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CHAPTER 518. MARRIAGE DISSOLUTION

Table of Sections
SectionHeadnote
518.001Repealed, 1978 c 699 s 17
518.002MEANING OF DIVORCE.
518.003DEFINITIONS.
518.005RULES GOVERNING PROCEEDINGS.
518.01VOID MARRIAGES.
518.02VOIDABLE MARRIAGES.
518.03ACTION TO ANNUL; DECREE.
518.04INSUFFICIENT GROUNDS FOR ANNULMENT.
518.05ANNULMENT; WHEN TO BRING.
518.055PUTATIVE SPOUSE.

PROCEEDINGS

518.06DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE; LEGAL SEPARATION; GROUNDS; UNCONTESTED LEGAL SEPARATION.
518.07RESIDENCE OF PARTIES.
518.08Repealed, 1974 c 107 s 29
518.09PROCEEDING; HOW AND WHERE BROUGHT; VENUE.
518.091SUMMONS; TEMPORARY RESTRAINING PROVISIONS; NOTICE REGARDING PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS.
518.10REQUISITES OF PETITION.
518.11SERVICE; ALTERNATE SERVICE; PUBLICATION.
518.111Renumbered 518A.48
518.12TIME FOR ANSWERING.
518.13FAILURE TO ANSWER; FINDINGS; HEARING.
518.131TEMPORARY ORDERS AND RESTRAINING ORDERS.
518.135Repealed, 1979 c 259 s 35
518.14COSTS AND DISBURSEMENTS; ATTORNEY FEES; COLLECTION COSTS.
518.145DECREE, FINALITY AND REOPENING.
518.146SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS; TAX RETURNS; IDENTITY PROTECTION.
518.147Repealed, 2000 c 372 s 3
518.148CERTIFICATION OF DISSOLUTION.
518.15Repealed, 1978 c 772 s 63
518.155CUSTODY DETERMINATIONS.
518.156COMMENCEMENT OF CUSTODY PROCEEDING.
518.157PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAM IN PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING CHILDREN.
518.158Repealed, 2002 c 304 s 12
518.16Repealed, 1979 c 259 s 35
518.165GUARDIANS FOR MINOR CHILDREN.
518.166INTERVIEWS.
518.167INVESTIGATIONS AND REPORTS.
518.168HEARINGS.
518.17CUSTODY AND SUPPORT OF CHILDREN ON JUDGMENT.
518.1705PARENTING PLANS.
518.171Repealed, 2005 c 164 s 31; 2006 c 280 s 43
518.175PARENTING TIME.
518.1751PARENTING TIME DISPUTE RESOLUTION.
518.1752GRANDPARENT VISITATION.
518.176JUDICIAL SUPERVISION.
518.177NOTIFICATION REGARDING DEPRIVATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS LAW.
518.178PARENTING TIME AND SUPPORT REVIEW HEARING.
518.1781SIX-MONTH REVIEW.
518.179PARTICIPATION IN A PARENTING PLAN WHEN PERSON CONVICTED OF CERTAIN OFFENSES.
518.18MODIFICATION OF ORDER.
518.183REPLACING CERTAIN ORDERS.
518.185AFFIDAVIT PRACTICE.
518.19Repealed, 1951 c 551 s 15
518.191SUMMARY REAL ESTATE DISPOSITION JUDGMENT.
518.195SUMMARY DISSOLUTION PROCESS.
518.20Repealed, 1951 c 551 s 15
518.21Repealed, 1951 c 551 s 15
518.22Repealed, 1951 c 551 s 15
518.23Repealed, 1951 c 551 s 15
518.24Renumbered 518A.71
518.25REMARRIAGE; REVOCATION.
518.255Renumbered 518A.47
518.26Repealed, 1974 c 107 s 29
518.27NAME OF PARTY.
518.28Repealed, 1974 c 107 s 29
518.29Repealed, 1978 c 772 s 63
518.41Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.42Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.43Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.44Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.45Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.46Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.47Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.48Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.49Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.491Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.50Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.51Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.52Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37
518.53Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37

MAINTENANCE, SUPPORT, PROPERTY

518.54
518.55
518.551POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION TRUST FUND.
518.5511Repealed, 1999 c 196 art 2 s 24
518.5512Repealed, 1999 c 196 art 2 s 24
518.5513Renumbered 518A.46
518.552MAINTENANCE.
518.553Renumbered 518A.69
518.56Repealed, 1969 c 1028 s 9
518.561Repealed, 1995 c 257 art 1 s 36
518.57Renumbered 518A.38
518.575Renumbered 518A.74
518.58DIVISION OF MARITAL PROPERTY.
518.581SURVIVING SPOUSE BENEFIT.
518.582PROCEDURE FOR VALUING PENSION BENEFITS OR RIGHTS.
518.583Repealed, 2000 c 372 s 3
518.585Renumbered 518A.59
518.5851Renumbered 518A.54
518.5852Renumbered 518A.55
518.5853Renumbered 518A.56
518.59Repealed, 1978 c 772 s 63
518.60Repealed, 1969 c 1028 s 9
518.61Renumbered 518A.63
518.611Repealed, 1997 c 203 art 6 s 93
518.6111Renumbered 518A.53
518.612INDEPENDENCE OF PROVISIONS OF DECREE OR TEMPORARY ORDER.
518.613Repealed, 1997 c 203 art 6 s 93
518.614Renumbered 518A.58
518.615Renumbered 518A.73
518.616Renumbered 518A.64
518.617Renumbered 518A.72
518.618Renumbered 518A.76
518.619CUSTODY OR VISITATION; MEDIATION SERVICES.
518.6195Renumbered 518A.60
518.6196Renumbered 518A.61
518.6197Renumbered 518A.62
518.62TEMPORARY MAINTENANCE.
518.63HOMESTEAD, OCCUPANCY.
518.64
518.641
518.642Renumbered 518A.52
518.645Repealed, 1997 c 203 art 6 s 93
518.646Renumbered 518A.57
518.65PROPERTY; SALE, PARTITION.
518.66POWER OF COURT NOT LIMITED.
518.67Repealed, 1978 c 772 s 63
518.68REQUIRED NOTICES.
518.7123Renumbered 518A.29
518.7124Renumbered 518A.32
518.7125Renumbered 518A.30
518.713Renumbered 518A.34
518.714Renumbered 518A.43
518.715Renumbered 518A.37
518.716Renumbered 518A.77
518.717Renumbered 518A.33
518.718Renumbered 518A.31
518.719Renumbered 518A.41
518.72Renumbered 518A.40
518.722Renumbered 518A.36
518.724Renumbered 518A.42
518.725Renumbered 518A.35
518.729Renumbered 518A.78
518.001 [Repealed, 1978 c 699 s 17]
518.002 MEANING OF DIVORCE.
Wherever the word "divorce" is used in the statutes, it has the same meaning as "dissolution"
or "dissolution of marriage."
History: 1974 c 107 s 28
518.003 DEFINITIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Scope. For the purposes of this chapter and chapter 518A, the following terms
have the meanings provided in this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
    Subd. 2.[Renumbered subd 9]
    Subd. 3. Custody. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties:
(a) "Legal custody" means the right to determine the child's upbringing, including education,
health care, and religious training.
(b) "Joint legal custody" means that both parents have equal rights and responsibilities,
including the right to participate in major decisions determining the child's upbringing, including
education, health care, and religious training.
(c) "Physical custody and residence" means the routine daily care and control and the
residence of the child.
(d) "Joint physical custody" means that the routine daily care and control and the residence
of the child is structured between the parties.
(e) Wherever used in this chapter, the term "custodial parent" or "custodian" means the
person who has the physical custody of the child at any particular time.
(f) "Custody determination" means a court decision and court orders and instructions
providing for the custody of a child, including parenting time, but does not include a decision
relating to child support or any other monetary obligation of any person.
(g) "Custody proceeding" includes proceedings in which a custody determination is one of
several issues, such as an action for dissolution, divorce, or separation, and includes proceedings
involving children who are in need of protection or services, domestic abuse, and paternity.
    Subd. 3a. Maintenance. "Maintenance" means an award made in a dissolution or legal
separation proceeding of payments from the future income or earnings of one spouse for the
support and maintenance of the other.
    Subd. 3b. Marital property; exceptions. "Marital property" means property, real or
personal, including vested public or private pension plan benefits or rights, acquired by the parties,
or either of them, to a dissolution, legal separation, or annulment proceeding at any time during
the existence of the marriage relation between them, or at any time during which the parties were
living together as husband and wife under a purported marriage relationship which is annulled in
an annulment proceeding, but prior to the date of valuation under section 518.58, subdivision
1. All property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage and before the valuation
date is presumed to be marital property regardless of whether title is held individually or by the
spouses in a form of co-ownership such as joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenancy by the
entirety, or community property. Each spouse shall be deemed to have a common ownership in
marital property that vests not later than the time of the entry of the decree in a proceeding for
dissolution or annulment. The extent of the vested interest shall be determined and made final
by the court pursuant to section 518.58. If a title interest in real property is held individually by
only one spouse, the interest in the real property of the nontitled spouse is not subject to claims
of creditors or judgment or tax liens until the time of entry of the decree awarding an interest
to the nontitled spouse. The presumption of marital property is overcome by a showing that
the property is nonmarital property.
    "Nonmarital property" means property real or personal, acquired by either spouse before,
during, or after the existence of their marriage, which
    (a) is acquired as a gift, bequest, devise or inheritance made by a third party to one but not
to the other spouse;
    (b) is acquired before the marriage;
    (c) is acquired in exchange for or is the increase in value of property which is described in
clauses (a), (b), (d), and (e);
    (d) is acquired by a spouse after the valuation date; or
    (e) is excluded by a valid antenuptial contract.
    Subd. 4. Mediation. "Mediation" means a process in which an impartial third party facilitates
an agreement between two or more parties in a proceeding.
    Subd. 5. Parenting time. "Parenting time" means the time a parent spends with a child
regardless of the custodial designation regarding the child.
    Subd. 6. Pension plan benefits or rights. "Pension plan benefits or rights" means a benefit
or right from a public or private pension plan accrued to the end of the month in which marital
assets are valued, as determined under the terms of the laws or other plan document provisions
governing the plan, including section 356.30.
    Subd. 7. Private pension plan. "Private pension plan" means a plan, fund, or program
maintained by an employer or employee organization that provides retirement income to
employees or results in a deferral of income by employees for a period extending to the
termination of covered employment or beyond.
    Subd. 8. Public pension plan. "Public pension plan" means a pension plan or fund specified
in section 356.20, subdivision 2, or 356.30, subdivision 3, the deferred compensation plan
specified in section 352.96, or any retirement or pension plan or fund, including a supplemental
retirement plan or fund, established, maintained, or supported by a governmental subdivision or
public body whose revenues are derived from taxation, fees, assessments, or from other public
sources.
    Subd. 9. Residence. "Residence" means the place where a party has established a permanent
home from which the party has no present intention of moving.
History: 1951 c 551 s 1; 1969 c 1028 s 2,3; 1973 c 725 s 74; 1974 c 107 s 18; 1978 c 772 s
48; 1979 c 259 s 2,23,34; 1981 c 349 s 2; 1981 c 360 art 2 s 45; 1982 c 464 s 1; 1983 c 144 s 1;
1986 c 444; 1987 c 157 s 14-16; 1988 c 590 s 1; 1988 c 668 s 15,16; 1989 c 282 art 2 s 189; 1990
c 568 art 2 s 68,69; 1990 c 574 s 6,7; 1992 c 463 s 29; 1993 c 340 s 31; 1994 c 488 s 8; 1995 c
202 art 1 s 25; 1997 c 203 art 6 s 40,41; 1997 c 245 art 3 s 9; 1998 c 382 art 1 s 3-5; 1999 c 107
s 66; 1999 c 196 art 1 s 5; 2000 c 343 s 4; 2000 c 444 art 1 s 1; art 2 s 15; 2005 c 116 s 1-3;
2005 c 164 s 5,29,31; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 26,28; 2006 c 280 s 21,43
518.005 RULES GOVERNING PROCEEDINGS.
    Subdivision 1. Applicable. Unless otherwise specifically provided, the Rules of Civil
Procedure for the district court apply to all proceedings under this chapter.
    Subd. 2. Title. A proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or annulment shall
be entitled "In re the Marriage of .......... and .......... ." A custody or support proceeding shall be
entitled "In re the (Custody) (Support) of .......... ."
    Subd. 3. Names of pleadings. The initial pleading in all proceedings under this chapter
shall be denominated a petition. A responsive pleading shall be denominated an answer. Other
pleadings shall be denominated as provided in the Rules of Civil Procedure.
    Subd. 4. Decree; judgment. In this chapter and chapter 518A, "decree" includes "judgment."
    Subd. 5. Prohibited disclosure. In all proceedings under this chapter and chapter 518A
in which public assistance is assigned under section 256.741 or the public authority provides
services to a party or parties to the proceedings, notwithstanding statutory or other authorization
for the public authority to release private data on the location of a party to the action, information
on the location of one party may not be released by the public authority to the other party if:
(1) the public authority has knowledge that a protective order with respect to the other
party has been entered; or
(2) the public authority has reason to believe that the release of the information may result in
physical or emotional harm to the other party.
    Subd. 6. Filing fee. The first paper filed for a party in all proceedings for dissolution of
marriage, legal separation, or annulment or proceedings to establish child support obligations shall
be accompanied by a filing fee of $50. The fee is in addition to any other prescribed by law or rule.
History: 1978 c 772 s 16; 1979 c 50 s 66,67; 1979 c 259 s 3; 1997 c 203 art 6 s 35; 2005 c
164 s 3,29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28; 2006 c 280 s 9
518.01 VOID MARRIAGES.
All marriages which are prohibited by section 517.03 shall be absolutely void, without any
decree of dissolution or other legal proceedings; except if a person whose husband or wife has
been absent for four successive years, without being known to the person to be living during that
time, marries during the lifetime of the absent husband or wife, the marriage shall be void only
from the time that its nullity is duly adjudged. If the absentee is declared dead in accordance with
section 576.142, the subsequent marriage shall not be void.
History: (8580) RL s 3569; 1937 c 407 s 2; 1963 c 795 s 4; 1974 c 107 s 2; 1974 c 447
s 3; 1978 c 772 s 17
518.02 VOIDABLE MARRIAGES.
A marriage shall be declared a nullity under the following circumstances:
(a) A party lacked capacity to consent to the marriage at the time the marriage was
solemnized, either because of mental incapacity or infirmity and the other party at the time the
marriage was solemnized did not know of the incapacity; or because of the influence of alcohol,
drugs, or other incapacitating substances; or because consent of either was obtained by force or
fraud and there was no subsequent voluntary cohabitation of the parties;
(b) A party lacks the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse
and the other party at the time the marriage was solemnized did not know of the incapacity;
(c) A party was under the age for marriage established by section 517.02.
History: (8581) RL s 3570; 1978 c 772 s 18
518.03 ACTION TO ANNUL; DECREE.
An annulment shall be commenced and the complaint shall be filed and proceedings had
as in proceedings for dissolution. Upon due proof of the nullity of the marriage, it shall be
adjudged null and void.
The provisions of this chapter and chapter 518A relating to property rights of the spouses,
maintenance, support and custody of children on dissolution of marriage are applicable to
proceedings for annulment.
History: (8582) RL s 3571; 1974 c 107 s 3; 1978 c 772 s 19; 2005 c 164 s 29; 1Sp2005 c
7 s 28
518.04 INSUFFICIENT GROUNDS FOR ANNULMENT.
No marriage shall be adjudged a nullity on the ground that one of the parties was under the
age of legal consent if it appears that the parties had voluntarily cohabited together as husband
and wife after having attained such age; nor shall the marriage of any insane person be adjudged
void after restoration to reason, if it appears that the parties freely cohabited together as husband
and wife after such restoration.
