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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 531

as introduced - 80th Legislature (1997 - 1998) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
  1.1                          A bill for an act 
  1.2             relating to family law; providing for consideration of 
  1.3             exposure to tobacco smoke in custody and visitation 
  1.4             decisions; amending Minnesota Statutes 1996, sections 
  1.5             518.17, subdivision 1; and 518.175, subdivision 1. 
  1.7      Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.17, 
  1.8   subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
  1.9      Subdivision 1.  [THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD.] (a) "The 
  1.10  best interests of the child" means all relevant factors to be 
  1.11  considered and evaluated by the court including: 
  1.12     (1) the wishes of the child's parent or parents as to 
  1.13  custody; 
  1.14     (2) the reasonable preference of the child, if the court 
  1.15  deems the child to be of sufficient age to express preference; 
  1.16     (3) the child's primary caretaker; 
  1.17     (4) the intimacy of the relationship between each parent 
  1.18  and the child; 
  1.19     (5) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with 
  1.20  a parent or parents, siblings, and any other person who may 
  1.21  significantly affect the child's best interests; 
  1.22     (6) the child's adjustment to home, school, and community; 
  1.23     (7) the length of time the child has lived in a stable, 
  1.24  satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining 
  1.25  continuity; 
  2.1      (8) the permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or 
  2.2   proposed custodial home; 
  2.3      (9) the mental and physical health of all individuals 
  2.4   involved; except that a disability, as defined in section 
  2.5   363.01, of a proposed custodian or the child shall not be 
  2.6   determinative of the custody of the child, unless the proposed 
  2.7   custodial arrangement is not in the best interest of the child; 
  2.8      (10) the capacity and disposition of the parties to give 
  2.9   the child love, affection, and guidance, and to continue 
  2.10  educating and raising the child in the child's culture and 
  2.11  religion or creed, if any; 
  2.12     (11) the child's cultural background; 
  2.13     (12) whether the child will be exposed to tobacco smoke in 
  2.14  the proposed custodial arrangement; 
  2.15     (13) the effect on the child of the actions of an abuser, 
  2.16  if related to domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01, 
  2.17  that has occurred between the parents; and 
  2.18     (13) (14) except in cases in which a finding of domestic 
  2.19  abuse as defined in section 518B.01 has been made, the 
  2.20  disposition of each parent to encourage and permit frequent and 
  2.21  continuing contact by the other parent with the child. 
  2.22     The court may not use one factor to the exclusion of all 
  2.23  others.  The primary caretaker factor may not be used as a 
  2.24  presumption in determining the best interests of the child.  The 
  2.25  court must make detailed findings on each of the factors and 
  2.26  explain how the factors led to its conclusions and to the 
  2.27  determination of the best interests of the child.  
  2.28     (b) The court shall not consider conduct of a proposed 
  2.29  custodian that does not affect the custodian's relationship to 
  2.30  the child. 
  2.31     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1996, section 518.175, 
  2.32  subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
  2.33     Subdivision 1.  [GENERAL.] (a) In all proceedings for 
  2.34  dissolution or legal separation, subsequent to the commencement 
  2.35  of the proceeding and continuing thereafter during the minority 
  2.36  of the child, the court shall, upon the request of either 
  3.1   parent, grant such rights of visitation on behalf of the child 
  3.2   and noncustodial parent as will enable the child and the 
  3.3   noncustodial parent to maintain a child to parent relationship 
  3.4   that will be in the best interests of the child.  If the court 
  3.5   finds, after a hearing, that visitation is likely to endanger 
  3.6   the child's physical or emotional health or impair the child's 
  3.7   emotional development, the court shall restrict visitation by 
  3.8   the noncustodial parent as to time, place, duration, or 
  3.9   supervision and may deny visitation entirely, as the 
  3.10  circumstances warrant.  The court may condition visitation on 
  3.11  protecting the child from exposure to tobacco smoke.  The court 
  3.12  shall consider the age of the child and the child's relationship 
  3.13  with the noncustodial parent prior to the commencement of the 
  3.14  proceeding.  A parent's failure to pay support because of the 
  3.15  parent's inability to do so shall not be sufficient cause for 
  3.16  denial of visitation. 
  3.17     (b) The court may provide that a law enforcement officer or 
  3.18  other appropriate person will accompany a party seeking to 
  3.19  enforce or comply with visitation. 
  3.20     (c) Upon request of either party, to the extent practicable 
  3.21  a visitation order must include a specific schedule for 
  3.22  visitation, including the frequency and duration of visitation 
  3.23  and visitation during holidays and vacations, unless visitation 
  3.24  is restricted, denied, or reserved. 
  3.25     (d) The court administrator shall provide a form for a pro 
  3.26  se motion regarding visitation disputes, which includes 
  3.27  provisions for indicating the relief requested, an affidavit in 
  3.28  which the party may state the facts of the dispute, and a brief 
  3.29  description of the visitation expeditor process under section 
  3.30  518.1751.  The form may not include a request for a change of 
  3.31  custody.  The court shall provide instructions on serving and 
  3.32  filing the motion.