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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 3942

as introduced - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

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

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 03/10/2008

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to family law; changing certain terminology, procedures, and
requirements; amending Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 257.025; 257.541;
259.23, subdivision 2; 260C.007, subdivision 8; 260C.163, subdivision 2;
260C.301, subdivision 3; 518.003, subdivision 3; 518.091, subdivision 2;
518.10; 518.131, subdivisions 1, 3, 6, 7; 518.156; 518.157, subdivision 3;
518.166; 518.167, subdivisions 1, 2; 518.17; 518.1705, subdivisions 2, 4, 9;
518.175, subdivision 5; 518.18; 518A.26, subdivision 14; 518A.36, subdivision
1; 518B.01, subdivisions 6, 17; Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, sections
260.012; 260C.201, subdivision 11; 260C.209, subdivision 1; 518.165,
subdivisions 1, 2; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 518.176,
subdivision 1; 518A.26, subdivision 17.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 257.025, is amended to read:


257.025 CUSTODY DISPUTES.

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Relevant factors. new text end

(a) In any proceeding where two or more parties
seek new text beginlegal new text endcustody of a child new text beginor a residential arrangement with a child new text endthe court shall
consider and evaluate all relevant factors in determining the best interests of the child,
including the following factors:

(1) the wishes of the party or parties as to new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin or residencenew text end;

(2) the reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of
sufficient age to express preference;

(3) the child's primary caretaker;

(4) the intimacy of the relationship between each party and the child;

(5) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with a party or parties, siblings,
and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;

(6) the child's adjustment to home, school, and community;

(7) the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and
the desirability of maintaining continuity;

(8) the permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed deleted text begincustodial homedeleted text endnew text begin
residence
new text end;

(9) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved; except that a
disability, as defined in section 363A.03, of a proposed custodian or the child shall not be
determinative of the new text beginlegal new text endcustody new text beginor residence new text endof the child, unless the proposed custodial
arrangement is not in the best interest of the child;

(10) the capacity and disposition of the parties to give the child love, affection, and
guidance, and to continue educating and raising the child in the child's culture, religion, or
creed, if any;

(11) the child's cultural background; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(12) the effect on the child of the actions of an abuser, if related to domestic abuse as
defined in section 518B.01, that has occurred between the parents or the partiesnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (13) except in cases in which a finding of domestic abuse as defined in section
518B.01 has been made, the disposition of each parent to encourage and permit frequent
and continuing contact by the other parent with the child
new text end.

The court may not use one factor to the exclusion of all others. new text beginThe primary
caretaker factor may not be used as a presumption in determining the best interests of the
child.
new text endThe court must make detailed findings on each of the factors and explain how the
factors led to its conclusions and to the determination of the best interests of the child.

(b) The fact that the parents of the child are not or were never married to each other
shall not be determinative of the new text beginlegal new text endcustody new text beginor residence new text endof the child.

(c) The court shall not consider conduct of a deleted text beginproposed custodiandeleted text end new text beginparty new text endthat does not
affect the deleted text begincustodian'sdeleted text end new text beginparty's new text endrelationship to the child.

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

(e) A person may seek new text beginlegal new text endcustody of a child new text beginor residence with a child new text endby filing a
petition or motion pursuant to section 518.156.

(f) Section 518.619 applies to this section.

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Evidence of false allegations of child abuse. new text end

new text begin The court shall consider
evidence of a violation of section 609.507 in determining the best interests of the child.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Factors where joint legal custody or substantially equivalent shared
residential arrangement is sought.
new text end

new text begin In addition to the factors listed in subdivision 1,
where either joint legal custody or a substantially equivalent shared residential arrangement
is contemplated or sought, the court shall consider the following relevant factors:
new text end

new text begin (1) the ability of parents to cooperate in the rearing of their children;
new text end

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

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

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

new text begin 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 a substantially equivalent shared
residential arrangement is not in the best interests of the child if domestic abuse, as defined
in section 518B.01, has occurred between the parents.
new text end

new text begin If the court awards joint legal custody or a substantially equivalent shared residential
arrangement over the objection of a party, the court shall make detailed findings on each of
the factors in this subdivision and explain how the factors led to its determination that joint
legal custody or a shared residential arrangement would be in the best interests of the child.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 257.541, is amended to read:


257.541 new text beginLEGAL new text endCUSTODY deleted text beginANDdeleted text endnew text begin,new text end PARENTING TIMEnew text begin, AND RESIDENCEnew text end
WITH CHILDREN BORN OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE.

Subdivision 1.

Mother's right to new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin and residencenew text end.

The biological
mother of a child born to a mother who was not married to the child's father when the
child was born and was not married to the child's father when the child was conceived
has sole new text beginlegal new text endcustody of the child new text beginand sole residence with the child new text enduntil paternity has
been established under sections 257.51 to 257.74, or until new text beginlegal new text endcustody new text beginor residence new text endis
determined in a separate proceeding under section 518.156.

Subd. 2.

Father's right to parenting time deleted text beginanddeleted text endnew text begin, legalnew text end custodynew text begin, and residencenew text end.

(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 deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin, legalnew text end
custodynew text begin, or residence new text end are determined under sections 518.17 and 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 deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin, legalnew text end custodynew text begin, or residencenew text end in the paternity proceeding or in a
separate proceeding under section 518.156.

Subd. 3.

Father's right to parenting time deleted text beginanddeleted text endnew text begin, legalnew text end custodynew text begin, and residencenew text end;
recognition of paternity.

If paternity has been recognized under section 257.75, the father
may petition for rights of parenting time deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin, legalnew text end custodynew text begin, or residencenew text end in an independent
action under section 518.156. The proceeding must be treated as an initial determination
of new text beginlegal new text endcustody new text beginor residence new text endunder section 518.17. The provisions of chapter 518 apply
with respect to the granting of new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin, residence,new text end and parenting time. An action
to determine new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin, residence,new text end 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.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 259.23, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Contents of petition.

The petition shall be signed by the petitioner and, if
married, by the spouse. It shall be verified, and filed in duplicate. The petition shall allege:

(a) The full name, age and place of residence of petitioner, and if married, the date
and place of marriage;

(b) The date petitioner acquired deleted text beginphysical custodydeleted text end new text beginplacement new text endof the child and from
what person or agency;

(c) The date of birth of the child, if known, and the state and county where born;

(d) The name of the child's parents, if known, and the guardian if there be one;

(e) The actual name of the child, if known, and any known aliases;

(f) The name to be given the child if a change of name is desired;

(g) The description and value of any real or personal property owned by the child;

(h) That the petitioner desires that the relationship of parent and child be established
between petitioner and the child, and that it is to the best interests of the child for the child
to be adopted by the petitioner.