History: (8583) RL s 3572; 1986 c 444
518.05 ANNULMENT; WHEN TO BRING.
An annulment may be sought by any of the following persons and must be commenced
within the times specified, but in no event may an annulment be sought after the death of either
party to the marriage:
(a) for a reason set forth in section 518.02, clause (a), by either party or by the legal
representative of the party who lacked capacity to consent, no later than 90 days after the
petitioner obtained knowledge of the described condition;
(b) for the reason set forth in section 518.02, clause (b), by either party no later than one year
after the petitioner obtained knowledge of the described condition;
(c) for the reason set forth in section 518.02, clause (c), by the underaged party, the party's
parent or guardian, before the time the underaged party reaches the age at which the party could
have married without satisfying the omitted requirement.
History: (8584) RL s 3573; 1978 c 772 s 20; 1986 c 444
518.055 PUTATIVE SPOUSE.
Any person who has cohabited with another to whom the person is not legally married in the
good faith belief that the person was married to the other is a putative spouse until knowledge
of the fact that the person is not legally married terminates the status and prevents acquisition
of further rights. A putative spouse acquires the rights conferred upon a legal spouse, including
the right to maintenance following termination of the status, whether or not the marriage is
prohibited or declared a nullity. If there is a legal spouse or other putative spouses, rights acquired
by a putative spouse do not supersede the rights of the legal spouse or those acquired by other
putative spouses, but the court shall apportion property, maintenance, and support rights among
the claimants as appropriate in the circumstances and in the interests of justice.
History: 1978 c 772 s 21; 1986 c 444

PROCEEDINGS

518.06 DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE; LEGAL SEPARATION; GROUNDS;
UNCONTESTED LEGAL SEPARATION.
    Subdivision 1. Meaning and effect; grounds. A dissolution of marriage is the termination
of the marital relationship between a husband and wife. A decree of dissolution completely
terminates the marital status of both parties. A legal separation is a court determination of
the rights and responsibilities of a husband and wife arising out of the marital relationship. A
decree of legal separation does not terminate the marital status of the parties. A dissolution of a
marriage shall be granted by a county or district court when the court finds that there has been an
irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship.
A decree of legal separation shall be granted when the court finds that one or both parties
need a legal separation.
Defenses to divorce, dissolution and legal separation, including but not limited to
condonation, connivance, collusion, recrimination, insanity, and lapse of time, are abolished.
    Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1978 c 772 s 63]
    Subd. 3. Uncontested legal separation. If one or both parties petition for a decree of legal
separation and neither party contests the granting of the decree nor petitions for a decree of
dissolution, the court shall grant a decree of legal separation.
History: (8585) RL s 3574; 1909 c 443 s 1; 1927 c 304 s 1; 1933 c 262 s 1; 1933 c 324;
Ex1934 c 78 s 1; 1935 c 295 s 1; 1941 c 406 s 1; 1951 c 637 s 1; 1969 c 764 s 1; 1971 c 177 s 1;
1974 c 107 s 4; 1978 c 772 s 22,23; 1979 c 259 s 4,5
518.07 RESIDENCE OF PARTIES.
No dissolution shall be granted unless (1) one of the parties has resided in this state, or has
been a member of the armed services stationed in this state, for not less than 180 days immediately
preceding the commencement of the proceeding; or (2) one of the parties has been a domiciliary
of this state for not less than 180 days immediately preceding commencement of the proceeding.
History: (8586) RL s 3575; 1974 c 107 s 5; 1978 c 772 s 24; 1979 c 259 s 6
518.08 [Repealed, 1974 c 107 s 29]
518.09 PROCEEDING; HOW AND WHERE BROUGHT; VENUE.
A proceeding for dissolution or legal separation may be brought by either or both spouses
and shall be commenced by personal service of the summons and petition venued in the county
where either spouse resides. If neither party resides in the state and jurisdiction is based on the
domicile of either spouse, the proceeding may be brought in the county where either party is
domiciled. If neither party resides or is domiciled in this state and jurisdiction is premised upon
one of the parties being a member of the armed services stationed in this state for not less than
180 days immediately preceding the commencement of the proceeding, the proceeding may be
brought in the county where the member is stationed. This venue shall be subject to the power
of the court to change the place of hearing by consent of the parties, or when it appears to the
court that an impartial hearing cannot be had in the county where the proceedings are pending, or
when the convenience of the parties or the ends of justice would be promoted by the change. No
summons shall be required if a joint petition is filed.
History: (8588) RL s 3577; 1931 c 226 s 1; 1974 c 107 s 6; 1978 c 772 s 25; 1979 c 259
s 7; 1981 c 349 s 3
518.091 SUMMONS; TEMPORARY RESTRAINING PROVISIONS; NOTICE
REGARDING PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS.
    Subdivision 1. Temporary restraining orders. (a) Every summons must include the
notice in this subdivision.
NOTICE OF TEMPORARY RESTRAINING AND ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE
RESOLUTION PROVISIONS
UNDER MINNESOTA LAW, SERVICE OF THIS SUMMONS MAKES THE
FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS APPLY TO BOTH PARTIES TO THIS ACTION, UNLESS
THEY ARE MODIFIED BY THE COURT OR THE PROCEEDING IS DISMISSED:
(1) NEITHER PARTY MAY DISPOSE OF ANY ASSETS EXCEPT (i) FOR THE
NECESSITIES OF LIFE OR FOR THE NECESSARY GENERATION OF INCOME OR
PRESERVATION OF ASSETS, (ii) BY AN AGREEMENT IN WRITING, OR (iii) FOR
RETAINING COUNSEL TO CARRY ON OR TO CONTEST THIS PROCEEDING;
(2) NEITHER PARTY MAY HARASS THE OTHER PARTY; AND
(3) ALL CURRENTLY AVAILABLE INSURANCE COVERAGE MUST BE
MAINTAINED AND CONTINUED WITHOUT CHANGE IN COVERAGE OR
BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION.
IF YOU VIOLATE ANY OF THESE PROVISIONS, YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO
SANCTIONS BY THE COURT.
(4) PARTIES TO A MARRIAGE DISSOLUTION PROCEEDING ARE ENCOURAGED
TO ATTEMPT ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PURSUANT TO MINNESOTA
LAW. ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION INCLUDES MEDIATION, ARBITRATION,
AND OTHER PROCESSES AS SET FORTH IN THE DISTRICT COURT RULES. YOU
MAY CONTACT THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR ABOUT RESOURCES IN YOUR AREA.
IF YOU CANNOT PAY FOR MEDIATION OR ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION,
IN SOME COUNTIES, ASSISTANCE MAY BE AVAILABLE TO YOU THROUGH A
NONPROFIT PROVIDER OR A COURT PROGRAM. IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF
DOMESTIC ABUSE OR THREATS OF ABUSE AS DEFINED IN MINNESOTA STATUTES,
CHAPTER 518B, YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO TRY MEDIATION AND YOU WILL NOT
BE PENALIZED BY THE COURT IN LATER PROCEEDINGS.
(b) Upon service of the summons, the restraining provisions contained in the notice apply by
operation of law upon both parties until modified by further order of the court or dismissal of the
proceeding, unless more than one year has passed since the last document was filed with the court.
    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 CUSTODY 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
CUSTODY OR PARENTING PROCEEDINGS. YOU MAY CONTACT THE DISTRICT
COURT ADMINISTRATOR FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING THIS
REQUIREMENT AND THE AVAILABILITY OF PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAMS.
History: 1991 c 271 s 1; 1999 c 104 s 1; 2004 c 273 s 10
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, or custody 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, child custody, disposition 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.
History: (8589) RL s 3578; 1955 c 688 s 1; 1974 c 107 s 7; 1978 c 772 s 26; 1979 c 259 s 8;
1983 c 308 s 14; 1991 c 161 s 2; 1997 c 203 art 6 s 36; 1997 c 239 art 7 s 7; 1999 c 245 art 7 s 7
518.11 SERVICE; ALTERNATE SERVICE; PUBLICATION.
(a) Unless a proceeding is brought by both parties, copies of the summons and petition
shall be served on the respondent personally.
(b) When service is made out of this state and within the United States, it may be proved by
the affidavit of the person making the same. When service is made without the United States it may
be proved by the affidavit of the person making the same, taken before and certified by any United
States minister, charge d'affaires, commissioner, consul or commercial agent, or other consular or
diplomatic officer of the United States appointed to reside in such country, including all deputies
or other representatives of such officer authorized to perform their duties; or before an officer
authorized to administer an oath with the certificate of an officer of a court of record of the country
wherein such affidavit is taken as to the identity and authority of the officer taking the same.
(c) If personal service cannot be made, the court may order service of the summons by
alternate means. The application for alternate service must include the last known location of
the respondent; the petitioner's most recent contacts with the respondent; the last known location
of the respondent's employment; the names and locations of the respondent's parents, siblings,
children, and other close relatives; the names and locations of other persons who are likely to
know the respondent's whereabouts; and a description of efforts to locate those persons.
The court shall consider the length of time the respondent's location has been unknown, the
likelihood that the respondent's location will become known, the nature of the relief sought, and
the nature of efforts made to locate the respondent. The court shall order service by first class
mail, forwarding address requested, to any addresses where there is a reasonable possibility that
mail or information will be forwarded or communicated to the respondent or, if no address so
qualifies, then to the respondent's last known address.
If the petitioner seeks disposition of real estate located within the state of Minnesota, the
court shall order that the summons, which shall contain the legal description of the real estate, be
published in the county where the real estate is located. The court may also order publication,
within or without the state, but only if it might reasonably succeed in notifying the respondent of
the proceeding. Also, the court may require the petitioner to make efforts to locate the respondent
by telephone calls to appropriate persons. Service shall be deemed complete 21 days after mailing
or 21 days after court-ordered publication.
History: (8590) RL s 3579; 1909 c 434; 1913 c 57 s 1; 1974 c 107 s 8; 1978 c 772 s 27;
1994 c 630 art 12 s 2; 1997 c 9 s 5
518.111 [Renumbered 518A.48]
518.12 TIME FOR ANSWERING.
The respondent shall have 30 days in which to answer the petition. In case of service by
publication, the 30 days shall not begin to run until the expiration of the period allowed for
publication. In the case of a counterpetition for dissolution or legal separation to a petition for
dissolution or legal separation, no answer shall be required to the counterpetition and the original
petitioner shall be deemed to have denied each and every statement, allegation and claim in
the counterpetition.
History: (8591) RL s 3580; 1945 c 7 s 1; 1974 c 107 s 9; 1979 c 259 s 9
518.13 FAILURE TO ANSWER; FINDINGS; HEARING.
    Subdivision 1. Default. If the respondent does not appear after service duly made and
proved, the court may hear and determine the proceeding as a default matter.
    Subd. 2. Dispute over irretrievable breakdown. If one of the parties has denied under oath
or affirmation that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall consider all relevant factors,
including the circumstances that gave rise to the commencement of the proceeding and the
prospect of reconciliation, and shall make a finding whether the marriage is irretrievably broken.
A finding of irretrievable breakdown under this subdivision is a determination that there is
no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. The finding must be supported by evidence that (i) the
parties have lived separate and apart for a period of not less than 180 days immediately preceding
the commencement of the proceeding, or (ii) there is serious marital discord adversely affecting
the attitude of one or both of the parties toward the marriage.
    Subd. 3. Agreement over irretrievable breakdown. If both parties by petition or otherwise
have stated under oath or affirmation that the marriage is irretrievably broken, or one of the parties
has so stated and the other has not denied it, the court, after hearing, shall make a finding that
the marriage is irretrievably broken.
    Subd. 4. Referee; open court. The court or judge, upon application, may refer the
proceeding to a referee to take and report the evidence therein. Hearings for dissolution of
marriage shall be heard in open court or before a referee appointed by the court to receive the
testimony of the witnesses, or depositions taken as in other equitable actions. However, the
court may in its discretion close the hearing.
    Subd. 5. Approval without hearing. Proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, order
for judgment, and judgment and decree must be submitted to the court for approval and filing
without a final hearing in the following situations:
(1) if there are no minor children of the marriage, and (i) the parties have entered into a
written stipulation, or (ii) the respondent has not appeared after service duly made and proved
by affidavit and at least 20 days have elapsed since the time for answering under section 518.12
expired; or
(2) if there are minor children of the marriage, the parties have signed and acknowledged a
stipulation, and all parties are represented by counsel.
Notwithstanding clause (1) or (2), the court shall schedule the matter for hearing in any case
where the proposed judgment and decree does not appear to be in the best interests of the minor
children or is contrary to the interests of justice.
History: (8592) RL s 3581; 1974 c 107 s 10; 1978 c 772 s 28; 1979 c 259 s 10; 1991 c 271 s 2
518.131 TEMPORARY ORDERS AND RESTRAINING ORDERS.
    Subdivision 1. Permissible orders. In a proceeding brought for custody, dissolution, or legal
separation, or for disposition of property, maintenance, or child support following the dissolution
of a marriage, either party may, by motion, request from the court and the court may grant a
temporary order pending the final disposition of the proceeding to or for:
(a) Temporary custody and parenting 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.
    Subd. 2. Impermissible orders. No temporary order shall:
(a) Deny parenting time to a parent unless the court finds that the parenting time is likely to
cause physical or emotional harm to the child;
(b) Exclude a party from the family home of the parties unless the court finds that physical or
emotional harm to one of the parties or to the children of the parties is likely to result, or that the
exclusion is reasonable in the circumstances; or
(c) Vacate or modify an order granted under section 518B.01, subdivision 6, paragraph (a),
clause (1), restraining an abusing party from committing acts of domestic abuse, 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.
    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 custody of the
minor children to either party except upon a finding by the court of immediate danger of physical
harm to the minor children of the parties.
    Subd. 4. Hearing on restraining order; duration. Restraining orders shall be personally
served upon the party to be restrained and shall be accompanied with a notice of the time and
place of hearing for disposition of the matters contained in the restraining order at a hearing for
a temporary order. When a restraining order has been issued, a hearing on the temporary order
shall be held at the earliest practicable date. The restrained party may upon written notice to the
other party advance the hearing date to a time earlier than that noticed by the other party. The
restraining order shall continue in full force and effect only until the hearing time noticed, unless
the court, for good cause and upon notice extends the time for hearing.
    Subd. 5. Duration of temporary order. A temporary order shall continue in full force and
effect until the earlier of its amendment or vacation, dismissal of the main action or entry of a
final decree of dissolution or legal separation.
    Subd. 6. Effect of dismissal of main action. If a proceeding for dissolution or legal
separation is dismissed, a temporary custody order is vacated unless one of the parties or the
child's custodian moves that the proceeding continue as a custody proceeding and the court finds,
after a hearing, that the circumstances of the parties and the best interests of the child require that
a custody order be issued.
    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 custody and parenting time), and 518.14 (concerning costs and attorney fees) in
making temporary orders and restraining orders.
    Subd. 8. Basis for order. Temporary orders shall be made solely on the basis of affidavits
and argument of counsel except upon demand by either party in a motion or responsive motion
made within the time limit for making and filing a responsive motion that the matter be heard on
oral testimony before the court, or if the court in its discretion orders the taking of oral testimony.
    Subd. 9. Prejudicial effect; revocation; modification. A temporary order or restraining
order:
(a) Shall not prejudice the rights of the parties or the child which are to be adjudicated at
subsequent hearings in the proceeding; and
(b) May be revoked or modified by the court before the final disposition of the proceeding
upon the same grounds and subject to the same requirements as the initial granting of the order.
    Subd. 10. Misdemeanor. In addition to being punishable by contempt, a violation of a
provision of a temporary order or restraining order granting the relief authorized in subdivision 1,
clause (g), (h), or (i), is a misdemeanor.
