents.

The court shall not use one of the factors to be considered to the exclusion of all of the
other factors.
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 or 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. 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 (b), clause (1).

If the court awards (c) If the parties disagree as to whether the court should award
joint or sole legal or physical custody over the objection of a party, the court shall make
detailed factual findings on each of the factors in this subdivision and explain how its
findings on
the factors led to its determination that as to whether joint custody or sole
custody
would be in the best interests of the child.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 518.175, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

General.

(a) In all proceedings for dissolution or legal separation,
subsequent to the commencement of the proceeding 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 parent 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.

(b) (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.

(c) (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.

(d) (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.

(e) (g) In the absence of other evidence, there is a rebuttable presumption that a parent
is entitled to receive at least 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.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 518.175, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Modification of parenting plan or order for parenting time.

(a) If
modification would serve the best interests of the child, the court shall modify the
decision-making provisions of a parenting plan or an order granting or denying parenting
time, if the modification would not change the child's primary residence. Consideration of
a child's best interest includes a child's changing developmental needs.

(b) Except as provided in section 631.52, the court may not restrict parenting time
unless it finds that:

(1) parenting time is likely to endanger the child's physical or emotional health or
impair the child's emotional development; or

(2) the parent has chronically and unreasonably failed to comply with court-ordered
parenting time.

A modification of parenting time which increases a parent's percentage of parenting time
to an amount that is between 45.1 to 54.9 percent parenting time is not a restriction of
the other parent's parenting time.

(c) If a parent makes specific allegations that parenting time by the other parent
places the parent or child in danger of harm, the court shall hold a hearing at the
earliest possible time to determine the need to modify the order granting parenting time.
Consistent with subdivision 1a, the court may require a third party, including the local
social services agency, to supervise the parenting time or may restrict a parent's parenting
time if necessary to protect the other parent or child from harm. If there is an existing order
for protection governing the parties, the court shall consider the use of an independent,
neutral exchange location for parenting time.

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