In agency placements, the information required in clauses (d) and (e) shall not
be required to be alleged in the petition but shall be transmitted to the court by the
commissioner of human services or the agency.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, section 260.012, is amended to read:


260.012 DUTY TO ENSURE PLACEMENT PREVENTION AND FAMILY
REUNIFICATION; REASONABLE EFFORTS.

(a) Once a child alleged to be in need of protection or services is under the court's
jurisdiction, the court shall ensure that reasonable efforts, including culturally appropriate
services, by the social services agency are made to prevent placement or to eliminate the
need for removal and to reunite the child with the child's family at the earliest possible
time, and the court must ensure that the responsible social services agency makes
reasonable efforts to finalize an alternative permanent plan for the child as provided in
paragraph (e). In determining reasonable efforts to be made with respect to a child and in
making those reasonable efforts, the child's best interests, health, and safety must be of
paramount concern. Reasonable efforts to prevent placement and for rehabilitation and
reunification are always required except upon a determination by the court that a petition
has been filed stating a prima facie case that:

(1) the parent has subjected a child to egregious harm as defined in section
260C.007, subdivision 14;

(2) the parental rights of the parent to another child have been terminated
involuntarily;

(3) the child is an abandoned infant under section 260C.301, subdivision 2,
paragraph (a), clause (2);

(4) the parent's custodial rights to another child have been involuntarily transferred
to a relative under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, paragraph (e), clause (1), or a similar
law of another jurisdiction; or

(5) the provision of services or further services for the purpose of reunification is
futile and therefore unreasonable under the circumstances.

(b) When the court makes one of the prima facie determinations under paragraph (a),
either permanency pleadings under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, or a termination
of parental rights petition under sections 260C.141 and 260C.301 must be filed. A
permanency hearing under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, must be held within 30
days of this determination.

(c) In the case of an Indian child, in proceedings under sections 260B.178 or
260C.178, 260C.201, and 260C.301 the juvenile court must make findings and conclusions
consistent with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section
1901 et seq., as to the provision of active efforts. In cases governed by the Indian Child
Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section 1901, the responsible social
services agency must provide active efforts as required under United States Code, title
25, section 1911(d).

(d) "Reasonable efforts to prevent placement" means:

(1) the agency has made reasonable efforts to prevent the placement of the child in
foster care; or

(2) given the particular circumstances of the child and family at the time of the
child's removal, there are no services or efforts available which could allow the child to
safely remain in the home.

(e) "Reasonable efforts to finalize a permanent plan for the child" means due
diligence by the responsible social services agency to:

(1) reunify the child with the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed;

(2) assess a noncustodial parent's ability to provide day-to-day care for the child and,
where appropriate, provide services necessary to enable the noncustodial parent to safely
provide the care, as required by section 260C.212, subdivision 4;

(3) conduct a relative search as required under section 260C.212, subdivision 5; and

(4) when the child cannot return to the parent or guardian from whom the child was
removed, to plan for and finalize a safe and legally permanent alternative home for the
child, and considers permanent alternative homes for the child inside or outside of the
state, preferably through adoption or transfer of permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody of
the child.

(f) Reasonable efforts are made upon the exercise of due diligence by the responsible
social services agency to use culturally appropriate and available services to meet the
needs of the child and the child's family. Services may include those provided by the
responsible social services agency and other culturally appropriate services available in
the community. At each stage of the proceedings where the court is required to review
the appropriateness of the responsible social services agency's reasonable efforts as
described in paragraphs (a), (d), and (e), the social services agency has the burden of
demonstrating that:

(1) it has made reasonable efforts to prevent placement of the child in foster care;

(2) it has made reasonable efforts to eliminate the need for removal of the child from
the child's home and to reunify the child with the child's family at the earliest possible time;

(3) it has made reasonable efforts to finalize an alternative permanent home for
the child, and considers permanent alternative homes for the child inside or outside of
the state; or

(4) reasonable efforts to prevent placement and to reunify the child with the parent
or guardian are not required. The agency may meet this burden by stating facts in a sworn
petition filed under section 260C.141, by filing an affidavit summarizing the agency's
reasonable efforts or facts the agency believes demonstrate there is no need for reasonable
efforts to reunify the parent and child, or through testimony or a certified report required
under juvenile court rules.

(g) Once the court determines that reasonable efforts for reunification are not
required because the court has made one of the prima facie determinations under paragraph
(a), the court may only require reasonable efforts for reunification after a hearing according
to section 260C.163, where the court finds there is not clear and convincing evidence of
the facts upon which the court based its prima facie determination. In this case when there
is clear and convincing evidence that the child is in need of protection or services, the
court may find the child in need of protection or services and order any of the dispositions
available under section 260C.201, subdivision 1. Reunification of a surviving child with a
parent is not required if the parent has been convicted of:

(1) a violation of, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit a violation of, sections
609.185 to 609.20; 609.222, subdivision 2; or 609.223 in regard to another child of the
parent;

(2) a violation of section 609.222, subdivision 2; or 609.223, in regard to the
surviving child; or

(3) a violation of, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit a violation of, United States
Code, title 18, section 1111(a) or 1112(a), in regard to another child of the parent.

(h) The juvenile court, in proceedings under sections 260B.178 or 260C.178,
260C.201, and 260C.301 shall make findings and conclusions as to the provision of
reasonable efforts. When determining whether reasonable efforts have been made, the
court shall consider whether services to the child and family were:

(1) relevant to the safety and protection of the child;

(2) adequate to meet the needs of the child and family;

(3) culturally appropriate;

(4) available and accessible;

(5) consistent and timely; and

(6) realistic under the circumstances.

In the alternative, the court may determine that provision of services or further
services for the purpose of rehabilitation is futile and therefore unreasonable under the
circumstances or that reasonable efforts are not required as provided in paragraph (a).

(i) This section does not prevent out-of-home placement for treatment of a child with
a mental disability when the child's diagnostic assessment or individual treatment plan
indicates that appropriate and necessary treatment cannot be effectively provided outside
of a residential or inpatient treatment program.

(j) If continuation of reasonable efforts to prevent placement or reunify the child
with the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed is determined by the court
to be inconsistent with the permanent plan for the child or upon the court making one of
the prima facie determinations under paragraph (a), reasonable efforts must be made to
place the child in a timely manner in a safe and permanent home and to complete whatever
steps are necessary to legally finalize the permanent placement of the child.

(k) Reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or in another permanent
placement may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to prevent placement or to
reunify the child with the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed. When
the responsible social services agency decides to concurrently make reasonable efforts for
both reunification and permanent placement away from the parent under paragraph (a), the
agency shall disclose its decision and both plans for concurrent reasonable efforts to all
parties and the court. When the agency discloses its decision to proceed on both plans for
reunification and permanent placement away from the parent, the court's review of the
agency's reasonable efforts shall include the agency's efforts under both plans.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.007, subdivision 8, is amended to read:


Subd. 8.

Compelling reasons.

"Compelling reasons" means an individualized
determination by the responsible social services agency, which is approved by the court,
related to a request by the agency not to initiate proceedings to terminate parental rights or
transfer permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody of a child to the child's relative or former
noncustodial parent under section 260C.301, subdivision 3.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.163, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Right to participate in proceedings.