    Subd. 11. Temporary support and maintenance. Temporary support and maintenance may
be ordered during the time a parenting plan is being developed under section 518.1705.
History: 1979 c 259 s 11; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 237 s 1; 1987 c 403 art 3 s 76; 1990 c 574 s 8,9;
2000 c 444 art 1 s 2; art 2 s 16-19; 2001 c 7 s 85; 2001 c 51 s 1; 2005 c 164 s 29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28
518.135 [Repealed, 1979 c 259 s 35]
518.14 COSTS AND DISBURSEMENTS; ATTORNEY FEES; COLLECTION COSTS.
    Subdivision 1. General. Except as provided in section 518A.735, in a proceeding under this
chapter or chapter 518A, the court shall award attorney fees, costs, and disbursements in an
amount necessary to enable a party to carry on or contest the proceeding, provided it finds:
(1) that the fees are necessary for the good-faith assertion of the party's rights in the
proceeding and will not contribute unnecessarily to the length and expense of the proceeding;
(2) that the party from whom fees, costs, and disbursements are sought has the means to
pay them; and
(3) that the party to whom fees, costs, and disbursements are awarded does not have the
means to pay them.
Nothing in this section or section 518A.735 precludes the court from awarding, in its discretion,
additional fees, costs, and disbursements against a party who unreasonably contributes to the
length or expense of the proceeding. Fees, costs, and disbursements provided for in this section
and section 518A.735 may be awarded at any point in the proceeding, including a modification
proceeding under sections 518.18 and 518A.39. The court may adjudge costs and disbursements
against either party. The court may authorize the collection of money awarded by execution, or
out of property sequestered, or in any other manner within the power of the court. An award of
attorney's fees made by the court during the pendency of the proceeding or in the final judgment
survives the proceeding and if not paid by the party directed to pay the same may be enforced as
above provided or by a separate civil action brought in the attorney's own name. If the proceeding
is dismissed or abandoned prior to determination and award of attorney's fees, the court may
nevertheless award attorney's fees upon the attorney's motion. The award shall also survive the
proceeding and may be enforced in the same manner as last above provided.
    Subd. 2.[Renumbered 518A.735]
History: (8593) RL s 3582; 1955 c 687 s 1; 1974 c 107 s 11; 1978 c 772 s 30; 1986 c 444;
1990 c 574 s 10; 1993 c 340 s 20; 1994 c 630 art 11 s 5; 1997 c 187 art 2 s 10; 2005 c 164 s
29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28
518.145 DECREE, FINALITY AND REOPENING.
    Subdivision 1. Appeal. A decree of dissolution of marriage or of legal separation is final
when entered, subject to the right of appeal. When entered, the findings of fact and conclusions of
law may constitute the judgment and decree. An appeal from the decree of dissolution that does
not challenge the finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken does not delay the finality of
that provision of the decree which dissolves the marriage beyond the time for appealing from
that provision. A party may remarry before the time for appeal has run if it is not contested that
the marriage is irretrievably broken or if a stipulation that the marriage is irretrievably broken
is incorporated in the decree of dissolution.
    Subd. 2. Reopening. On motion and upon terms as are just, the court may relieve a party
from a judgment and decree, order, or proceeding under this chapter, except for provisions
dissolving the bonds of marriage, annulling the marriage, or directing that the parties are legally
separated, and may order a new trial or grant other relief as may be just for the following reasons:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been discovered in
time to move for a new trial under the Rules of Civil Procedure, rule 59.03;
(3) fraud, whether denominated intrinsic or extrinsic, misrepresentation, or other misconduct
of an adverse party;
(4) the judgment and decree or order is void; or
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged, or a prior judgment and decree
or order upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable
that the judgment and decree or order should have prospective application.
The motion must be made within a reasonable time, and for a reason under clause (1), (2), or
(3), not more than one year after the judgment and decree, order, or proceeding was entered or
taken. A motion under this subdivision does not affect the finality of a judgment and decree or
order or suspend its operation. This subdivision does not limit the power of a court to entertain an
independent action to relieve a party from a judgment and decree, order, or proceeding or to grant
relief to a party not actually personally notified as provided in the Rules of Civil Procedure, or to
set aside a judgment for fraud upon the court.
History: 1978 c 772 s 31; 1979 c 259 s 12; 1981 c 349 s 4; 1988 c 668 s 11
518.146 SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS; TAX RETURNS; IDENTITY PROTECTION.
The Social Security numbers and tax returns required under this chapter and chapter 518A
are not accessible to the public, except that they must be disclosed to the other parties to a
proceeding as provided in section 518A.28.
History: 1999 c 227 s 20; 2005 c 164 s 29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28
518.147 [Repealed, 2000 c 372 s 3]
518.148 CERTIFICATION OF DISSOLUTION.
    Subdivision 1. Certificate of dissolution. An attorney or pro se party may prepare and
submit to the court a separate certificate of dissolution to be attached to the judgment and decree
at the time of granting the dissolution of marriage. Upon approval by the court and filing of the
certificate of dissolution with the court administrator, the court administrator shall provide to any
party upon request certified copies of the certificate of dissolution.
    Subd. 2. Required information. The certificate shall include the following information:
(1) the full caption and file number of the case and the title "Certificate of Dissolution";
(2) the names and any prior or other names of the parties to the dissolution;
(3) the names of any living minor or dependent children as identified in the judgment and
decree;
(4) that the marriage of the parties is dissolved;
(5) the date of the judgment and decree; and
(6) the Social Security number of the parties to the dissolution and the Social Security
number of any living minor or dependent children identified in the judgment and decree.
    Subd. 3. Certification. The certificate of dissolution shall be conclusive evidence of the
facts recited in the certificate.
History: 1991 c 161 s 3; 1997 c 203 art 6 s 37
518.15 [Repealed, 1978 c 772 s 63]
518.155 CUSTODY DETERMINATIONS.
Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a court in which a proceeding for dissolution, legal
separation, or child custody has been commenced shall not issue, revise, modify or amend any
order, pursuant to sections 518.131, 518.165, 518.168, 518.17, 518.175 or 518.18, which affects
the custody of a minor child or the parenting time of a parent unless the court has jurisdiction over
the matter pursuant to the provisions of chapter 518D.
History: 1977 c 8 s 26; 1978 c 772 s 32; 1979 c 259 s 13; 1Sp1981 c 4 art 1 s 179; 1999 c
74 art 3 s 19; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 20; 2001 c 51 s 2
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
custody 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 custody or parenting time or visitation
proceeding shall be given to the child's parent, guardian, and custodian, who may appear and be
heard and may file a responsive pleading. The court may, upon a showing of good cause, permit
the intervention of other interested parties.
History: 1978 c 772 s 33; 1979 c 259 s 14; 1980 c 598 s 4; 1986 c 444; 1990 c 574 s 11;
1992 c 529 s 1; 1Sp1993 c 1 art 6 s 43; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 21; 2002 c 304 s 8
518.157 PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAM IN PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING
CHILDREN.
    Subdivision 1. Implementation; administration. By January 1, 1998, the chief judge
of each judicial district or a designee shall implement one or more parent education programs
within the judicial district for the purpose of educating parents about the impact that divorce, the
restructuring of families, and judicial proceedings have upon children and families; methods for
preventing parenting time conflicts; and dispute resolution options. The chief judge of each
judicial district or a designee may require that children attend a separate education program
designed to deal with the impact of divorce upon children as part of the parent education program.
Each parent education program must enable persons to have timely and reasonable access
to education sessions.
    Subd. 2. Minimum standards; plan. The Minnesota Supreme Court should promulgate
minimum standards for the implementation and administration of a parent education program.
    Subd. 3. Attendance. In a proceeding under this chapter where custody 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 custody, support, 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, custody,
or 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.
    Subd. 4. Sanctions. The court may impose sanctions upon a parent for failure to attend or
complete a parent education program as ordered.
    Subd. 5. Confidentiality. Unless all parties agree in writing, statements made by a party
during participation in a parent education program are inadmissible as evidence for any purpose,
including impeachment. No record may be made regarding a party's participation in a parent
education program, except a record of attendance at and completion of the program as required
under this section. Instructors shall not disclose information regarding an individual participant
obtained as a result of participation in a parent education program. Parent education instructors
may not be subpoenaed or called as witnesses in court proceedings.
    Subd. 6. Fee. Except as provided in this subdivision, each person who attends a parent
education program shall pay a fee to defray the cost of the program. A party who qualifies for
waiver of filing fees under section 563.01 is exempt from paying the parent education program fee
and the court shall waive the fee or direct its payment under section 563.01. Program providers
shall implement a sliding fee scale.
History: 1995 c 127 s 1; 1997 c 245 art 2 s 1; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 22,23; 2004 c 273 s
11; 2006 c 260 art 5 s 47
518.158 [Repealed, 2002 c 304 s 12]
518.16 [Repealed, 1979 c 259 s 35]
518.165 GUARDIANS FOR MINOR CHILDREN.
    Subdivision 1. Permissive appointment of guardian ad litem. In all proceedings for child
custody or for dissolution or legal separation where custody 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
custody and parenting time.
    Subd. 2. Required appointment of guardian ad litem. In all proceedings for child custody
or for marriage dissolution or legal separation in which custody 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 custody 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 custody 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 child custody, marriage dissolution, or legal separation in
which an allegation of domestic child abuse or neglect has not been made.
    Subd. 2a. Responsibilities of guardian ad litem. A guardian ad litem shall carry out the
following responsibilities:
(1) conduct an independent investigation to determine the facts relevant to the situation of
the child and the family, which must include, unless specifically excluded by the court, reviewing
relevant documents; meeting with and observing the child in the home setting and considering the
child's wishes, as appropriate; and interviewing parents, caregivers, and others with knowledge
relevant to the case;
(2) advocate for the child's best interests by participating in appropriate aspects of the case
and advocating for appropriate community services when necessary;
(3) maintain the confidentiality of information related to a case, with the exception of sharing
information as permitted by law to promote cooperative solutions that are in the best interests of
the child;
(4) monitor the child's best interests throughout the judicial proceeding; and
(5) present written reports on the child's best interests that include conclusions and
recommendations and the facts upon which they are based.
    Subd. 3. Fees. (a) A guardian ad litem appointed under either subdivision 1 or 2 may be
appointed either as a volunteer or on a fee basis. If a guardian ad litem is appointed on a fee basis,
the court shall enter an order for costs, fees, and disbursements in favor of the child's guardian ad
litem. The order may be made against either or both parties, except that any part of the costs,
fees, or disbursements which the court finds the parties are incapable of paying shall be borne
by the state courts. The costs of court-appointed counsel to the guardian ad litem shall be paid
by the county in which the proceeding is being held if a party is incapable of paying for them.
Until the recommendations of the task force created in Laws 1999, chapter 216, article 7, section
42, are implemented, the costs of court-appointed counsel to a guardian ad litem in the Eighth
Judicial District shall be paid by the state courts if a party is incapable of paying for them. In no
event may the court order that costs, fees, or disbursements be paid by a party receiving public
assistance or legal assistance or by a party whose annual income falls below the poverty line as
established under United States Code, title 42, section 9902(2).
(b) In each fiscal year, the commissioner of finance shall deposit guardian ad litem
reimbursements in the general fund and credit them to a separate account with the trial courts.
The balance of this account is appropriated to the trial courts and does not cancel but is available
until expended. Expenditures by the state court administrator's office from this account must
be based on the amount of the guardian ad litem reimbursements received by the state from
the courts in each judicial district.
    Subd. 4. Background study of guardian ad litem. (a) The court shall initiate a background
study through the commissioner of human services under section 245C.32 on every guardian
ad litem appointed under this section if a background study has not been completed on the
guardian ad litem within the past three years. The background study must be completed before
the court appoints the guardian ad litem, unless the court determines that it is in the best interest
of the child to appoint a guardian ad litem before a background study can be completed by the
commissioner. The court shall initiate a subsequent background study under this paragraph once
every three years after the guardian has been appointed as long as the individual continues to
serve as a guardian ad litem.
(b) The background study must include criminal history data from the Bureau of Criminal
Apprehension, other criminal history data held by the commissioner of human services, and data
regarding whether the person has been a perpetrator of substantiated maltreatment of a minor or a
vulnerable adult. When the information from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension indicates that
the subject of a study under paragraph (a) is a multistate offender or that the subject's multistate
offender status is undetermined, the court shall require a search of the National Criminal Records
Repository, and shall provide the commissioner a set of classifiable fingerprints of the subject of
the study.
(c) The Minnesota Supreme Court shall pay the commissioner a fee for conducting a
background study under section 245C.32.
(d) Nothing precludes the court from initiating background studies using court data on
criminal convictions.
    Subd. 5. Procedure, criminal history, and maltreatment records background study. (a)
When the court requests a background study under subdivision 4, paragraph (a), the request shall
be submitted to the Department of Human Services through the department's electronic online
background study system.
(b) When the court requests a search of the National Criminal Records Repository, the court
must provide a set of classifiable fingerprints of the subject of the study on a fingerprint card
provided by the commissioner of human services.
(c) The commissioner of human services shall provide the court with information from the
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's Criminal Justice Information System, other criminal history
data held by the commissioner of human services, and data regarding substantiated maltreatment
of a minor under section 626.556, and substantiated maltreatment of a vulnerable adult under
section 626.557, within 15 working days of receipt of a request. If the subject of the study has
been determined by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Health to be the
perpetrator of substantiated maltreatment of a minor or vulnerable adult in a licensed facility,
the response must include a copy of the public portion of the investigation memorandum under
section 626.556, subdivision 10f, or the public portion of the investigation memorandum under
section 626.557, subdivision 12b. When the background study shows that the subject has been
determined by a county adult protection or child protection agency to have been responsible
for maltreatment, the court shall be informed of the county, the date of the finding, and the
nature of the maltreatment that was substantiated. The commissioner shall provide the court
with information from the National Criminal Records Repository within three working days of
the commissioner's receipt of the data. When the commissioner finds no criminal history or
substantiated maltreatment on a background study subject, the commissioner shall make these
results available to the court electronically through the secure online background study system.
(d) Notwithstanding section 626.556, subdivision 10f, or 626.557, subdivision 12b, if the
commissioner or county lead agency has information that a person on whom a background study
was previously done under this section has been determined to be a perpetrator of maltreatment
of a minor or vulnerable adult, the commissioner or the county may provide this information to
the court that requested the background study.
    Subd. 6. Rights. The court shall notify the subject of a background study that the subject has
the following rights:
(1) the right to be informed that the court will request a background study on the subject
for the purpose of determining whether the person's appointment or continued appointment
is in the best interests of the child;
(2) the right to be informed of the results of the study and to obtain from the court a copy of
the results; and
(3) the right to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in
the results to the agency responsible for creation of the data except to the extent precluded by
section 256.045, subdivision 3.
History: 1974 c 33 s 1; 1978 c 772 s 35; 1979 c 259 s 15; 1986 c 469 s 1; 1995 c 226 art 6 s
10; 1999 c 139 art 4 s 2; 1999 c 216 art 7 s 35; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 24,25; 2003 c 112 art 2 s 50;
1Sp2005 c 4 art 1 s 50-52; 2007 c 54 art 5 s 13,14
518.166 INTERVIEWS.
The court may interview the child in chambers to ascertain the child's reasonable preference
as to custodian, 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 custody proceedings, and in other custody proceedings 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.
History: 1978 c 772 s 36; 1979 c 259 s 16; 1986 c 444
518.167 INVESTIGATIONS AND REPORTS.
    Subdivision 1. Court order. In contested custody proceedings, and in other custody
proceedings if a parent or the child's custodian requests, the court may order an investigation
and report concerning custodial arrangements 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.