A child who is the subject of
a petition, and the parents, guardian, or legal custodian of the child have the right to
participate in all proceedings on a petition. Official tribal representatives have the right
to participate in any proceeding that is subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978,
United States Code, title 25, sections 1901 to 1963.

Any grandparent of the child has a right to participate in the proceedings to the
same extent as a parent, if the child has lived with the grandparent within the two years
preceding the filing of the petition. At the first hearing following the filing of a petition,
the court shall ask whether the child has lived with a grandparent within the last two years,
except that the court need not make this inquiry if the petition states that the child did not
live with a grandparent during this time period. Failure to notify a grandparent of the
proceedings is not a jurisdictional defect.

If, in a proceeding involving a child in need of protection or services, the responsible
social services agency recommends transfer of permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody to
a relative, the relative has a right to participate as a party, and thereafter shall receive
notice of any hearing in the proceedings.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, section 260C.201, subdivision 11,
is amended to read:


Subd. 11.

Review of court-ordered placements; permanent placement
determination.

(a) This subdivision and subdivision 11a do not apply in cases where
the child is in placement due solely to the child's developmental disability or emotional
disturbance, where legal custody has not been transferred to the responsible social services
agency, and where the court finds compelling reasons under section 260C.007, subdivision
8
, to continue the child in foster care past the time periods specified in this subdivision.
Foster care placements of children due solely to their disability are governed by section
260C.141, subdivision 2a. In all other cases where the child is in foster care or in the care
of a noncustodial parent under subdivision 1, the court shall commence proceedings
to determine the permanent status of a child not later than 12 months after the child is
placed in foster care or in the care of a noncustodial parent. At the admit-deny hearing
commencing such proceedings, the court shall determine whether there is a prima facie
basis for finding that the agency made reasonable efforts, or in the case of an Indian
child active efforts, required under section 260.012 and proceed according to the rules of
juvenile court.

For purposes of this subdivision, the date of the child's placement in foster care is
the earlier of the first court-ordered placement or 60 days after the date on which the
child has been voluntarily placed in foster care by the child's parent or guardian. For
purposes of this subdivision, time spent by a child under the protective supervision of the
responsible social services agency in the home of a noncustodial parent pursuant to an
order under subdivision 1 counts towards the requirement of a permanency hearing under
this subdivision or subdivision 11a. Time spent on a trial home visit counts towards the
requirement of a permanency hearing under this subdivision and a permanency review
for a child under eight years of age under subdivision 11a.

For purposes of this subdivision, 12 months is calculated as follows:

(1) during the pendency of a petition alleging that a child is in need of protection
or services, all time periods when a child is placed in foster care or in the home of a
noncustodial parent are cumulated;

(2) if a child has been placed in foster care within the previous five years under one
or more previous petitions, the lengths of all prior time periods when the child was placed
in foster care within the previous five years are cumulated. If a child under this clause
has been in foster care for 12 months or more, the court, if it is in the best interests of the
child and for compelling reasons, may extend the total time the child may continue out
of the home under the current petition up to an additional six months before making a
permanency determination.

(b) Unless the responsible social services agency recommends return of the child
to the custodial parent or parents, not later than 30 days prior to the admit-deny hearing
required under paragraph (a) and the rules of juvenile court, the responsible social services
agency shall file pleadings in juvenile court to establish the basis for the juvenile court to
order permanent placement of the child, including a termination of parental rights petition,
according to paragraph (d). Notice of the hearing and copies of the pleadings must be
provided pursuant to section 260C.152.

(c) The permanency proceedings shall be conducted in a timely fashion including
that any trial required under section 260C.163 shall be commenced within 60 days of the
admit-deny hearing required under paragraph (a). At the conclusion of the permanency
proceedings, the court shall:

(1) order the child returned to the care of the parent or guardian from whom the
child was removed; or

(2) order a permanent placement or termination of parental rights if permanent
placement or termination of parental rights is in the child's best interests. The "best
interests of the child" means all relevant factors to be considered and evaluated. Transfer
of permanent legal and physical custody, termination of parental rights, or guardianship
and legal custody to the commissioner through a consent to adopt are preferred
permanency options for a child who cannot return home.

(d) If the child is not returned to the home, the court must order one of the following
dispositions:

(1) permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody to a relative in the best interests of the
child according to the following conditions:

(i) an order for transfer of permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody to a relative shall
only be made after the court has reviewed the suitability of the prospective legal and
physical custodian;

(ii) in transferring permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody to a relative, the juvenile
court shall follow the standards applicable under this chapter and chapter 260, and the
procedures set out in the juvenile court rules;

(iii) an order establishing permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody under this
subdivision must be filed with the family court;

(iv) a transfer of legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody includes responsibility for the protection,
education, care, and control of the child and decision making on behalf of the child;

(v) the social services agency may bring a petition or motion naming a fit and
willing relative as a proposed permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custodian. The commissioner
of human services shall annually prepare for counties information that must be given to
proposed custodians about their legal rights and obligations as custodians together with
information on financial and medical benefits for which the child is eligible; and

(vi) the juvenile court may maintain jurisdiction over the responsible social services
agency, the parents or guardian of the child, the child, and the permanent legal deleted text beginand
physical
deleted text end custodian for purposes of ensuring appropriate services are delivered to the child
and permanent legal custodian or for the purpose of ensuring conditions ordered by the
court related to the care and custody of the child are met;

(2) termination of parental rights when the requirements of sections 260C.301 to
260C.328 are met or according to the following conditions:

(i) order the social services agency to file a petition for termination of parental
rights in which case all the requirements of sections 260C.301 to 260C.328 remain
applicable; and

(ii) an adoption completed subsequent to a determination under this subdivision may
include an agreement for communication or contact under section 259.58;

(3) long-term foster care according to the following conditions:

(i) the court may order a child into long-term foster care only if it approves the
responsible social service agency's compelling reasons that neither an award of permanent
legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody to a relative, nor termination of parental rights is in the child's
best interests;

(ii) further, the court may only order long-term foster care for the child under this
section if it finds the following:

(A) the child has reached age 12 and the responsible social services agency has made
reasonable efforts to locate and place the child with an adoptive family or with a fit and
willing relative who will agree to a transfer of permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody of
the child, but such efforts have not proven successful; or

(B) the child is a sibling of a child described in subitem (A) and the siblings have
a significant positive relationship and are ordered into the same long-term foster care
home; and

(iii) at least annually, the responsible social services agency reconsiders its provision
of services to the child and the child's placement in long-term foster care to ensure that:

(A) long-term foster care continues to be the most appropriate legal arrangement
for meeting the child's need for permanency and stability, including whether there is
another permanent placement option under this chapter that would better serve the child's
needs and best interests;

(B) whenever possible, there is an identified long-term foster care family that is
committed to being the foster family for the child as long as the child is a minor or under
the jurisdiction of the court;

(C) the child is receiving appropriate services or assistance to maintain or build
connections with the child's family and community;

(D) the child's physical and mental health needs are being appropriately provided
for; and

(E) the child's educational needs are being met;

(4) foster care for a specified period of time according to the following conditions:

(i) foster care for a specified period of time may be ordered only if:

(A) the sole basis for an adjudication that the child is in need of protection or
services is the child's behavior;

(B) the court finds that foster care for a specified period of time is in the best
interests of the child; and

(C) the court approves the responsible social services agency's compelling reasons
that neither an award of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative, nor termination
of parental rights is in the child's best interests;

(ii) the order does not specify that the child continue in foster care for any period
exceeding one year; or

(5) guardianship and legal custody to the commissioner of human services under
the following procedures and conditions:

(i) there is an identified prospective adoptive home agreed to by the responsible
social services agency having legal custody of the child pursuant to court order under this
section that has agreed to adopt the child and the court accepts the parent's voluntary
consent to adopt under section 259.24, except that such consent executed by a parent under
this item, following proper notice that consent given under this provision is irrevocable
upon acceptance by the court, shall be irrevocable unless fraud is established and an order
issues permitting revocation as stated in item (vii);

(ii) if the court accepts a consent to adopt in lieu of ordering one of the other
enumerated permanency dispositions, the court must review the matter at least every 90
days. The review will address the reasonable efforts of the agency to achieve a finalized
adoption;

(iii) a consent to adopt under this clause vests all legal authority regarding the child,
including guardianship and legal custody of the child, with the commissioner of human
services as if the child were a state ward after termination of parental rights;

(iv) the court must forward a copy of the consent to adopt, together with a certified
copy of the order transferring guardianship and legal custody to the commissioner, to
the commissioner;

(v) if an adoption is not finalized by the identified prospective adoptive parent within
12 months of the execution of the consent to adopt under this clause, the commissioner of
human services or the commissioner's delegate shall pursue adoptive placement in another
home unless the commissioner certifies that the failure to finalize is not due to either an
action or a failure to act by the prospective adoptive parent;

(vi) notwithstanding item (v), the commissioner of human services or the
commissioner's designee must pursue adoptive placement in another home as soon as the
commissioner or commissioner's designee determines that finalization of the adoption with
the identified prospective adoptive parent is not possible, that the identified prospective
adoptive parent is not willing to adopt the child, that the identified prospective adoptive
parent is not cooperative in completing the steps necessary to finalize the adoption, or
upon the commissioner's determination to withhold consent to the adoption.

(vii) unless otherwise required by the Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code,
title 25, section 1913, a consent to adopt executed under this section, following proper
notice that consent given under this provision is irrevocable upon acceptance by the court,
shall be irrevocable upon acceptance by the court except upon order permitting revocation
issued by the same court after written findings that consent was obtained by fraud.

(e) In ordering a permanent placement of a child, the court must be governed by the
best interests of the child, including a review of the relationship between the child and
relatives and the child and other important persons with whom the child has resided or
had significant contact. When the court has determined that permanent placement of the
child away from the parent is necessary, the court shall consider permanent alternative
homes that are available both inside and outside the state.

(f) Once a permanent placement determination has been made and permanent
placement has been established, further court reviews are necessary if:

(1) the placement is long-term foster care or foster care for a specified period of time;

(2) the court orders further hearings because it has retained jurisdiction of a transfer
of permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody matter;

(3) an adoption has not yet been finalized; or

(4) there is a disruption of the permanent or long-term placement.

(g) Court reviews of an order for long-term foster care, whether under this section
or section 260C.317, subdivision 3, paragraph (d), must be conducted at least yearly and
must review the child's out-of-home placement plan and the reasonable efforts of the
agency to finalize the permanent plan for the child including the agency's efforts to:

(1) ensure that long-term foster care continues to be the most appropriate legal
arrangement for meeting the child's need for permanency and stability or, if not, to identify
and attempt to finalize another permanent placement option under this chapter that would
better serve the child's needs and best interests;

(2) identify a specific long-term foster home for the child, if one has not already
been identified;

(3) support continued placement of the child in the identified home, if one has been
identified;

(4) ensure appropriate services are provided to address the physical health, mental
health, and educational needs of the child during the period of long-term foster care and
also ensure appropriate services or assistance to maintain relationships with appropriate
family members and the child's community; and

(5) plan for the child's independence upon the child's leaving long-term foster care
living as required under section 260C.212, subdivision 1.

(h) In the event it is necessary for a child that has been ordered into foster care for a
specified period of time to be in foster care longer than one year after the permanency
hearing held under this section, not later than 12 months after the time the child was
ordered into foster care for a specified period of time, the matter must be returned to
court for a review of the appropriateness of continuing the child in foster care and of the
responsible social services agency's reasonable efforts to finalize a permanent plan for
the child; if it is in the child's best interests to continue the order for foster care for a
specified period of time past a total of 12 months, the court shall set objectives for the
child's continuation in foster care, specify any further amount of time the child may be in
foster care, and review the plan for the safe return of the child to the parent.

(i) An order permanently placing a child out of the home of the parent or guardian
must include the following detailed findings:

(1) how the child's best interests are served by the order;

(2) the nature and extent of the responsible social service agency's reasonable efforts,
or, in the case of an Indian child, active efforts to reunify the child with the parent or
guardian where reasonable efforts are required;

(3) the parent's or parents' efforts and ability to use services to correct the conditions
which led to the out-of-home placement; and

(4) that the conditions which led to the out-of-home placement have not been
corrected so that the child can safely return home.

(j) An order for permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody of a child may be modified
under sections 518.18 and 518.185. The social services agency is a party to the proceeding
and must receive notice. A parent may only seek modification of an order for long-term
foster care upon motion and a showing by the parent of a substantial change in the parent's
circumstances such that the parent could provide appropriate care for the child and that
removal of the child from the child's permanent placement and the return to the parent's
care would be in the best interest of the child. The responsible social services agency may
ask the court to vacate an order for long-term foster care upon a prima facie showing
that there is a factual basis for the court to order another permanency option under this
chapter and that such an option is in the child's best interests. Upon a hearing where
the court determines that there is a factual basis for vacating the order for long-term
foster care and that another permanent order regarding the placement of the child is in
the child's best interests, the court may vacate the order for long-term foster care and
enter a different order for permanent placement that is in the child's best interests. The
court shall not require further reasonable efforts to reunify the child with the parent or
guardian as a basis for vacating the order for long-term foster care and ordering a different
permanent placement in the child's best interests. The county attorney must file pleadings
and give notice as required under the rules of juvenile court in order to modify an order for
long-term foster care under this paragraph.

(k) The court shall issue an order required under this section within 15 days of the
close of the proceedings. The court may extend issuing the order an additional 15 days
when necessary in the interests of justice and the best interests of the child.