    Subd. 2. Preparation. (a) In preparing a report concerning a child, the investigator may
consult any person who may have information about the child and the potential custodial
arrangements except for persons involved in mediation efforts between the parties. Mediation
personnel may disclose to investigators and evaluators information collected during mediation
only if agreed to in writing by all parties. Upon order of the court, the investigator may refer the
child to professional personnel for diagnosis. The investigator may consult with and obtain
information from medical, psychiatric, school personnel, or other expert persons who have served
the child in the past after obtaining the consent of the parents or the child's custodian or guardian.
(b) The report submitted by the investigator must 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 custody is 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.
    Subd. 3. Availability to counsel. The court shall mail the investigator's report to counsel and
to any party not represented by counsel at least ten days before the hearing. The investigator shall
maintain and, upon request, make available to counsel and to a party not represented by counsel
the investigator's file of underlying data and reports, complete texts of diagnostic reports made to
the investigator pursuant to the provisions of subdivision 2, and the names and addresses of all
persons whom the investigator has consulted. The investigator and any person the investigator
has consulted is subject to other pretrial discovery in accordance with the requirements of the
Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure. Mediation proceedings are not subject to discovery without
written consent of both parties. A party to the proceeding may call the investigator and any person
whom the investigator has consulted for cross-examination at the hearing. A party may not waive
the right of cross-examination before the hearing.
    Subd. 4. Use at hearing. The investigator's report may be received in evidence at the hearing.
    Subd. 5. Costs. The court shall order all or part of the cost of the investigation and report
to be paid by either or both parties, based on their ability to pay. Any part of the cost that the
court finds the parties are incapable of paying must be borne by the county welfare agency or
department of court services that performs the investigation. The court may not order costs
under this subdivision to be paid by a party receiving public assistance or legal assistance from a
qualified legal services program or by a party whose annual income falls below the poverty line
under United States Code, title 42, section 9902(2).
History: 1978 c 772 s 37; 1984 c 635 s 1; 1986 c 444; 1990 c 574 s 12; 1991 c 271 s
3; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 6 s 57
518.168 HEARINGS.
(a) Custody proceedings shall receive priority in being set for hearing.
(b) The court may tax as costs the payment of necessary travel and other expenses incurred
by a person whose presence at the hearing the court deems necessary to determine the best
interests of the child.
(c) The court without a jury shall determine questions of law and fact. If it finds that a public
hearing may be detrimental to the child's best interests, the court may exclude the public from a
custody hearing, but may admit any person who has a direct interest in the particular case.
(d) If the court finds it necessary for the protection of the child's welfare that the record of an
interview, report, investigation, or testimony in a custody proceeding be kept secret, the court may
make an appropriate order sealing the record.
History: 1978 c 772 s 38
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 custody;
(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 custodial home;
(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 custody of 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 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 proposed custodian that does not affect the
custodian's relationship 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 either joint legal or joint physical 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 or physical custody is not in the best interests of the child if domestic
abuse, as defined in section 518B.01, has occurred between the parents.
If the court awards joint legal or physical 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) their physical custody and residence; 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.
    Subd. 4.[Repealed, 1986 c 406 s 9]
    Subd. 5.[Repealed, 1986 c 406 s 9]
    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.
History: (8596) RL s 3585; 1969 c 1030 s 1; 1971 c 173 s 1; 1974 c 107 s 14; 1974 c 330 s
2; 1978 c 772 s 39; 1979 c 259 s 17; 1981 c 349 s 5; 1983 c 308 s 15; 1984 c 547 s 16; 1984 c
655 art 1 s 73; 1986 c 406 s 1,2; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 106 s 1; 1988 c 662 s 1; 1988 c 668 s 12;
1989 c 248 s 2,3; 1990 c 574 s 13,14; 1991 c 271 s 4; 1992 c 557 s 8; 1993 c 322 s 7; 1994 c 630
art 12 s 4; 1997 c 203 art 9 s 16; 2005 c 164 s 29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28
518.1705 PARENTING PLANS.
    Subdivision 1. Definition. "Domestic abuse" for the purposes of this section has the meaning
given in section 518B.01, subdivision 2.
    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 other terms for physical
and legal custody, including designations of joint or sole custody, provided that the terms used in
the substitution are defined in the parenting plan.
    Subd. 3. Creating parenting plan; restrictions on creation; alternative. (a) Upon the
request of both parents, a parenting plan must be created in lieu of an order for child custody
and parenting time unless the court makes detailed findings that the proposed plan is not in the
best interests of the child.
(b) If both parents do not agree to a parenting plan, the court may create one on its own
motion, except that the court must not do so if it finds that a parent has committed domestic
abuse against a parent or child who is a party to, or subject of, the matter before the court. If the
court creates a parenting plan on its own motion, it must not use alternative terminology unless
the terminology is agreed to by the parties.
(c) If an existing order does not contain a parenting plan, the parents must not be required to
create a parenting plan as part of a modification order under section 518A.39.
(d) A parenting plan must not be required during an action under section 256.87.
(e) If the parents do not agree to a parenting plan and the court does not create one on its own
motion, orders for custody and parenting time must be entered under sections 518.17 and 518.175
or section 257.541, as applicable.
    Subd. 4. Custody designation. A final judgment and decree that includes a parenting plan
using alternate terms to designate decision-making responsibilities or allocation of residential
time between the parents must designate whether the parents have joint legal custody or joint
physical custody or which parent has sole legal custody or sole physical custody, or both. This
designation is solely for enforcement of the final judgment and decree where this designation is
required for that enforcement and has no effect under the laws of this state, any other state, or
another country that do not require this designation.
    Subd. 5. Role of court. If both parents agree to the use of a parenting plan but are unable
to agree on all terms, the court may create a parenting plan under this section. If the court is
considering a parenting plan, it may require each parent to submit a proposed parenting plan at
any time before entry of the final judgment and decree. If parents seek the court's assistance in
deciding the schedule for each parent's time with the child or designation of decision-making
responsibilities regarding the child, the court may order an evaluation and should consider the
appointment of a guardian ad litem. Parenting plans, whether entered on the court's own motion,
following a contested hearing, or reviewed by the court pursuant to a stipulation, must be based
on the best interests factors in section 518.17 or 257.025, as applicable.
    Subd. 6. Restrictions on preparation of parenting plan. (a) Dispute resolution processes
other than the judicial process may not be required in the preparation of a parenting plan if a
parent is alleged to have committed domestic abuse toward a parent or child who is a party to, or
subject of, the matter before the court. In these cases, the court shall consider the appointment of a
guardian ad litem and a parenting plan evaluator.
(b) The court may not require a parenting plan that provides for joint legal custody or use of
dispute resolution processes, other than the judicial process, if the court finds that section 518.179
applies or the court finds that either parent has engaged in the following toward a parent or child
who is a party to, or subject of, the matter before the court:
(1) acts of domestic abuse, including physical harm, bodily injury, and infliction of fear of
physical harm, assault, terroristic threats, or criminal sexual conduct;
(2) physical, sexual, or a pattern of emotional abuse of a child; or
(3) willful abandonment that continues for an extended period of time or substantial refusal
to perform parenting functions.
    Subd. 7. Moving the child to another state. Parents may agree upon the legal standard that
will govern a decision concerning removal of a child's residence from this state, provided that:
    (1) both parents were represented by counsel when the parenting plan was approved; or
    (2) the court found the parents were fully informed, the agreement was voluntary, and the
parents were aware of its implications.
    Subd. 8. Allocation of certain expenses. (a) Parents creating a parenting plan are subject to
the requirements of the child support guidelines under chapter 518A.
(b) Parents may include in the parenting plan an allocation of expenses for the child. The
allocation is an enforceable contract between the parents.
    Subd. 9. Modification of parenting plans. (a) Parents may modify the schedule of the
time each parent spends with the child or the decision-making provisions of a parenting plan by
agreement. To be enforceable, modifications must be confirmed by court order. A motion to
modify decision-making provisions or the time each parent spends with the child may be made
only within the time limits provided by section 518.18.
(b) The parties may agree, but the court must not require them, to apply the best interests
standard in section 518.17 or 257.025, as applicable, for deciding a motion for modification that
would change the child's primary residence, 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.
History: 2000 c 444 art 1 s 3; 2005 c 164 s 29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28; 2006 c 280 s 10
518.171 [Repealed, 2005 c 164 s 31; 2006 c 280 s 43]
518.175 PARENTING TIME.
    Subdivision 1. General. (a) In all proceedings for dissolution or legal separation, subsequent
to the commencement of the proceeding and continuing thereafter during the minority of the
child, the court shall, upon the request of either parent, grant such parenting time on behalf of the
child and a parent as will enable the child and the parent to maintain a child to parent relationship
that will be in the best interests of the child.
If the court finds, after a hearing, that parenting time with a parent is likely to endanger the
child's physical or emotional health or impair the child's emotional development, the court shall
restrict parenting time with that parent as to time, place, duration, or supervision and may deny
parenting time entirely, as the circumstances warrant. The court shall consider the age of the child
and the child's relationship with the parent prior to the commencement of the proceeding.
A parent's failure to pay support because of the parent's inability to do so shall not be
sufficient cause for denial of parenting time.
(b) The court may provide that a law enforcement officer or other appropriate person will
accompany a party seeking to enforce or comply with parenting time.
(c) Upon request of either party, to the extent practicable an order for parenting time must
include a specific schedule for parenting time, including the frequency and duration of visitation
and visitation during holidays and vacations, unless parenting time is restricted, denied, or
reserved.
(d) The court administrator shall provide a form for a pro se motion regarding parenting time
disputes, which includes provisions for indicating the relief requested, an affidavit in which the
party may state the facts of the dispute, and a brief description of the parenting time expeditor
process under section 518.1751. The form may not include a request for a change of custody. The
court shall provide instructions on serving and filing the motion.
(e) In the absence of other evidence, there is a rebuttable presumption that a parent is entitled
to receive at least 25 percent of the parenting time for the child. For purposes of this paragraph,
the percentage of parenting time may be determined by calculating the number of overnights
that a child spends with a parent or by using a method other than overnights if the parent has
significant time periods on separate days when the child is in the parent's physical custody but
does not stay overnight. The court may consider the age of the child in determining whether a
child is with a parent for a significant period of time.
    Subd. 1a. Domestic abuse; supervised parenting time. (a) If a parent requests supervised
parenting time under subdivision 1 or 5 and an order for protection under chapter 518B or a
similar law of another state is in effect against the other parent to protect the parent with whom
the child resides or the child, the judge or judicial officer must consider the order for protection in
making a decision regarding parenting time.
(b) The state court administrator, in consultation with representatives of parents and
other interested persons, shall develop standards to be met by persons who are responsible for
supervising parenting time. Either parent may challenge the appropriateness of an individual
chosen by the court to supervise parenting time.
    Subd. 2. Rights of children and parents. Upon the request of either parent, the court may
inform any child of the parties, if eight years of age or older, or otherwise of an age of suitable
comprehension, of the rights of the child and each parent under the order or decree or any
substantial amendment thereof. The parent with whom the child resides shall present the child for
parenting time with the other parent, at such times as the court directs.
    Subd. 3. Move to another state. (a) The parent with whom the child resides shall not move
the residence of the child to another state except upon order of the court or with the consent of the
other parent, if the other parent has been given parenting time by the decree. If the purpose of the
move is to interfere with parenting time given to the other parent by the decree, the court shall
not permit the child's residence to be moved to another state.
    (b) The court shall apply a best interests standard when considering the request of the parent
with whom the child resides to move the child's residence to another state. The factors the court
must consider in determining the child's best interests include, but are not limited to:
    (1) the nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child's relationship with the
person proposing to relocate and with the nonrelocating person, siblings, and other significant
persons in the child's life;
    (2) the age, developmental stage, needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will
have on the child's physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration
special needs of the child;
    (3) the feasibility of preserving the relationship between the nonrelocating person and the
child through suitable parenting time arrangements, considering the logistics and financial
circumstances of the parties;
    (4) the child's preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child;
    (5) whether there is an established pattern of conduct of the person seeking the relocation
either to promote or thwart the relationship of the child and the nonrelocating person;
    (6) whether the relocation of the child will enhance the general quality of the life for both the
custodial parent seeking the relocation and the child including, but not limited to, financial or
emotional benefit or educational opportunity;
    (7) the reasons of each person for seeking or opposing the relocation; and
    (8) the effect on the safety and welfare of the child, or of the parent requesting to move the
child's residence, of domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01.
    (c) The burden of proof is upon the parent requesting to move the residence of the child to
another state, except that if the court finds that the person requesting permission to move has been
a victim of domestic abuse by the other parent, the burden of proof is upon the parent opposing
the move. The court must consider all of the factors in this subdivision in determining the best
interests of the child.
    Subd. 4.[Repealed, 1996 c 391 art 1 s 6]
    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 the child's primary residence. 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.
    Subd. 6. Remedies. (a) The court may provide for one or more of the following remedies for
denial of or interference with court-ordered parenting time as provided under this subdivision. All
parenting time orders must include notice of the provisions of this subdivision.
(b) If the court finds that a person has been deprived of court-ordered parenting time, the
court shall order the parent who has interfered to allow compensatory parenting time to the other
parent or the court shall make specific findings as to why a request for compensatory parenting
time is denied. If compensatory parenting time is awarded, additional parenting time must be:
(1) at least of the same type and duration as the deprived parenting time and, at the discretion
of the court, may be in excess of or of a different type than the deprived parenting time;
(2) taken within one year after the deprived parenting time; and
(3) at a time acceptable to the parent deprived of parenting time.
(c) If the court finds that a party has wrongfully failed to comply with a parenting time order
or a binding agreement or decision under section 518.1751, the court may:
(1) impose a civil penalty of up to $500 on the party;
(2) require the party to post a bond with the court for a specified period of time to secure the
party's compliance;
(3) award reasonable attorney's fees and costs;
(4) require the party who violated the parenting time order or binding agreement or decision
of the parenting time expeditor to reimburse the other party for costs incurred as a result of the
violation of the order or agreement or decision; or
(5) award any other remedy that the court finds to be in the best interests of the children
involved.
A civil penalty imposed under this paragraph must be deposited in the county general fund
and must be used to fund the costs of a parenting time expeditor program in a county with this
program. In other counties, the civil penalty must be deposited in the state general fund.
(d) If the court finds that a party has been denied parenting time and has incurred expenses in
connection with the denied parenting time, the court may require the party who denied parenting
time to post a bond in favor of the other party in the amount of prepaid expenses associated with
upcoming planned parenting time.
(e) Proof of an unwarranted denial of or interference with duly established parenting time
may constitute contempt of court and may be sufficient cause for reversal of custody.
    Subd. 7.[Renumbered 518.1752]
    Subd. 8. Additional parenting time for child care parent. The court may allow additional
parenting time to a parent to provide child care while the other parent is working if this
arrangement is reasonable and in the best interests of the child, as defined in section 518.17,
subdivision 1
. In addition, the court shall consider:
(1) the ability of the parents to cooperate;
(2) methods for resolving disputes regarding the care of the child, and the parents' willingness
to use those methods; and
(3) whether domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01, has occurred between the parties.
History: 1971 c 172 s 1; 1974 c 107 s 15; 1978 c 772 s 40-42; 1979 c 259 s 18,19; 1982 c 537
s 1; 1986 c 406 s 3; 1986 c 444; 1988 c 668 s 14; 1989 c 248 s 4,5; 1990 c 574 s 15; 1993 c 62 s 2;
1993 c 322 s 9; 1994 c 631 s 31; 1995 c 257 art 1 s 20; 1996 c 391 art 1 s 1,2; 1997 c 239 art 7 s
8,9; 1997 c 245 art 2 s 2; 2000 c 444 art 1 s 4; art 2 s 26-31; 2001 c 51 s 8,17; 2006 c 280 s 11-13
518.1751 PARENTING TIME DISPUTE RESOLUTION.
    Subdivision 1. Parenting time expeditor. Upon request of either party, the parties'
stipulation, or upon the court's own motion, the court may appoint a parenting time expeditor to
resolve parenting time disputes that occur under a parenting time order while a matter is pending
under this chapter, chapter 257 or 518D, or after a decree is entered.
    Subd. 1a. Exceptions. A party may not be required to refer a parenting time dispute to a
parenting time expeditor under this section if:
(1) one of the parties claims to be the victim of domestic abuse by the other party;
(2) the court determines there is probable cause that one of the parties or a child of the parties
has been physically abused or threatened with physical abuse by the other party; or
(3) the party is unable to pay the costs of the expeditor, as provided under subdivision 2a.
If the court is satisfied that the parties have been advised by counsel and have agreed to use
the parenting time expeditor process and the process does not involve face-to-face meeting of the
parties, the court may direct that the parenting time expeditor process be used.
    Subd. 1b. Purpose; definitions. (a) The purpose of a parenting time expeditor is to resolve
parenting time disputes by enforcing, interpreting, clarifying, and addressing circumstances
not specifically addressed by an existing parenting time order and, if appropriate, to make a
determination as to whether the existing parenting time order has been violated. A parenting time
expeditor may be appointed to resolve a onetime parenting time dispute or to provide ongoing
parenting time dispute resolution services.
(b) For purposes of this section, "parenting time dispute" means a disagreement among
parties about parenting time with a child, including a dispute about an anticipated denial of future
scheduled parenting time. "Parenting time dispute" includes a claim by a parent that the other
parent is not spending time with a child as well as a claim by a parent that the other parent is
denying or interfering with parenting time.
(c) A "parenting time expeditor" is a neutral person authorized to use a mediation-arbitration
process to resolve parenting time disputes. A parenting time expeditor shall attempt to resolve
a parenting time dispute by facilitating negotiations between the parties to promote settlement
and, if it becomes apparent that the dispute cannot be resolved by an agreement of the parties, the
parenting time expeditor shall make a decision resolving the dispute.
    Subd. 2. Appointment. (a) The parties may stipulate to the appointment of a parenting time
expeditor or a team of two expeditors without appearing in court by submitting to the court a
written agreement identifying the names of the individuals to be appointed by the court; the nature
of the dispute; the responsibilities of the parenting time expeditor, including whether the expeditor
is appointed to resolve a specific issue or on an ongoing basis; the term of the appointment; and
the apportionment of fees and costs. The court shall review the agreement of the parties.
(b) If the parties cannot agree on a parenting time expeditor, the court shall provide to the
parties a copy of the court administrator's roster of parenting time expeditors and require the
parties to exchange the names of three potential parenting time expeditors by a specific date. If
after exchanging names the parties are unable to agree upon a parenting time expeditor, the court
shall select the parenting time expeditor and, in its discretion, may appoint one expeditor or a
team of two expeditors. In the selection process the court must give consideration to the financial
circumstances of the parties and the fees of those being considered as parenting time expeditors.
Preference must be given to persons who agree to volunteer their services or who will charge a
variable fee for services based on the ability of the parties to pay for them.
(c) An order appointing a parenting time expeditor must identify the name of the individual
to be appointed, the nature of the dispute, the responsibilities of the expeditor including whether
the expeditor is appointed to resolve a specific issue or on an ongoing basis, the term of the
appointment, the apportionment of fees, and notice that if the parties are unable to reach an
agreement with the assistance of the expeditor, the expeditor is authorized to make a decision
resolving the dispute which is binding upon the parties unless modified or vacated by the court.
    Subd. 2a. Fees. Prior to appointing the parenting time expeditor, the court shall give the
parties notice that the fees of the expeditor will be apportioned among the parties. In its order
appointing the expeditor, the court shall apportion the fees of the expeditor among the parties,
with each party bearing the portion of fees that the court determines is just and equitable under the
circumstances. If a party files a pro se motion regarding a parenting time dispute and there is not a
court order that provides for apportionment of the fees of an expeditor, the court administrator
may require the party requesting the appointment of an expeditor to pay the fees of the expeditor
in advance. Neither party may be required to submit a dispute to a visitation expeditor if the party
cannot afford to pay for the fees of an expeditor and an affordable expeditor is not available,
unless the other party agrees to pay the fees. After fees are incurred, a party may by motion
request that the fees be reapportioned on equitable grounds. The court may consider the resources
of the parties, the nature of the dispute, and whether a party acted in bad faith. The court may
consider information from the expeditor in determining bad faith.
    Subd. 2b. Roster of parenting time expeditors. Each court administrator shall maintain
and make available to the public and judicial officers a roster of individuals available to serve as
parenting time expeditors, including each individual's name, address, telephone number, and fee
charged, if any. A court administrator shall not place on the roster the name of an individual who
has not completed the training required in subdivision 2c. If the use of a parenting time expeditor
is initiated by stipulation of the parties, the parties may agree upon a person to serve as an
expeditor even if that person has not completed the training described in subdivision 2c. The court
may appoint a person to serve as an expeditor even if the person is not on the court administrator's
roster, but may not appoint a person who has not completed the training described in subdivision
2c, unless so stipulated by the parties. To maintain one's listing on a court administrator's roster of
parenting time expeditors, an individual shall annually submit to the court administrator proof of
completion of continuing education requirements.
    Subd. 2c. Training and continuing education requirements. To qualify for listing on a
court administrator's roster of parenting time expeditors, an individual shall complete a minimum
of 40 hours of family mediation training that has been certified by the Minnesota supreme court,
which must include certified training in domestic abuse issues as required under Rule 114 of the
Minnesota General Rules of Practice for the District Courts. To maintain one's listing on a court
administrator's roster of parenting time expeditors, an individual shall annually attend three hours
of continuing education about alternative dispute resolution subjects.
    Subd. 3. Agreement or decision. (a) Within five days of notice of the appointment, or
within five days of notice of a subsequent parenting time dispute between the same parties,
the parenting time expeditor shall meet with the parties together or separately and shall make
a diligent effort to facilitate an agreement to resolve the dispute. If a parenting time dispute
requires immediate resolution, the parenting time expeditor may confer with the parties through a
telephone conference or similar means. An expeditor may make a decision without conferring
with a party if the expeditor made a good faith effort to confer with the party, but the party chose
not to participate in resolution of the dispute.
(b) If the parties do not reach an agreement, the expeditor shall make a decision resolving the
dispute as soon as possible but not later than five days after receiving all information necessary
to make a decision and after the final meeting or conference with the parties. The expeditor is
authorized to award compensatory parenting time under section 518.175, subdivision 6, and may
recommend to the court that the noncomplying party pay attorney's fees, court costs, and other
costs under section 518.175, subdivision 6, paragraph (d), if the parenting time order has been
violated. The expeditor shall not lose authority to make a decision if circumstances beyond the
expeditor's control make it impracticable to meet the five-day timelines.
(c) Unless the parties mutually agree, the parenting time expeditor shall not make a decision
that is inconsistent with an existing parenting time order, but may make decisions interpreting
or clarifying a parenting time order, including the development of a specific schedule when the
existing court order grants "reasonable parenting time."
(d) The expeditor shall put an agreement or decision in writing and provide a copy to the
parties. The expeditor may include or omit reasons for the agreement or decision. An agreement
of the parties or a decision of the expeditor is binding on the parties unless vacated or modified
by the court. If a party does not comply with an agreement of the parties or a decision of the
expeditor, any party may bring a motion with the court and shall attach a copy of the parties'
written agreement or decision of the expeditor. The court may enforce, modify, or vacate the
agreement of the parties or the decision of the expeditor.
    Subd. 4. Other agreements. This section does not preclude the parties from voluntarily
agreeing to submit their parenting time dispute to a neutral third party or from otherwise resolving
parenting time disputes on a voluntary basis.
    Subd. 4a. Confidentiality. (a) Statements made and documents produced as part of the
parenting time expeditor process which are not otherwise discoverable are not subject to discovery
or other disclosure and are not admissible into evidence for any purpose at trial or in any other
proceeding, including impeachment.
(b) Sworn testimony may be used in subsequent proceedings for any purpose for which it is
admissible under the Rules of Evidence. Parenting time expeditors, and lawyers for the parties to
the extent of their participation in the parenting time expeditor process, must not be subpoenaed
or called as witnesses in court proceedings.
(c) Notes, records, and recollections of parenting time expeditors are confidential and must
not be disclosed to the parties, the public, or anyone other than the parenting time expeditor unless:
(1) all parties and the expeditor agree in writing to the disclosure; or
(2) disclosure is required by law or other applicable professional codes.
Notes and records of parenting time expeditors must not be disclosed to the court unless
after a hearing the court determines that the notes or records should be reviewed in camera.
Those notes or records must not be released by the court unless it determines that they disclose
information showing illegal violation of the criminal law of the state.
    Subd. 5. Immunity. A parenting time expeditor is immune from civil liability for actions
taken or not taken when acting under this section.
    Subd. 5a. Removal. If a parenting time expeditor has been appointed on a long-term basis, a
party or the expeditor may file a motion seeking to have the expeditor removed for good cause
shown.
    Subd. 6. Mandatory parenting time dispute resolution. Subject to subdivision 1a, a
judicial district may establish a mandatory parenting time dispute resolution program as provided
in this subdivision. In a district where a program has been established, parties may be required
to submit parenting time disputes to a parenting time expeditor as a prerequisite to a motion on
the dispute being heard by the court, or either party may submit the dispute to an expeditor. A
party may file a motion with the court for purposes of obtaining a court date, if necessary, but a
hearing may not be held until resolution of the dispute with the parenting time expeditor. The
appointment of an expeditor must be in accordance with subdivision 2. Expeditor fees must
be paid in accordance with subdivision 2a.
    Subd. 7.[Repealed by amendment, 1997 c 245 art 2 s 3]
History: 1989 c 248 s 6; 1996 c 391 art 1 s 3; 1997 c 245 art 2 s 3; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 32;
2001 c 51 s 9; 2005 c 164 s 29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28
518.1752 GRANDPARENT VISITATION.
In all proceedings for dissolution or legal separation, after the commencement of the
proceeding or at any time after completion of the proceedings, and continuing during the minority
of the child, the court may make an order granting visitation rights to grandparents under section
257C.08, subdivision 2.
History: 1971 c 172 s 1; 1974 c 107 s 15; 1978 c 772 s 40-42; 1979 c 259 s 18,19; 1982 c
537 s 1; 1986 c 406 s 3; 1986 c 444; 1988 c 668 s 14; 1989 c 248 s 4,5; 1990 c 574 s 15; 1993 c 62
s 2; 1993 c 322 s 9; 1994 c 631 s 31; 1995 c 257 art 1 s 20; 1996 c 391 art 1 s 1,2; 1997 c 239 art
7 s 8,9; 1997 c 245 art 2 s 2; 2000 c 444 art 1 s 4; art 2 s 26-31; 2001 c 51 s 8,17; 2002 c 304 s 13
518.176 JUDICIAL SUPERVISION.
    Subdivision 1. Limits on parent's authority; hearing. Except as otherwise agreed by the
parties in writing at the time of the custody order, the parent with whom the child resides may
determine the child's upbringing, including education, health care, and religious training, unless
the court after hearing, finds, upon motion by the other parent, that in the absence of a specific
limitation of the authority of the parent with whom the child resides, the child's physical or
emotional health is likely to be endangered or the child's emotional development impaired.
    Subd. 2. Court order. If both parents or all contestants agree to the order, or if the court
finds that in the absence of the order the child's physical or emotional health is likely to be
endangered or the child's emotional development impaired, the court may order the local social
services agency or the department of court services to exercise continuing supervision over the
case under guidelines established by the court to assure that the custodial or parenting time
terms of the decree are carried out.
History: 1978 c 772 s 43; 1979 c 259 s 20; 1986 c 444; 1994 c 631 s 31; 2000 c 444 art 2
s 33; 2001 c 51 s 10
518.177 NOTIFICATION REGARDING DEPRIVATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS LAW.
Every court order and judgment and decree concerning custody of or parenting time or
visitation with a minor child shall contain the notice set out in section 518.68, subdivision 2.
History: 1984 c 484 s 1; 1993 c 322 s 10; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 34
518.178 PARENTING TIME AND SUPPORT REVIEW HEARING.
Upon motion of either party, the court shall conduct a hearing to review compliance with the
parenting time and child support provisions set forth in a decree of dissolution or legal separation
or an order that establishes child custody, parenting time, and support rights and obligations of
parents. The state court administrator shall prepare, and each court administrator shall make
available, simplified pro se forms for reviewing parenting time and child support disputes. The
court may impose any parenting time enforcement remedy available under sections 518.175 and
518.1751, and any support enforcement remedy available under chapter 518A.
History: 1999 c 196 art 1 s 4; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 35; 2005 c 164 s 29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28
518.1781 SIX-MONTH REVIEW.
    (a) A request for a six-month review hearing form must be attached to a decree of dissolution
or legal separation or an order that initially establishes child custody, parenting time, or support
rights and obligations of parents. The state court administrator is requested to prepare the request
for review hearing form. The form must include information regarding the procedures for
requesting a hearing, the purpose of the hearing, and any other information regarding a hearing
under this section that the state court administrator deems necessary.
    (b) The six-month review hearing shall be held if any party submits a written request for a
hearing within six months after entry of a decree of dissolution or legal separation or order that
establishes child custody, parenting time, or support.
    (c) Upon receipt of a completed request for hearing form, the court administrator shall
provide notice of the hearing to all other parties and the public authority. The court administrator
shall schedule the six-month review hearing as soon as practicable following the receipt of the
hearing request form.
    (d) At the six-month hearing, the court must review:
    (1) whether child support is current; and
    (2) whether both parties are complying with the parenting time provisions of the order.
    (e) At the six-month hearing, the obligor has the burden to present evidence to establish
that child support payments are current. A party may request that the public authority provide
information to the parties and court regarding child support payments. A party must request the
information from the public authority at least 14 days before the hearing. The commissioner of
human services must develop a form to be used by the public authority to submit child support
payment information to the parties and court.
    (f) Contempt of court and all statutory remedies for child support and parenting time
enforcement may be imposed by the court at the six-month hearing for noncompliance by either
party pursuant to this chapter, chapters 518A and 588, and the Minnesota Court Rules.
    (g) A request for a six-month review hearing form must be attached to a decree or order
signed on or after January 1, 2007, that initially establishes child support rights and obligations.
History: 2005 c 164 s 4,29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 26,28; 2006 c 280 s 20
518.179 PARTICIPATION IN A PARENTING PLAN WHEN PERSON CONVICTED OF
CERTAIN OFFENSES.
    Subdivision 1. Seeking custody or parenting time. Notwithstanding any contrary provision
in section 518.17 or 518.175, if a person seeking child custody or parenting time has been
convicted of a crime described in subdivision 2, the person seeking custody or parenting time
has the burden to prove that custody or parenting time by that person is in the best interests
of the child if:
(1) the conviction occurred within the preceding five years;
(2) the person is currently incarcerated, on probation, or under supervised release for the
offense; or
(3) the victim of the crime was a family or household member as defined in section 518B.01,
subdivision 2
.
If this section applies, the court may not grant custody or parenting time to the person unless
it finds that the custody or parenting time is in the best interests of the child. If the victim of the
crime was a family or household member, the standard of proof is clear and convincing evidence.
A guardian ad litem must be appointed in any case where this section applies.