(l) This paragraph applies to proceedings required under this subdivision when
the child is on a trial home visit:

(1) if the child is on a trial home visit 12 months after the child was placed in
foster care or in the care of a noncustodial parent as calculated in this subdivision, the
responsible social services agency may file a report with the court regarding the child's and
parent's progress on the trial home visit and its reasonable efforts to finalize the child's safe
and permanent return to the care of the parent in lieu of filing the pleadings required under
paragraph (b). The court shall make findings regarding reasonableness of the responsible
social services efforts to finalize the child's return home as the permanent order in the best
interests of the child. The court may continue the trial home visit to a total time not to
exceed six months as provided in subdivision 1. If the court finds the responsible social
services agency has not made reasonable efforts to finalize the child's return home as the
permanent order in the best interests of the child, the court may order other or additional
efforts to support the child remaining in the care of the parent; and

(2) if a trial home visit ordered or continued at proceedings under this subdivision
terminates, the court shall re-commence proceedings under this subdivision to determine
the permanent status of the child not later than 30 days after the child is returned to foster
care.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, section 260C.209, subdivision 1, is
amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Subjects.

The responsible social services agency must initiate a
background study to be completed by the commissioner under chapter 245C on the
following individuals:

(1) a noncustodial parent or nonadjudicated parent who is being assessed for
purposes of providing day-to-day care of a child temporarily or permanently under section
260C.212, subdivision 4, and any member of the parent's household who is over the age of
13 when there is a reasonable cause to believe that the parent or household member over
age 13 has a criminal history or a history of maltreatment of a child or vulnerable adult
which would endanger the child's health, safety, or welfare;

(2) an individual whose suitability for relative placement under section 260C.212,
subdivision 5
, is being determined and any member of the relative's household who is
over the age of 13 when:

(i) the relative must be licensed for foster care; or

(ii) the background study is required under section 259.53, subdivision 2; or

(iii) the agency or the commissioner has reasonable cause to believe the relative
or household member over the age of 13 has a criminal history which would not make
transfer of permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody to the relative under section 260C.201,
subdivision 11
, in the child's best interest; and

(3) a parent, following an out-of-home placement, when the responsible social
services agency has reasonable cause to believe that the parent has been convicted of a
crime directly related to the parent's capacity to maintain the child's health, safety, or
welfare or the parent is the subject of an open investigation of, or has been the subject
of a substantiated allegation of, child or vulnerable-adult maltreatment within the past
ten years.

"Reasonable cause" means that the agency has received information or a report from the
subject or a third person that creates an articulable suspicion that the individual has a
history that may pose a risk to the health, safety, or welfare of the child. The information
or report must be specific to the potential subject of the background check and shall not
be based on the race, religion, ethnic background, age, class, or lifestyle of the potential
subject.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 260C.301, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Required termination of parental rights.

(a) The county attorney shall
file a termination of parental rights petition within 30 days of the responsible social
services agency determining that a child has been subjected to egregious harm as defined
in section 260C.007, subdivision 14, is determined to be the sibling of another child of
the parent who was subjected to egregious harm, or is an abandoned infant as defined in
subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (2), or the parent has lost parental rights to another
child through an order involuntarily terminating the parent's rights, or another child of the
parent is the subject of an order involuntarily transferring permanent legal and physical
custody of the child to a relative under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, paragraph (e),
clause (1), or a similar law of another jurisdiction. The responsible social services agency
shall concurrently identify, recruit, process, and approve an adoptive family for the child.
If a termination of parental rights petition has been filed by another party, the responsible
social services agency shall be joined as a party to the petition. If criminal charges have
been filed against a parent arising out of the conduct alleged to constitute egregious harm,
the county attorney shall determine which matter should proceed to trial first, consistent
with the best interests of the child and subject to the defendant's right to a speedy trial.

(b) This requirement does not apply if the county attorney determines and files
with the court:

(1) a petition for transfer of permanent legal deleted text beginand physicaldeleted text end custody to a relative
under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, including a determination that the transfer is in
the best interests of the child; or

(2) a petition alleging the child, and where appropriate, the child's siblings, to be in
need of protection or services accompanied by a case plan prepared by the responsible
social services agency documenting a compelling reason why filing a termination of
parental rights petition would not be in the best interests of the child.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, 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) deleted text begin"Physical custody and residence" means the routine daily care and control and
the residence of the child.
deleted text end

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

deleted text begin (e)deleted text end Wherever used in this chapter, the term "custodial parent" or "custodian" means
the person who has deleted text beginthe physical custody of the child at any particulardeleted text end new text beginparenting time
at the relevant
new text endtime.

deleted text begin (f)deleted text end new text begin(d) new text end"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.

deleted text begin (g)deleted text end new text begin(e) new text end"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.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.091, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Parent education program requirements.

Every summons involving
custody or parenting time of a minor child must include the notice in this subdivision.

NOTICE OF PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

UNDER MINNESOTA STATUTES, SECTION 518.157, IN A CONTESTED
PROCEEDING INVOLVING new text beginLEGAL new text endCUSTODYnew text begin, RESIDENCE,new text end OR PARENTING
TIME OF A MINOR CHILD, THE PARTIES MUST BEGIN PARTICIPATION IN
A PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAM THAT MEETS MINIMUM STANDARDS
PROMULGATED BY THE MINNESOTA SUPREME COURT WITHIN 30 DAYS
AFTER THE FIRST FILING WITH THE COURT. IN SOME DISTRICTS, PARENTING
EDUCATION MAY BE REQUIRED IN ALL new text beginLEGAL new text endCUSTODYnew text begin, RESIDENCE,new text end OR
PARENTING PROCEEDINGS. YOU MAY CONTACT THE DISTRICT COURT
ADMINISTRATOR FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING THIS
REQUIREMENT AND THE AVAILABILITY OF PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAMS.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.10, is amended to read:


518.10 REQUISITES OF PETITION.

The petition for dissolution of marriage or legal separation shall state and allege:

(a) the name, address, and, in circumstances in which child support or spousal
maintenance will be addressed, Social Security number of the petitioner and any prior or
other name used by the petitioner;

(b) the name and, if known, the address and, in circumstances in which child support
or spousal maintenance will be addressed, Social Security number of the respondent and
any prior or other name used by the respondent and known to the petitioner;

(c) the place and date of the marriage of the parties;

(d) in the case of a petition for dissolution, that either the petitioner or the respondent
or both:

(1) has resided in this state for not less than 180 days immediately preceding the
commencement of the proceeding, or

(2) has been a member of the armed services and has been stationed in this state for
not less than 180 days immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding, or

(3) has been a domiciliary of this state for not less than 180 days immediately
preceding the commencement of the proceeding;

(e) the name at the time of the petition and any prior or other name, Social Security
number, age, and date of birth of each living minor or dependent child of the parties born
before the marriage or born or adopted during the marriage and a reference to, and the
expected date of birth of, a child of the parties conceived during the marriage but not born;

(f) whether or not a separate proceeding for dissolution, legal separation, deleted text beginordeleted text end new text beginlegal
new text endcustodynew text begin, or residencenew text end is pending in a court in this state or elsewhere;

(g) in the case of a petition for dissolution, that there has been an irretrievable
breakdown of the marriage relationship;

(h) in the case of a petition for legal separation, that there is a need for a decree
of legal separation;

(i) any temporary or permanent maintenance, child support, deleted text beginchilddeleted text end new text beginlegal new text endcustody,
new text begin residence, parenting time, new text enddisposition of property, attorneys' fees, costs and disbursements
applied for without setting forth the amounts; and

(j) whether an order for protection under chapter 518B or a similar law of another
state that governs the parties or a party and a minor child of the parties is in effect and, if
so, the district court or similar jurisdiction in which it was entered.