    Subd. 2. Applicable crimes. This section applies to the following crimes or similar crimes
under the laws of the United States, or any other state:
(1) murder in the first, second, or third degree under section 609.185, 609.19, or 609.195;
(2) manslaughter in the first degree under section 609.20;
(3) assault in the first, second, or third degree under section 609.221, 609.222, or 609.223;
(4) kidnapping under section 609.25;
(5) depriving another of custodial or parental rights under section 609.26;
(6) soliciting, inducing, promoting, or receiving profit derived from prostitution involving a
minor under section 609.322;
(7) criminal sexual conduct in the first degree under section 609.342;
(8) criminal sexual conduct in the second degree under section 609.343;
(9) criminal sexual conduct in the third degree under section 609.344, subdivision 1,
paragraph (c), (f), or (g);
(10) solicitation of a child to engage in sexual conduct under section 609.352;
(11) incest under section 609.365;
(12) malicious punishment of a child under section 609.377;
(13) neglect of a child under section 609.378;
(14) terroristic threats under section 609.713; or
(15) felony harassment or stalking under section 609.749, subdivision 4.
History: 1990 c 574 s 16; 1997 c 239 art 7 s 10; 1997 c 245 art 2 s 4; 1998 c 367 art 2
s 2; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 36
518.18 MODIFICATION OF ORDER.
    (a) Unless agreed to in writing by the parties, no motion to modify a custody order or
parenting plan may be made earlier than one year after the date of the entry of a decree of
dissolution or legal separation containing a provision dealing with custody, except in accordance
with paragraph (c).
    (b) If a motion for modification has been heard, whether or not it was granted, unless agreed
to in writing by the parties no subsequent motion may be filed within two years after disposition
of the prior motion on its merits, except in accordance with paragraph (c).
    (c) The time limitations prescribed in paragraphs (a) and (b) shall not prohibit a motion to
modify a custody order or parenting plan if the court finds that there is persistent and willful denial
or interference with parenting time, or has reason to believe that the child's present environment
may endanger the child's physical or emotional health or impair the child's emotional development.
    (d) If the court has jurisdiction to determine child custody matters, the court shall not modify
a prior custody order or a parenting plan provision which specifies the child's primary residence
unless it finds, upon the basis of facts, including unwarranted denial of, or interference with, a duly
established parenting time schedule, that have arisen since the prior order or that were unknown
to the court at the time of the prior order, that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the
child or the parties and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child.
In applying these standards the court shall retain the custody arrangement or the parenting plan
provision specifying the child's primary residence that was established by the prior order unless:
    (i) the court finds that a change in the custody arrangement or primary residence is 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 primary custodial parent to move the residence of
the child to another state, and the primary custodial parent has relocated to another state despite
the court's order.
    In addition, a court may modify a custody order or parenting plan under section 631.52.
    (e) In deciding whether to modify a prior joint custody order, the court shall apply the
standards set forth in paragraph (d) unless: (1) the parties agree in writing to the application of a
different standard, or (2) the party seeking the modification is asking the court for permission to
move the residence of the child to another state.
    (f) If a parent has been granted sole physical custody of a minor and the child subsequently
lives with the other parent, and temporary sole physical custody has been approved by the court or
by a court-appointed referee, the court may suspend the obligor's child support obligation pending
the final custody determination. The court's order denying the suspension of child support must
include a written explanation of the reasons why continuation of the child support obligation
would be in the best interests of the child.
History: (8597) RL s 3586; 1978 c 772 s 44; 1979 c 259 s 21; 1986 c 444; 1990 c 574 s
17; 1991 c 266 s 1; 1994 c 630 art 11 s 8; 1995 c 257 art 1 s 21; 2000 c 444 art 1 s 5; 2001
c 51 s 11; 2006 c 280 s 14
518.183 REPLACING CERTAIN ORDERS.
Upon request of both parties the court must modify an order entered under section 518.17 or
518.175 before January 1, 2001, by entering a parenting plan that complies with section 518.1705,
unless the court makes detailed findings that entering a parenting plan is not in the best interests
of the child. If only one party makes the request, the court may modify the order by entering a
parenting plan that complies with section 518.1705. The court must apply the standards in section
518.18 when considering a motion to enter a parenting plan that would change the child's primary
residence. The court must apply the standards in section 518.17 when considering a motion to
enter a parenting plan that would:
(1) change decision-making responsibilities of the parents; or
(2) change the time each parent spends with the child, but not change the child's primary
residence.
History: 2000 c 444 art 1 s 6; 2000 c 499 s 4
518.185 AFFIDAVIT PRACTICE.
A party seeking a temporary custody order or modification of a custody order shall submit
together with moving papers an affidavit setting forth facts supporting the requested order or
modification and shall give notice, together with a copy of the affidavit, to other parties to the
proceeding, who may file opposing affidavits.
History: 1978 c 772 s 45; 1986 c 444
518.19 [Repealed, 1951 c 551 s 15]
518.191 SUMMARY REAL ESTATE DISPOSITION JUDGMENT.
    Subdivision 1. Abbreviated judgment and decree. If real estate is described in a judgment
and decree of dissolution, the court may direct either of the parties or their legal counsel to
prepare and submit to the court a proposed summary real estate disposition judgment. Upon
approval by the court and filing of the summary real estate disposition judgment with the court
administrator, the court administrator shall provide to any party upon request certified copies of
the summary real estate disposition judgment.
    Subd. 2. Required information. A summary real estate disposition judgment must contain
the following information:
(1) the full caption and file number of the case and the title "Summary Real Estate
Disposition Judgment";
(2) the dates of the parties' marriage and of the entry of the judgment and decree of
dissolution;
(3) the names of the parties' attorneys or if either or both appeared pro se;
(4) the name of the judge and referee, if any, who signed the order for judgment and decree;
(5) whether the judgment and decree resulted from a stipulation, a default, or a trial and the
appearances at the default or trial;
(6) if the judgment and decree resulted from a stipulation, whether the real property was
described by a legal description;
(7) if the judgment and decree resulted from a default, whether the petition contained the
legal description of the property and whether disposition was made in accordance with the request
for relief;
(8) whether the summons and petition were served personally upon the respondent pursuant
to the Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.03(a), or section 543.19;
(9) if the summons and petition were served on the respondent only by publication, the name
of each legal newspaper and county in which the summons and petition were published and
the dates of publications;
(10) whether either party changed the party's name through the judgment and decree;
(11) the legal description of each parcel of real estate;
(12) the name or names of the persons awarded an interest in each parcel of real estate and a
description of the interest awarded;
(13) liens, mortgages, encumbrances, or other interests in the real estate described in the
judgment and decree; and
(14) triggering or contingent events set forth in the judgment and decree affecting the
disposition of each parcel of real estate.
    Subd. 2a. Amended summary real estate disposition judgment. (a) On the court's own
motion or on application by an interested person, the court shall issue an order authorizing the
court administrator to issue an amended summary real estate disposition judgment to correct an
erroneous legal description of real estate contained in the judgment and decree of dissolution.
(b) An application to correct a legal description under this subdivision must contain:
(1) the erroneous legal description contained in the judgment and decree;
(2) the correct legal description of the real estate;
(3) written evidence satisfactory to the court to show the correct legal description, or a
request for an evidentiary hearing to produce evidence of the correct legal description; and
(4) a proposed amended summary real estate disposition judgment.
(c) The court shall consider an application under this subdivision on an expedited basis. The
court's order must be based on the evidence provided in the application, the evidence produced at
an evidentiary hearing, or the evidence already in the record of the proceeding. If the court is
satisfied that an erroneous legal description should be corrected under this subdivision, the court
may issue its order without a hearing or notice to any person. A filing fee is not required for an
application under this subdivision. The court's order must be treated as an amendment of the
court's findings of fact regarding the legal description of the property in question, without the need
to amend the original judgment and decree. The court shall issue the order if the court specifically
finds that the court had jurisdiction over the respondent in the dissolution proceeding and that the
property was sufficiently identified in the original proceedings to prevent prejudice to the rights of
either party to the dissolution and that the amendment will not prejudice their rights. The court's
order is effective retroactive to the date of entry of the original judgment and decree of dissolution.
(d) An amended summary real estate disposition judgment must be treated the same as the
prior summary real estate disposition judgment for all purposes.
(e) On request by any interested person, the court administrator shall provide a certified copy
of an amended summary real estate disposition judgment showing the correct legal description of
the real property affected by the judgment and decree.
(f) This subdivision may not be used to add omitted property to a judgment and decree of
dissolution, unless the court determines that the omitted property is an integral or appurtenant part
of real property already properly included in the judgment and decree.
    Subd. 3. Court order. An order or provision in a judgment and decree that provides that the
judgment and decree must be recorded in the office of the county recorder or filed in the office of
the registrar of titles means, if a summary real estate disposition judgment has been approved by
the court, that the summary real estate disposition judgment, rather than the judgment and decree,
must be recorded in the office of the county recorder or filed in the office of the registrar of titles.
    Subd. 4. Transfer of property. The summary real estate disposition judgment operates as
a conveyance and transfer of each interest in the real estate in the manner and to the extent
described in the summary real estate disposition judgment. A summary real estate disposition
judgment, or an amended summary real estate disposition judgment that supersedes an earlier
judgment, is prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the summary real estate disposition
judgment. A purchaser for value without notice of any defect in the dissolution proceedings may
rely on a summary real estate disposition judgment or a later amended summary real estate
disposition judgment to establish the facts stated in the judgment.
    Subd. 5. Conflict. If a conflict exists between the judgment and decree and the summary
real estate disposition judgment, the summary real estate disposition judgment recorded in the
office of the county recorder or filed in the office of the registrar of titles controls as to the interest
acquired in real estate by any subsequent purchaser in good faith and for a valuable consideration,
who is in possession of the interest or whose interest is recorded with the county recorder or
registrar of titles, before the recording of the judgment and decree in the same office.
History: 1990 c 575 s 7; 2006 c 221 s 17-19
518.195 SUMMARY DISSOLUTION PROCESS.
    Subdivision 1. Criteria. A couple desirous of dissolving their marriage may use the
streamlined procedure in this section if:
(1) no living minor children have been born to or adopted by the parties before or during the
marriage, unless someone other than the husband has been adjudicated the father;
(2) the wife is not pregnant;
(3) they have been married fewer than eight years as of the date they file their joint
declaration;
(4) neither party owns any real estate;
(5) there are no unpaid debts in excess of $8,000 incurred by either or both of the parties
during the marriage, excluding encumbrances on automobiles;
(6) the total fair market value of the marital assets does not exceed $25,000, including
net equity on automobiles;
(7) neither party has nonmarital assets in excess of $25,000; and
(8) neither party has been a victim of domestic abuse by the other.
    Subd. 2. Procedure. A couple qualifying under all of the criteria in subdivision 1, may
obtain a judgment and decree by:
(1) filing a sworn joint declaration, on which both of their signatures must be notarized,
containing or appending the following information:
(i) the demographic data required in section 518.10;
(ii) verifying the qualifications set forth in subdivision 1;
(iii) listing each party's nonmarital property;
(iv) setting forth how the marital assets and debts will be apportioned;
(v) verifying both parties' income and preserving their rights to spousal maintenance; and
(vi) certifying that there has been no domestic abuse of one party by the other; and
(2) viewing any introductory and summary process educational videotapes, if then available
from the court, and certifying that they watched any such tapes within the 30 days preceding
the filing of the joint declaration.
The district court administrator shall enter a decree of dissolution 30 days after the filing of
the joint declaration if the parties meet the statutory qualifications and have complied with the
procedural requirements of this subdivision.
    Subd. 3. Forms. The state court administrator shall develop simplified forms and instructions
for the summary process. District court administrators shall make the forms for the summary
process available upon request and shall accept joint declarations for filing on and after July 1,
1997.
    Subd. 4.[Repealed by amendment, 1997 c 245 art 2 s 5]
History: 1991 c 271 s 5,9; 1996 c 408 art 11 s 9; 1997 c 245 art 2 s 5; 1999 c 37 s 1
518.20 [Repealed, 1951 c 551 s 15]
518.21 [Repealed, 1951 c 551 s 15]
518.22 [Repealed, 1951 c 551 s 15]
518.23 [Repealed, 1951 c 551 s 15]
518.24 [Renumbered 518A.71]
518.25 REMARRIAGE; REVOCATION.
When a dissolution has been granted, and the parties afterward intermarry, the court, upon
their joint application, and upon satisfactory proof of such marriage, may revoke all decrees
and orders of dissolution, maintenance, and subsistence which will not affect the rights of third
persons.
History: (8605) RL s 3594; 1974 c 107 s 16; 1978 c 772 s 62
518.255 [Renumbered 518A.47]
518.26 [Repealed, 1974 c 107 s 29]
518.27 NAME OF PARTY.
Except as provided in section 259.13, in the final decree of dissolution or legal separation the
court shall, if requested by a party, change the name of that party to another name as the party
requests. The court shall grant a request unless it finds that there is an intent to defraud or mislead,
unless the name change is subject to section 259.13, in which case the requirements of that
section apply. The court shall notify the parties that use of a different surname after dissolution or
legal separation without complying with section 259.13, if applicable, is a gross misdemeanor.
The party's new name shall be so designated in the final decree.
History: (8607) RL s 3596; 1974 c 107 s 17; 1975 c 52 s 5; 1978 c 772 s 47; 1979 c 259
s 22; 2000 c 311 art 3 s 6
518.28 [Repealed, 1974 c 107 s 29]
518.29 [Repealed, 1978 c 772 s 63]
518.41 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.42 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.43 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.44 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.45 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.46 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.47 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.48 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.49 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.491 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.50 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.51 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.52 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]
518.53 [Repealed, 1982 c 436 s 37]

MAINTENANCE, SUPPORT, PROPERTY

518.54    Subdivision 1.[Renumbered 518A.26, subdivision 1]
    Subd. 2.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 5]
    Subd. 2a.[Renumbered 5 18A.26, subd 6]
    Subd. 2b.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 7]
    Subd. 3.[Renumbered 518.003, subd 3a]
    Subd. 4.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 20]
    Subd. 4a.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 21]
    Subd. 5.[Renumbered 518.003, subd 3b]
    Subd. 6.[Repealed, 2006 c 280 s 47]
    Subd. 7.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 13]
    Subd. 8.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 14]
    Subd. 9.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 18]
    Subd. 10.[Renumbered 518.003, subd 6]
    Subd. 11.[Renumbered 518.003, subd 8]
    Subd. 12.[Renumbered 518.003, subd 7]
    Subd. 13.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 3]
    Subd. 14.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 10]
    Subd. 15.MS 2005 Supp [Renumbered subd 18a]
    Subd. 15.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 15]
    Subd. 16.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 2]
    Subd. 17.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 4]
    Subd. 18.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 8]
    Subd. 18a.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 9]
    Subd. 19.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 11]
    Subd. 20.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 12]
    Subd. 21.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 16]
    Subd. 22.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 17]
    Subd. 23.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 19]
    Subd. 24.[Renumbered 518A.26, subd 22]
518.55    Subdivision 1.[Renumbered 518A.27, subdivision 1]
    Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1993 c 322 s 21]
    Subd. 2a.[Repealed, 1993 c 322 s 21]
    Subd. 3.[Renumbered 518A.27, subd 2]
    Subd. 4.[Renumbered 518A.27, subd 3]
518.551 POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION TRUST FUND.
    Subdivision 1.[Repealed, 2005 c 164 s 31; 2006 c 280 s 43]
    Subd. 1a.[Renumbered 518A.50]
    Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1983 c 308 s 32]
    Subd. 3.[Repealed, 1983 c 308 s 32]
    Subd. 4.[Repealed, 1983 c 308 s 32]
    Subd. 5.[Renumbered 518A.44]
    Subd. 5a.[Repealed, 2005 c 164 s 31; 2006 c 280 s 43]
    Subd. 5b.[Renumbered 518A.28]
    Subd. 5c.[Repealed, 2005 c 164 s 31; 2006 c 280 s 43]
    Subd. 5d. Education trust fund. The parties may agree to designate a sum of money above
any court-ordered child support as a trust fund for the costs of postsecondary education.