The petition shall be verified by the petitioner or petitioners, and its allegations
established by competent evidence.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.131, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Permissible orders.

In a proceeding brought for new text beginlegal new text endcustody,
new text begin residence, new text enddissolution, 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 new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin, residence,new text end and parenting time 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.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.131, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Ex parte restraining order; limitations.

A party may request and the
court may make an ex parte restraining order which may include any matter that may
be included in a temporary order except:

(a) A restraining order may not exclude either party from the family home of the
parties except upon a finding by the court of immediate danger of physical harm to the
other party or the children of either party; and

(b) A restraining order may not deny parenting time to either party or grant new text beginlegal
new text endcustody of the minor children new text beginor residence with the minor children new text endto either party except
upon a finding by the court of immediate danger of physical harm to the minor children
of the parties.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.131, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Effect of dismissal of main action.

If a proceeding for dissolution or legal
separation is dismissed, a temporary new text beginlegal new text endcustody new text beginor residence new text endorder is vacated unless
one of the parties or the child's new text beginlegal new text endcustodian new text beginor the party with whom the child primarily
resides
new text endmoves that the proceeding continue as a new text beginlegal new text endcustody new text beginor residence new text endproceeding and
the court finds, after a hearing, that the circumstances of the parties and the best interests
of the child require that a new text beginlegal new text endcustody new text beginor residence new text endorder be issued.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, 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),
518.17 to 518.175 (concerning new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin, residence,new text end and parenting time), and 518.14
(concerning costs and attorney fees) in making temporary orders and restraining orders.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.156, is amended to read:


518.156 COMMENCEMENT OF CUSTODY PROCEEDING.

Subdivision 1.

Procedure.

In a court of this state which has jurisdiction to decide
child custody matters, a child custody proceeding is commenced by a parent:

(1) by filing a petition for dissolution or legal separation; or

(2) where a decree of dissolution or legal separation has been entered or where none
is sought, or when paternity has been recognized under section 257.75, by filing a petition
or motion seeking custodynew text begin, residence,new text end or parenting time with the child in the county where
the child is permanently resident or where the child is found or where an earlier order
for custody of the child has been entered.

Subd. 2.

Required notice.

Written notice of a child custodynew text begin, residence,new text end 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.

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.157, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Attendance.

In a proceeding under this chapter where new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin,
residence,
new text end or parenting time is contested, the parents of a minor child shall attend a
minimum of eight hours in an orientation and education program that meets the minimum
standards promulgated by the Minnesota Supreme Court. In all other proceedings
involving new text beginlegal new text endcustody, new text beginresidence, new text endsupport, or parenting time the court may order the
parents of a minor child to attend a parent education program. The program shall provide
the court with names of persons who fail to attend the parent education program as
ordered by the court. Persons who are separated or contemplating involvement in a
dissolution, paternity, new text beginlegal new text endcustody, new text beginresidence, new text endor parenting time proceeding may attend a
parent education program without a court order. Unless otherwise ordered by the court,
participation in a parent education program must begin within 30 days after the first
filing with the court or as soon as practicable after that time based on the reasonable
availability of classes for the program for the parent. Parent education programs must
offer an opportunity to participate at all phases of a pending or postdecree proceeding.
Upon request of a party and a showing of good cause, the court may excuse the party
from attending the program. If past or present domestic abuse, as defined in chapter
518B, is alleged, the court shall not require the parties to attend the same parent education
sessions and shall enter an order setting forth the manner in which the parties may safely
participate in the program.

Sec. 19.

Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, section 518.165, subdivision 1, is
amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Permissive appointment of guardian ad litem.

In all proceedings
for deleted text beginchilddeleted text end new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin, residence,new text end or for dissolution or legal separation where new text beginlegal
new text endcustodynew text begin, residence,new text end or parenting time with a minor child is in issue, the court may appoint
a guardian ad litem from a panel established by the court to represent the interests of the
child. The guardian ad litem shall advise the court with respect to new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin, residence,new text end
and parenting time.

Sec. 20.

Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, section 518.165, subdivision 2, is
amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Required appointment of guardian ad litem.

In all proceedings for deleted text beginchilddeleted text end
new text begin legal new text endcustodynew text begin or residencenew text end or for marriage dissolution or legal separation in which new text beginlegal
new text endcustodynew text begin, residence,new text end or parenting time with a minor child is an issue, if the court has reason
to believe that the minor child is a victim of domestic child abuse or neglect, as those
terms are defined in sections 260C.007 and 626.556, respectively, the court shall appoint
a guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem shall represent the interests of the child and
advise the court with respect to new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin, residence,new text end and parenting time. If the child is
represented by a guardian ad litem in any other pending proceeding, the court may appoint
that guardian to represent the child in the new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin, residence,new text end or parenting time
proceeding. No guardian ad litem need be appointed if the alleged domestic child abuse or
neglect is before the court on a juvenile dependency and neglect petition. Nothing in this
subdivision requires the court to appoint a guardian ad litem in any proceeding for deleted text beginchilddeleted text end
new text begin legal new text endcustody, new text beginresidence, new text endmarriage dissolution, or legal separation in which an allegation of
domestic child abuse or neglect has not been made.

Sec. 21.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.166, is amended to read:


518.166 INTERVIEWS.

The court may interview the child in chambers to ascertain the child's reasonable
preference as to new text beginlegal new text endcustodiannew text begin or residencenew text end, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient
age to express preference. The court shall permit counsel to be present at the interview
and shall permit counsel to propound reasonable questions to the child either directly or
through the court. The court shall cause a record of the interview to be made and to be
made part of the record in the case unless waived by the parties.

In contested new text beginlegal new text endcustody new text beginor residence determination new text endproceedings, and in other
new text begin legal new text endcustody new text beginor residence determination new text endproceedings if a parent or the child's custodian
requests, the court may seek the recommendations of professional personnel whether or
not they are employed on a regular basis by the court. The recommendations given shall
be in writing and shall be made available by the court to counsel upon request. Counsel
may call for cross-examination of professional personnel consulted by the court.

Sec. 22.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.167, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Court order.