    Subd. 5e.[Renumbered 518A.38, subd 5]
    Subd. 5f.[Repealed, 2005 c 164 s 31; 2006 c 280 s 43]
    Subd. 6.[Renumbered 518A.45]
    Subd. 7. [Renumbered 518A.51]
    Subd. 8.[Repealed, 1986 c 404 s 20]
    Subd. 9.[Renumbered 518A.49]
    Subd. 10.[Repealed, 1994 c 630 art 10 s 3]
    Subd. 11.[Renumbered 518A.38, subd 6]
    Subd. 12.[Renumbered 518A.66]
    Subd. 13.[Renumbered 518A.65]
    Subd. 13a.[Renumbered 518A.70]
    Subd. 14.[Renumbered 518A.67]
    Subd. 15.[Renumbered 518A.68]
History: 1971 c 961 s 21; 1974 c 107 s 20; 1977 c 282 s 29; 1978 c 772 s 50; 1979 c 259
s 25; 1981 c 349 s 6; 1981 c 360 art 2 s 46; 3Sp1981 c 3 s 19; 1982 c 488 s 4,5; 1983 c 308 s
16-20; 1984 c 547 s 18,19; 1985 c 131 s 7; 1986 c 406 s 4; 1986 c 444; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 1 s 82;
1987 c 403 art 3 s 79,80; 1988 c 593 s 8; 1988 c 668 s 17,18; 1989 c 282 art 2 s 190,191; 1990 c
568 art 2 s 70-72; 1990 c 574 s 18; 1991 c 266 s 2; 1991 c 292 art 5 s 75-78; 1992 c 513 art 8 s
53,54; 1993 c 34 s 1; 1993 c 322 s 12; 1993 c 340 s 32-38; 1Sp1993 c 1 art 6 s 44; 1994 c 483 s
1; 1994 c 488 s 8; 1994 c 630 art 11 s 9,10; 1995 c 186 s 94; 1995 c 257 art 1 s 23-26; 1997 c 66
s 79; 1997 c 203 art 6 s 42,43; 1997 c 245 art 1 s 13-17; art 3 s 10; 1998 c 382 art 1 s 7-11; 1999
c 107 s 66; 1999 c 159 s 136; 1999 c 196 art 1 s 6; art 2 s 9-11; 1999 c 245 art 7 s 8; 2000 c
343 s 4; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 37; 2001 c 51 s 13,14; 2001 c 134 s 1; 2001 c 158 s 1; 2002 c 344
s 13-16; 2003 c 130 s 12; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 6 s 58; art 10 s 5,6; 2005 c 116 s 4; 2005 c 164 s
7,8,29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28; 2006 c 280 s 15,16,22; 2006 c 282 art 18 s 3
518.5511 [Repealed, 1999 c 196 art 2 s 24]
518.5512 [Repealed, 1999 c 196 art 2 s 24]
518.5513 [Renumbered 518A.46]
518.552 MAINTENANCE.
    Subdivision 1. Grounds. In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, or
in a proceeding for maintenance following dissolution of the marriage by a court which lacked
personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse and which has since acquired jurisdiction, the court
may grant a maintenance order for either spouse if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance:
(a) lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to the spouse, to provide
for reasonable needs of the spouse considering the standard of living established during the
marriage, especially, but not limited to, a period of training or education, or
(b) is unable to provide adequate self-support, after considering the standard of living
established during the marriage and all relevant circumstances, through appropriate employment,
or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the
custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.
    Subd. 2. Amount; duration. The maintenance order shall be in amounts and for periods
of time, either temporary or permanent, as the court deems just, without regard to marital
misconduct, and after considering all relevant factors including:
(a) the financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property
apportioned to the party, and the party's ability to meet needs independently, including the extent
to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party as
custodian;
(b) the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking
maintenance to find appropriate employment, and the probability, given the party's age and skills,
of completing education or training and becoming fully or partially self-supporting;
(c) the standard of living established during the marriage;
(d) the duration of the marriage and, in the case of a homemaker, the length of absence from
employment and the extent to which any education, skills, or experience have become outmoded
and earning capacity has become permanently diminished;
(e) the loss of earnings, seniority, retirement benefits, and other employment opportunities
forgone by the spouse seeking spousal maintenance;
(f) the age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
(g) the ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet needs while meeting
those of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
(h) the contribution of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation, or
appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, as well as the contribution of a spouse
as a homemaker or in furtherance of the other party's employment or business.
    Subd. 3. Permanency of award. Nothing in this section shall be construed to favor a
temporary award of maintenance over a permanent award, where the factors under subdivision 2
justify a permanent award.
Where there is some uncertainty as to the necessity of a permanent award, the court shall
order a permanent award leaving its order open for later modification.
    Subd. 4. Reopening maintenance awards. Section 518.145, subdivision 2, applies to
awards of spousal maintenance.
    Subd. 5. Private agreements. The parties may expressly preclude or limit modification of
maintenance through a stipulation, if the court makes specific findings that the stipulation is fair
and equitable, is supported by consideration described in the findings, and that full disclosure
of each party's financial circumstances has occurred. The stipulation must be made a part of
the judgment and decree.
History: 1978 c 772 s 51; 1979 c 259 s 26; 1982 c 535 s 1; 1985 c 266 s 2; 1986 c 444;
1988 c 668 s 19; 1989 c 248 s 7
518.553 [Renumbered 518A.69]
518.56 [Repealed, 1969 c 1028 s 9]
518.561 [Repealed, 1995 c 257 art 1 s 36]
518.57 [Renumbered 518A.38]
518.575 [Renumbered 518A.74]
518.58 DIVISION OF MARITAL PROPERTY.
    Subdivision 1. General. Upon a dissolution of a marriage, an annulment, or in a proceeding
for disposition of property following a dissolution of marriage by a court which lacked personal
jurisdiction over the absent spouse or lacked jurisdiction to dispose of the property and which
has since acquired jurisdiction, the court shall make a just and equitable division of the marital
property of the parties without regard to marital misconduct, after making findings regarding the
division of the property. The court shall base its findings on all relevant factors including the
length of the marriage, any prior marriage of a party, the age, health, station, occupation, amount
and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, needs, opportunity for
future acquisition of capital assets, and income of each party. The court shall also consider the
contribution of each in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount
or value of the marital property, as well as the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker. It shall
be conclusively presumed that each spouse made a substantial contribution to the acquisition of
income and property while they were living together as husband and wife. The court may also
award to either spouse the household goods and furniture of the parties, whether or not acquired
during the marriage. The court shall value marital assets for purposes of division between the
parties as of the day of the initially scheduled prehearing settlement conference, unless a different
date is agreed upon by the parties, or unless the court makes specific findings that another date
of valuation is fair and equitable. If there is a substantial change in value of an asset between
the date of valuation and the final distribution, the court may adjust the valuation of that asset as
necessary to effect an equitable distribution.
    Subd. 1a. Transfer, encumbrance, concealment, or disposition of marital assets. During
the pendency of a marriage dissolution, separation, or annulment proceeding, or in contemplation
of commencing a marriage dissolution, separation, or annulment proceeding, each party owes a
fiduciary duty to the other for any profit or loss derived by the party, without the consent of the
other, from a transaction or from any use by the party of the marital assets. If the court finds that
a party to a marriage, without consent of the other party, has in contemplation of commencing,
or during the pendency of, the current dissolution, separation, or annulment proceeding,
transferred, encumbered, concealed, or disposed of marital assets except in the usual course
of business or for the necessities of life, the court shall compensate the other party by placing
both parties in the same position that they would have been in had the transfer, encumbrance,
concealment, or disposal not occurred. The burden of proof under this subdivision is on the party
claiming that the other party transferred, encumbered, concealed, or disposed of marital assets in
contemplation of commencing or during the pendency of the current dissolution, separation, or
annulment proceeding, without consent of the claiming party, and that the transfer, encumbrance,
concealment, or disposal was not in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life. In
compensating a party under this section, the court, in dividing the marital property, may impute
the entire value of an asset and a fair return on the asset to the party who transferred, encumbered,
concealed, or disposed of it. Use of a power of attorney, or the absence of a restraining order
against the transfer, encumbrance, concealment, or disposal of marital property is not available
as a defense under this subdivision.
    Subd. 2. Award of nonmarital property. If the court finds that either spouse's resources
or property, including the spouse's portion of the marital property as defined in section 518.003,
subdivision 3b
, are so inadequate as to work an unfair hardship, considering all relevant
circumstances, the court may, in addition to the marital property, apportion up to one-half of the
property otherwise excluded under section 518.003, subdivision 3b, clauses (a) to (d), to prevent
the unfair hardship. If the court apportions property other than marital property, it shall make
findings in support of the apportionment. The findings shall be based on all relevant factors
including the length of the marriage, any prior marriage of a party, the age, health, station,
occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities,
needs, and opportunity for future acquisition of capital assets and income of each party.
    Subd. 3. Sale or distribution while proceeding pending. (a) If the court finds that it
is necessary to preserve the marital assets of the parties, the court may order the sale of the
homestead of the parties or the sale of other marital assets, as the individual circumstances may
require, during the pendency of a proceeding for a dissolution of marriage or an annulment. If the
court orders a sale, it may further provide for the disposition of the funds received from the sale
during the pendency of the proceeding. If liquid or readily liquidated marital property other than
property representing vested pension benefits or rights is available, the court, so far as possible,
shall divide the property representing vested pension benefits or rights by the disposition of an
equivalent amount of the liquid or readily liquidated property.
(b) The court may order a partial distribution of marital assets during the pendency of a
proceeding for a dissolution of marriage or an annulment for good cause shown or upon the
request of both parties, provided that the court shall fully protect the interests of the other party.
    Subd. 4. Pension plans. (a) The division of marital property that represents pension plan
benefits or rights in the form of future pension plan payments:
    (1) is payable only to the extent of the amount of the pension plan benefit payable under
the terms of the plan;
    (2) is not payable for a period that exceeds the time that pension plan benefits are payable to
the pension plan benefit recipient;
    (3) is not payable in a lump sum amount from defined benefit pension plan assets attributable
in any fashion to a spouse with the status of an active member, deferred retiree, or benefit
recipient of a pension plan;
    (4) if the former spouse to whom the payments are to be made dies prior to the end of the
specified payment period with the right to any remaining payments accruing to an estate or
to more than one survivor, is payable only to a trustee on behalf of the estate or the group of
survivors for subsequent apportionment by the trustee; and
    (5) in the case of defined benefit public pension plan benefits or rights, may not commence
until the public plan member submits a valid application for a public pension plan benefit and the
benefit becomes payable.
    (b) The individual retirement account plans established under chapter 354B may provide in
its plan document, if published and made generally available, for an alternative marital property
division or distribution of individual retirement account plan assets. If an alternative division or
distribution procedure is provided, it applies in place of paragraph (a), clause (5).
History: 1951 c 551 s 5; 1974 c 107 s 22; 1978 c 772 s 53; 1979 c 259 s 27; 1979 c 289
s 8; 1981 c 349 s 7; 1982 c 464 s 2; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 157 s 17; 1988 c 590 s 2; 1988 c 668
s 20; 1989 c 248 s 8; 1991 c 266 s 4,5; 1992 c 548 s 6; 1993 c 239 art 4 s 1; 2005 c164 s 29;
1Sp2005 c 7 s 28; 2006 c 280 s 18
518.581 SURVIVING SPOUSE BENEFIT.
    Subdivision 1. Award of benefit. If a current or former employee's marriage is dissolved,
the court may order the employee, the employee's pension plan, or both, to pay amounts as
part of the division of pension rights that the court may make under section 518.58, or as an
award of maintenance in the form of a percentage of periodic or other payments or in the form
of a fixed dollar amount. The court may, as part of the order, award a former spouse all or part
of a survivor benefit unless the plan does not allow by law the payment of a surviving spouse
benefit to a former spouse.
    Subd. 2. Payment of funds by retirement plan. (a) If the court has ordered that a spouse
has an interest in a pension plan, the court may order the pension plan to withhold payment of a
refund upon termination of employment or lump sum distribution to the extent of the spouse's
interest in the plan, or to provide survivor benefits ordered by the court.
(b) The court may not order the pension plan to:
(1) pay more than the equivalent of one surviving spouse benefit, regardless of the number of
spouses or former spouses who may be sharing in a portion of the total benefit;
(2) pay surviving spouse benefits under circumstances where the plan member does not
have a right to elect surviving spouse benefits;
(3) pay surviving spouse benefits to a former spouse if the former spouse would not be
eligible for benefits under the terms of the plan; or
(4) order survivor benefits which, when combined with the annuity or benefit payable to
the pension plan member, exceed the actuarial equivalent value of the normal retirement annuity
form, determined under the plan documents of the pension plan then in effect and the actuarial
assumptions then in effect for calculating optional annuity forms by the pension plan or for
calculating the funding requirements of the pension plan if no optional annuity forms are provided
by the pension plan.
(c) If more than one spouse or former spouse is entitled to a surviving spouse benefit, the
pension plan shall pay each spouse a portion of the benefit based on the ratio of the number of
years the spouse was married to the plan member to the total number of years the plan member
was married to spouses who are entitled to the benefit.
    Subd. 3. Notice to former spouse. A pension plan shall notify a former spouse of an
application by the employee for a refund of pension benefits if the former spouse has filed with
the pension plan:
(1) a copy of the court order, including a withholding order, determining the former spouse's
rights;
(2) the name and last known address of the employee; and
(3) the name and address of the former spouse.
A pension plan shall comply with an order, including a withholding order, issued by a court
having jurisdiction over dissolution of marriage that is served on the pension plan, if the order
states the name, last known address of the payees, and name and address of the former spouse, or
if the names and addresses are provided to the pension plan with service of the order.
    Subd. 4. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings
given in this subdivision.
(a) "Current or former employee" or "employee" means an individual who has an interest in
a pension plan.
(b) "Surviving spouse benefit" means (1) a benefit a surviving spouse may be eligible for
under the laws and bylaws of the pension plan if the employee dies before retirement, or (2) a
benefit selected for or available to a surviving spouse under the laws and bylaws of the pension
plan upon the death of the employee after retirement.
History: 1987 c 157 s 18; 1988 c 668 s 21; 1994 c 386 s 1
518.582 PROCEDURE FOR VALUING PENSION BENEFITS OR RIGHTS.
    Subdivision 1. Appointment of actuary. Each court of this state that has jurisdiction to
decide marriage dissolution matters may appoint a qualified person experienced in the valuation
of pension benefits and rights to function as an expert witness in valuing pension benefits or rights.
    Subd. 2. Standards. A court appointed actuary shall determine the present value of pension
benefits or rights that are marital property of the parties to the action based on the applicable
plan documents of the pension plan and the applicable actuarial assumptions specified for use
in calculating optional annuity forms by the pension plan or for funding the pension plan, if
reasonable, or as specified by the court. The court appointed actuary shall report to the court and
to the parties the present value of the pension benefits or rights that are marital property.
    Subd. 3. Compensation. The court appointed actuary may be compensated at a rate
established by the court. The compensation of the court appointed actuary shall be allocated
between the parties as the court directs.
    Subd. 4. Stipulation. In lieu of valuing pension benefits or rights through use of the court
appointed actuary, the parties may stipulate the present value of pension benefits or rights that
are marital property.
History: 1987 c 157 s 19; 1988 c 619 s 1
518.583 [Repealed, 2000 c 372 s 3]
518.585 [Renumbered 518A.59]
518.5851 [Renumbered 518A.54]
518.5852 [Renumbered 518A.55]
518.5853 [Renumbered 518A.56]
518.59 [Repealed, 1978 c 772 s 63]
518.60 [Repealed, 1969 c 1028 s 9]
518.61 [Renumbered 518A.63]
518.611 [Repealed, 1997 c 203 art 6 s 93]
518.6111 [Renumbered 518A.53]
518.612 INDEPENDENCE OF PROVISIONS OF DECREE OR TEMPORARY ORDER.
Failure by a party to make support payments is not a defense to:
(1) interference with parenting time; or
(2) without the permission of the court or the other parent, removing a child from this state.