In contested new text beginlegal new text endcustody new text beginor residence determination
new text endproceedings, and in other new text beginlegal new text endcustody new text beginor residence determination new text endproceedings if a parent
deleted text begin ordeleted text endnew text begin,new text end the child's new text beginlegal new text endcustodiannew text begin, or the party with whom the child residesnew text end requests, the
court may order an investigation and report concerning new text beginlegal new text endcustodial new text beginand residential
new text endarrangements for the child. If the county elects to conduct an investigation, the county
may charge a fee. The investigation and report may be made by the county welfare agency
or department of court services.

Sec. 23.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, 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 new text beginlegal
new text endcustodial new text beginor residential new text endarrangements 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 new text beginlegal new text endcustodian or guardian.

(b) The report submitted by the investigator must consider and evaluate the factors in
section 518.17, subdivision 1, and include a detailed analysis of all information considered
for each factor. If joint new text beginlegal new text endcustody new text beginor a substantially equivalent shared residential
arrangement
new text endis contemplated or sought, the report must consider and evaluate the factors
in section 518.17, subdivision 2, state the position of each party and the investigator's
recommendation and the reason for the recommendation, and reference established means
for dispute resolution between the parties.

Sec. 24.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.17, is amended to read:


518.17 CUSTODY AND SUPPORT OF CHILDREN ON JUDGMENT.

Subdivision 1.

The best interests of the child.

(a) "The best interests of the child"
means all relevant factors to be considered and evaluated by the court including:

(1) the wishes of the child's parent or parents as to new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin or a residential
arrangement
new text end;

(2) the reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of
sufficient age to express preference;

(3) the child's primary caretaker;

(4) the intimacy of the relationship between each parent and the child;

(5) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with a parent or parents, siblings,
and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;

(6) the child's adjustment to home, school, and community;

(7) the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and
the desirability of maintaining continuity;

(8) the permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed deleted text begincustodial homedeleted text endnew text begin
residential arrangement
new text end;

(9) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved; except that a
disability, as defined in section 363A.03, of a proposed custodian or the child shall not be
determinative of the new text beginlegal new text endcustody new text begin or the residential arrangement new text endof the child, unless the
proposed deleted text begincustodialdeleted text end arrangement is not in the best interest of the child;

(10) the capacity and disposition of the parties to give the child love, affection,
and guidance, and to continue educating and raising the child in the child's culture and
religion or creed, if any;

(11) the child's cultural background;

(12) the effect on the child of the actions of an abuser, if related to domestic abuse,
as defined in section 518B.01, that has occurred between the parents or between a parent
and another individual, whether or not the individual alleged to have committed domestic
abuse is or ever was a family or household member of the parent; and

(13) except in cases in which a finding of domestic abuse as defined in section
518B.01 has been made, the disposition of each parent to encourage and permit frequent
and continuing contact by the other parent with the child.

The court may not use one factor to the exclusion of all others. The primary
caretaker factor may not be used as a presumption in determining the best interests of the
child. The court must make detailed findings on each of the factors and explain how the
factors led to its conclusions and to the determination of the best interests of the child.

(b) The court shall not consider conduct of a deleted text beginproposed custodiandeleted text end new text beginparty new text endthat does not
affect the deleted text begincustodian'sdeleted text end new text beginparty's new text endrelationship to the child.

Subd. 1a.

Evidence of false allegations of child abuse.

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

Subd. 2.

Factors when joint custody is sought.

In addition to the factors listed in
subdivision 1, where deleted text begineitherdeleted text end joint legal deleted text beginor joint physicaldeleted text end custody is contemplated or sought,
the court shall consider the following relevant factors:

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

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

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

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

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 deleted text beginor physicaldeleted text end custody is not in the best interests
of the child if domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01, has occurred between the
parents.

If the court awards joint legal deleted text beginor physicaldeleted text end custody over the objection of a party, the
court shall make detailed findings on each of the factors in this subdivision and explain
how the factors led to its determination that joint custody would be in the best interests of
the child.

Subd. 3.

Custody order.

(a) Upon 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) deleted text begintheir physical custody and residencedeleted text endnew text begin the parenting time schedule for the childrennew text end;
and

(3) their support. In determining custody, the court shall consider 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 following rights to each of the parties, unless specific
findings are made under section 518.68, subdivision 1. Each party has the right of access
to, and to receive copies of, school, medical, dental, religious training, and other important
records and information about the minor children. Each party has the right of access to
information regarding health or dental insurance available to the minor children. Each
party shall keep the other party informed as to the name and address of the school of
attendance of the minor children. Each party has the right to be informed by school
officials about the children's welfare, educational progress and status, and to attend school
and parent-teacher conferences. The school is not required to hold a separate conference
for each party. In case of an accident or serious illness of a minor child, each party shall
notify the other party of the accident or illness, and the name of the health care provider
and the place of treatment. Each party has the right to reasonable access and telephone
contact with the minor children. 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.

new text begin (c) If it is necessary for the purpose of interstate or foreign enforcement of a custody
order or for the purpose of determining eligibility for public assistance, the party with
more parenting time under the order must be considered the primary physical custodian. If
the parties have equal parenting time, they must be considered joint physical custodians.
new text end

Subd. 6.

Departure from guidelines based on joint custody.

An award of joint
legal custody is not a reason for departure from the guidelines in section 518A.35.

Sec. 25.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.1705, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Plan elements.

(a) A parenting plan must include the following:

(1) a schedule of the time each parent spends with the child;

(2) a designation of decision-making responsibilities regarding the child; and

(3) a method of dispute resolution.

(b) A parenting plan may include other issues and matters the parents agree to
regarding the child.

(c) Parents voluntarily agreeing to parenting plans may substitute deleted text beginother termsdeleted text end
new text begin another term new text endfor deleted text beginphysical anddeleted text end legal custody, including designations of joint or sole custody,
provided that the deleted text begintermsdeleted text end new text beginterm new text endused in the substitution deleted text beginaredeleted text end new text beginis new text enddefined in the parenting plan.

Sec. 26.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.1705, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Custody designation.

A final judgment and decree that includes a
parenting plan using new text beginan new text endalternate deleted text begintermsdeleted text end new text beginterm new text endto designate decision-making responsibilities
deleted text begin or allocation of residential timedeleted text end between the parents must new text beginalso new text enddesignate deleted text beginwhether the
parents have joint legal custody or joint physical custody or which parent has sole legal
custody or sole physical custody, or both
deleted text endnew text begin legal custody and physical custodynew text end. This
designation is solely for new text begininterstate and foreign new text endenforcement of the final judgment and
decree deleted text beginwhere this designation is required for that enforcementdeleted text end and has no effect under the
laws of this state, any other state, or another country that do not require this designationdeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin
for enforcement. The designation of legal custody must be consistent with the terms of
the decree regarding the responsibilities for making decisions regarding the children and
the definitions of sole and joint legal custody in section 518.003, subdivision 3. The
party with more parenting time under the decree must be designated as the primary
physical custodian. If the parties have equal parenting time, they must be designated as
joint physical custodians.
new text end

Sec. 27.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, 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 deleted text beginor the time each parent spends
with the child
deleted text end 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 518.17 or 257.025, as applicable, for deciding a motion for
modification that would change deleted text beginthe child's primary residencedeleted text endnew text begin which parent has more
parenting time
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. 28.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.175, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Modification of parenting plan or order for parenting time.

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 deleted text beginthe child's primary residencedeleted text endnew text begin which parent has
more parenting time
new text end. 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.

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.

Sec. 29.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, 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 deleted text beginthe child's
primary residence
deleted text end new text beginwhich parent has more parenting time new text endunless 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 child. In
applying these standards the court shall retain the custody arrangement or the parenting
plan provision specifying deleted text beginthe child's primary residencedeleted text end new text beginwhich parent has more parenting
time
new text endthat was established by the prior order unless:

(i) the court finds that a change in the custody arrangement or deleted text beginprimary residencedeleted text end
new text begin the parent with more parenting time new text endis in the best interests of the child and the parties
previously agreed, in a writing approved by a court, to apply the best interests standard in
section 518.17 or 257.025, as applicable; 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 the deleted text beginprimary custodialdeleted text end parent new text beginwith more parenting
time
new text endto move the residence of the child to another state, and deleted text beginthe primary custodialdeleted text end new text beginthat
new text endparent has relocated to another state despite the deleted text begincourt'sdeleted text end ordernew text begin of the courtnew text end.

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.

deleted text begin (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.
deleted text end

Sec. 30.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.26, subdivision 14, is amended to read:


Subd. 14.

Obligor.

"Obligor" means a person obligated to pay maintenance or
support. A person who has deleted text beginprimary physical custody ofdeleted text end new text beginmore parenting time with new text enda child is
presumed not to be an obligor for purposes of a child support order under section 518A.34,
unless section 518A.36, subdivision 3, applies or the court makes specific written findings
to overcome this presumption. For purposes of ordering medical support under section
518A.41, a parent who has deleted text beginprimary physical custody ofdeleted text end new text beginmore parenting time with new text enda child
may be an obligor subject to a payment agreement under section 518A.69.

Sec. 31.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.36, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

General.

(a) The parenting expense adjustment under this section
reflects the presumption that while exercising parenting time, a parent is responsible for
and incurs costs of caring for the child, including, but not limited to, food, transportation,
recreation, and household expenses. Every child support order shall specify the percentage
of parenting time granted to or presumed for each parent. For purposes of this section,
the percentage of parenting time means the percentage of time a child is scheduled to
spend with the parent during a calendar year according to a court order. Parenting time
includes time with the child whether it is designated as visitationdeleted text begin, physical custody,deleted text end or
parenting time. 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 where the child is
deleted text begin in the parent's physical custody anddeleted text end under the direct care of the parent 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.

(b) If there is not a court order awarding parenting time, the court shall determine
the child support award without consideration of the parenting expense adjustment. If a
parenting time order is subsequently issued or is issued in the same proceeding, then the
child support order shall include application of the parenting expense adjustment.

Sec. 32.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518B.01, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Relief by the court.

(a) Upon notice and hearing, the court may provide
relief as follows:

(1) restrain the abusing party from committing acts of domestic abuse;

(2) exclude the abusing party from the dwelling which the parties share or from the
residence of the petitioner;

(3) exclude the abusing party from a reasonable area surrounding the dwelling or
residence, which area shall be described specifically in the order;

(4) award temporary new text beginlegal new text endcustody or establish temporary parenting time with regard
to minor children of the parties on a basis which gives primary consideration to the safety
of the victim and the childrennew text begin, including granting exclusive parenting time to the victimnew text end.
In addition to the primary safety considerations, the court may consider particular best
interest factors that are found to be relevant to the temporary new text beginlegal new text endcustody and parenting
time award. Findings under section 257.025, 518.17, or 518.175 are not required with
respect to the particular best interest factors not considered by the court. If the court
finds that the safety of the victim or the children will be jeopardized by unsupervised or
unrestricted parenting time, the court shall condition or restrict parenting time as to time,
place, duration, or supervision, or deny parenting time entirely, as needed to guard the
safety of the victim and the children. The court's decision on custody and parenting time
shall in no way delay the issuance of an order for protection granting other relief provided
for in this section. The court must not enter a parenting plan under section 518.1705 as
part of an action for an order for protection;

(5) on the same basis as is provided in chapter 518 or 518A, establish temporary
support for minor children or a spouse, and order the withholding of support from the
income of the person obligated to pay the support according to chapter 518A;

(6) provide upon request of the petitioner counseling or other social services for the
parties, if married, or if there are minor children;

(7) order the abusing party to participate in treatment or counseling services,
including requiring the abusing party to successfully complete a domestic abuse
counseling program or educational program under section 518B.02;

(8) award temporary use and possession of property and 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;

(9) exclude the abusing party from the place of employment of the petitioner, or
otherwise limit access to the petitioner by the abusing party at the petitioner's place of
employment;

(10) order the abusing party to pay restitution to the petitioner;

(11) order the continuance of all currently available insurance coverage without
change in coverage or beneficiary designation; and

(12) order, in its discretion, other relief as it deems necessary for the protection of
a family or household member, including orders or directives to the sheriff or other law
enforcement or corrections officer as provided by this section.

(b) Any relief granted by the order for protection shall be for a fixed period not to
exceed one year, except when the court determines a longer fixed period is appropriate.
When a referee presides at the hearing on the petition, the order granting relief becomes
effective upon the referee's signature.

(c) An order granting the relief authorized in paragraph (a), clause (1), may not be
vacated or modified in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, except
that the court may hear a motion for modification of an order for protection concurrently
with a proceeding for dissolution of marriage upon notice of motion and motion. The
notice required by court rule shall not be waived. If the proceedings are consolidated
and the motion to modify is granted, a separate order for modification of an order for
protection shall be issued.

(d) An order granting the relief authorized in paragraph (a), clause (2) or (3), is not
voided by the admittance of the abusing party into the dwelling from which the abusing
party is excluded.

(e) If a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation is pending between
the parties, the court shall provide a copy of the order for protection to the court with
jurisdiction over the dissolution or separation proceeding for inclusion in its file.

(f) An order for restitution issued under this subdivision is enforceable as civil
judgment.

Sec. 33.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518B.01, subdivision 17, is amended to read:


Subd. 17.

Effect on new text beginlegal new text endcustodynew text begin, residence, and parenting time new text endproceedings.

In a subsequent deleted text begincustodydeleted text end proceeding new text beginto determine legal custody, residence, and parenting
time,
new text endthe court must consider a finding in a proceeding under this chapter or under a
similar law of another state that domestic abuse has occurred between the parties.

Sec. 34. new text begin REPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 518.176, subdivision 1; and 518A.26, subdivision
17,
new text end new text begin are repealed.
new text end