Interference with parenting time or taking a child from this state without permission of the
court or the other parent is not a defense to nonpayment of support. If a party fails to make support
payments, interferes with parenting time, or removes a child from the state without permission of
the court or the other parent, the other party may petition the court for an appropriate order.
History: 1978 c 772 s 56; 1979 c 259 s 29; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 38; 2001 c 51 s 15
518.613 [Repealed, 1997 c 203 art 6 s 93]
518.614 [Renumbered 518A.58]
518.615 [Renumbered 518A.73]
518.616 [Renumbered 518A.64]
518.617 [Renumbered 518A.72]
518.618 [Renumbered 518A.76]
518.619 CUSTODY OR VISITATION; MEDIATION SERVICES.
    Subdivision 1. Mediation proceeding. Except as provided in subdivision 2, if it appears on
the face of the petition or other application for an order or modification of an order for the custody
of a child that custody or parenting time is contested, or that any issue pertinent to a custody or
parenting time determination, including parenting time rights, is unresolved, the matter may be
set for mediation of the contested issue prior to, concurrent with, or subsequent to the setting of
the matter for hearing. The purpose of the mediation proceeding is to reduce acrimony which
may exist between the parties and to develop an agreement that is supportive of the child's best
interests. The mediator shall use best efforts to effect a settlement of the custody or parenting time
dispute, but shall have no coercive authority.
    Subd. 2. Exception. If the court determines that there is probable cause that one of the
parties, or a child of a party, has been physically or sexually abused by the other party, the court
shall not require or refer the parties to mediation or any other process that requires parties to meet
and confer without counsel, if any, present.
    Subd. 3. Mediator appointment. In order to participate in a custody mediation, a mediator
must be appointed by the family court. A mediator must be a member of the professional staff
of a family court, probation department, mental health services agency, or a private mediation
service. The mediator must be on a list of mediators approved by the court having jurisdiction of
the matter, unless the parties stipulate to a mediator not on the list.
    Subd. 4. Mediator qualifications. A mediator who performs mediation in contested child
custody matters shall meet the following minimum qualifications:
(a) knowledge of the court system and the procedures used in contested child custody matters;
(b) knowledge of other resources in the community to which the parties to contested child
custody matters can be referred for assistance;
(c) knowledge of child development, clinical issues relating to children, the effects of
marriage dissolution on children, and child custody research; and
(d) a minimum of 40 hours of certified mediation training.
    Subd. 5. Records; private data. Mediation proceedings shall be conducted in private. All
records of a mediation proceeding shall be private and not available as evidence in an action for
marriage dissolution and related proceedings on any issue in controversy in the dissolution.
    Subd. 6. Mediator recommendations. When the parties have not reached agreement as a
result of the mediation proceeding, the mediator may recommend to the court that an investigation
be conducted under section 518.167, or that other action be taken to assist the parties to resolve
the controversy before hearing on the issues. The mediator may not conduct the investigation or
evaluation unless: (1) the parties agree in writing, executed after the termination of mediation,
that the mediator may conduct the investigation or evaluation, or (2) there is no other person
reasonably available to conduct the investigation or evaluation. The mediator may recommend
that mutual restraining orders be issued in appropriate cases, pending determination of the
controversy, to protect the well-being of the children involved in the controversy.
    Subd. 7. Mediation agreement. An agreement reached by the parties as a result of mediation
shall be discussed by the parties with their attorneys, if any, and the approved agreement may
then be included in the marital dissolution decree or other stipulation submitted to the court. An
agreement reached by the parties as a result of mediation may not be presented to the court
nor made enforceable unless the parties and their counsel, if any, consent to its presentation to
the court, and the court adopts the agreement.
    Subd. 8. Rules. Each court shall adopt rules to implement this section, and shall compile and
maintain a list of mediators.
History: 1986 c 406 s 7; 1990 c 574 s 21; 1991 c 266 s 6; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 39
518.6195 [Renumbered 518A.60]
518.6196 [Renumbered 518A.61]
518.6197 [Renumbered 518A.62]
518.62 TEMPORARY MAINTENANCE.
Temporary maintenance and temporary support may be awarded as provided in section
518.131. The court may also award to either party to the proceeding, having due regard to all the
circumstances and the party awarded the custody of the children, the right to the exclusive use
of the household goods and furniture of the parties pending the proceeding and the right to the
use of the homestead of the parties, exclusive or otherwise, pending the proceeding. The court
may order either party to remove from the homestead of the parties upon proper application to
the court for an order pending the proceeding.
History: 1951 c 551 s 9; 1969 c 1028 s 7; 1974 c 107 s 24; 1978 c 772 s 57; 1979 c 259 s 30
518.63 HOMESTEAD, OCCUPANCY.
The court, having due regard to all the circumstances and the custody of children of the
parties, may award to either party the right of occupancy of the homestead of the parties, exclusive
or otherwise, upon a final decree of dissolution or legal separation or proper modification of it, for
a period of time determined by the court. An award of the right of occupancy of the homestead,
whether exclusive or otherwise, may be in addition to the maximum amounts awarded under
sections 518.58, 518A.53, and 518A.63.
History: 1951 c 551 s 10; 1969 c 1028 s 8; 1974 c 107 s 25; 1978 c 772 s 58; 1997 c 203
art 6 s 92; 2005 c 164 s 29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28
518.64    Subdivision 1.[Renumbered 518A.39, subdivision 1]
    Subd. 2.[Renumbered 518A.39, subd 2]
    Subd. 3.[Renumbered 518A.39, subd 3]
    Subd. 4.[Renumbered 518A.39, subd 4]
    Subd. 4a.[Renumbered 518A.39, subd 5]
    Subd. 5.[Renumbered 518A.39, subd 6]
    Subd. 6.[Repealed, 1995 c 257 art 3 s 17]
    Subd. 7. [Renumbered 518A.39, subd 7]
    Subd. 8.[Repealed, 2006 c 280 s 47]
518.641    Subdivision 1.[Renumbered 518A.75, subdivision 1]
    Subd. 2.[Renumbered 518A.75, subd 2]
    Subd. 2a.[Renumbered 518A.75, subd 2a]
    Subd. 3.[Renumbered 518A.75, subd 3]
    Subd. 4.[Repealed, 1Sp2001 c 9 art 12 s 20]
    Subd. 5.[Repealed, 1Sp2001 c 9 art 12 s 20]
518.642 [Renumbered 518A.52]
518.645 [Repealed, 1997 c 203 art 6 s 93]
518.646 [Renumbered 518A.57]
518.65 PROPERTY; SALE, PARTITION.
In order to effect a division or award of property as is provided by section 518.58, the court
may order property sold or partitioned. Personal property may be ordered sold in the manner
directed by the court, and real estate may be partitioned in the manner provided by Minnesota
Statutes 1949, chapter 558.
History: 1951 c 551 s 12; 1978 c 772 s 60
518.66 POWER OF COURT NOT LIMITED.
Nothing contained in this chapter or chapter 518A shall be construed as limiting the power
of the court in appropriate cases to make adequate provision for the support and education of
any children of the parties to any dissolution, legal separation or annulment action where such
dissolution, legal separation or annulment is denied.
History: 1951 c 551 s 13; 1974 c 107 s 27; 1979 c 259 s 32; 1Sp1981 c 4 art 1 s 180;
2005 c 164 s 29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28
518.67 [Repealed, 1978 c 772 s 63]
518.68 REQUIRED NOTICES.
    Subdivision 1. Requirement. Every court order or judgment and decree under this chapter
or chapter 518A that provides for child support, spousal maintenance, custody, or parenting
time must contain certain notices as set out in subdivision 2. The information in the notices
must be concisely stated in plain language. The notices must be in clearly legible print, but may
not exceed two pages. An order or judgment and decree without the notice remains subject to
all statutes. The court may waive all or part of the notice required under subdivision 2 relating
to parental rights under section 518.17, subdivision 3, if it finds it is necessary to protect the
welfare of a party or child.
    Subd. 2. Contents. The required notices must be substantially as follows:
IMPORTANT NOTICE
1. PAYMENTS TO PUBLIC AGENCY
According to Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.50, payments ordered for maintenance
and support must be paid to the public agency responsible for child support enforcement
as long as the person entitled to receive the payments is receiving or has applied for
public assistance or has applied for support and maintenance collection services. MAIL
PAYMENTS TO:
2. DEPRIVING ANOTHER OF CUSTODIAL OR PARENTAL RIGHTS -- A FELONY
A person may be charged with a felony who conceals a minor child or takes, obtains,
retains, or fails to return a minor child from or to the child's parent (or person with custodial
or visitation rights), according to Minnesota Statutes, section 609.26. A copy of that section
is available from any district court clerk.
3. NONSUPPORT OF A SPOUSE OR CHILD -- CRIMINAL PENALTIES
A person who fails to pay court-ordered child support or maintenance may be charged
with a crime, which may include misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony charges,
according to Minnesota Statutes, section 609.375. A copy of that section is available from
any district court clerk.
4. RULES OF SUPPORT, MAINTENANCE, PARENTING TIME
(a) Payment of support or spousal maintenance is to be as ordered, and the giving of gifts or
making purchases of food, clothing, and the like will not fulfill the obligation.
(b) Payment of support must be made as it becomes due, and failure to secure or denial of
parenting time is NOT an excuse for nonpayment, but the aggrieved party must seek relief
through a proper motion filed with the court.
(c) Nonpayment of support is not grounds to deny parenting time. The party entitled to
receive support may apply for support and collection services, file a contempt motion, or
obtain a judgment as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 548.091.
(d) The payment of support or spousal maintenance takes priority over payment of debts
and other obligations.
(e) A party who accepts additional obligations of support does so with the full knowledge
of the party's prior obligation under this proceeding.
(f) Child support or maintenance is based on annual income, and it is the responsibility of a
person with seasonal employment to budget income so that payments are made throughout
the year as ordered.
(g) Reasonable parenting time guidelines are contained in Appendix B, which is available
from the court administrator.
(h) The nonpayment of support may be enforced through the denial of student grants;
interception of state and federal tax refunds; suspension of driver's, recreational, and
occupational licenses; referral to the department of revenue or private collection agencies;
seizure of assets, including bank accounts and other assets held by financial institutions;
reporting to credit bureaus; interest charging, income withholding, and contempt
proceedings; and other enforcement methods allowed by law.
(i) The public authority may suspend or resume collection of the amount allocated for child
care expenses if the conditions of section 518A.40, subdivision 4, are met.
    (j) The public authority may remove or resume a medical support offset if the conditions
of section 518A.41, subdivision 16, are met.
    (k) The public authority may suspend or resume interest charging on child support judgments
if the conditions of section 548.091, subdivision 1a, are met.
5. MODIFYING CHILD SUPPORT
If either the obligor or obligee is laid off from employment or receives a pay reduction,
child support may be modified, increased, or decreased. Any modification will only take
effect when it is ordered by the court, and will only relate back to the time that a motion
is filed. Either the obligor or obligee may file a motion to modify child support, and may
request the public agency for help. UNTIL A MOTION IS FILED, THE CHILD SUPPORT
OBLIGATION WILL CONTINUE AT THE CURRENT LEVEL. THE COURT IS NOT
PERMITTED TO REDUCE SUPPORT RETROACTIVELY.
6. PARENTAL RIGHTS FROM MINNESOTA STATUTES, SECTION 518.17, SUBDIVISION 3
    Unless otherwise provided by the Court:
(a) 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. Presentation of a copy of this order to the custodian of a
record or other information about the minor children constitutes sufficient authorization for
the release of the record or information to the requesting party.
(b) Each party shall keep the other 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.
(c) 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.
(d) Each party has the right of reasonable access and telephone contact with the minor
children.
7. WAGE AND INCOME DEDUCTION OF SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE
Child support and/or spousal maintenance may be withheld from income, with or without
notice to the person obligated to pay, when the conditions of Minnesota Statutes, section
518A.53 have been met. A copy of those sections is available from any district court clerk.
8. CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR RESIDENCE
Unless otherwise ordered, each party shall notify the other party, the court, and the public
authority responsible for collection, if applicable, of the following information within ten
days of any change: the residential and mailing address, telephone number, driver's license
number, Social Security number, and name, address, and telephone number of the employer.
9. COST OF LIVING INCREASE OF SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE
Basic support and/or spousal maintenance may be adjusted every two years based upon
a change in the cost of living (using Department of Labor Consumer Price Index ..........,
unless otherwise specified in this order) when the conditions of Minnesota Statutes, section
518A.75, are met. Cost of living increases are compounded. A copy of Minnesota Statutes,
section 518A.75, and forms necessary to request or contest a cost of living increase are
available from any district court clerk.
10. JUDGMENTS FOR UNPAID SUPPORT
If a person fails to make a child support payment, the payment owed becomes a judgment
against the person responsible to make the payment by operation of law on or after the date
the payment is due, and the person entitled to receive the payment or the public agency may
obtain entry and docketing of the judgment WITHOUT NOTICE to the person responsible
to make the payment under Minnesota Statutes, section 548.091. Interest begins to accrue on
a payment or installment of child support whenever the unpaid amount due is greater than
the current support due, according to Minnesota Statutes, section 548.091, subdivision 1a.
11. JUDGMENTS FOR UNPAID MAINTENANCE
A judgment for unpaid spousal maintenance may be entered when the conditions of
Minnesota Statutes, section 548.091, are met. A copy of that section is available from any
district court clerk.
12. ATTORNEY FEES AND COLLECTION COSTS FOR ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD
SUPPORT
A judgment for attorney fees and other collection costs incurred in enforcing a child support
order will be entered against the person responsible to pay support when the conditions of
section 518A.735, are met. A copy of sections 518.14 and 518A.735 and forms necessary
to request or contest these attorney fees and collection costs are available from any district
court clerk.
13. PARENTING TIME EXPEDITOR PROCESS
On request of either party or on its own motion, the court may appoint a parenting time
expeditor to resolve parenting time disputes under Minnesota Statutes, section 518.1751.
A copy of that section and a description of the expeditor process is available from any
district court clerk.
14. PARENTING TIME REMEDIES AND PENALTIES
Remedies and penalties for the wrongful denial of parenting time are available under
Minnesota Statutes, section 518.175, subdivision 6. These include compensatory parenting
time; civil penalties; bond requirements; contempt; and reversal of custody. A copy of that
subdivision and forms for requesting relief are available from any district court clerk.
    Subd. 3. Copies of law and forms. The district court administrator shall make available at
no charge copies of the sections referred to in subdivision 2, and shall provide forms to request or
contest attorney fees and collection costs or a cost-of-living increase under section 518A.735 or
518A.75.
History: 1993 c 322 s 16; 1994 c 630 art 11 s 13-15; 1996 c 391 art 1 s 4,5; 1997 c 203 art
6 s 49,92; 1997 c 245 art 2 s 6; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 40,41; 2000 c 458 s 6; 2001 c 158 s 4; 2005 c
164 s 13,29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28; 2007 c 118 s 1
518.7123 [Renumbered 518A.29]
518.7124 [Renumbered 518A.32]
518.7125 [Renumbered 518A.30]
518.713 [Renumbered 518A.34]
518.714 [Renumbered 518A.43]
518.715 [Renumbered 518A.37]
518.716 [Renumbered 518A.77]
518.717 [Renumbered 518A.33]
518.718 [Renumbered 518A.31]
518.719 [Renumbered 518A.41]
518.72 [Renumbered 518A.40]
518.722 [Renumbered 518A.36]
518.724 [Renumbered 518A.42]
518.725 [Renumbered 518A.35]
518.729 [Renumbered 518A.78]