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Subdivision 1.General.

(a) In all proceedings for dissolution or legal separation, subsequent to the commencement of the proceeding and continuing thereafter during the minority of the child, the court shall, upon the request of either parent, grant such parenting time on behalf of the child and a parent as will enable the child and the parent to maintain a child to parent relationship that will be in the best interests of the child. The court, when issuing a parenting time order, may reserve a determination as to the future establishment or expansion of a parent's parenting time. In that event, the best interest standard set forth in subdivision 5, paragraph (a), shall be applied to a subsequent motion to establish or expand parenting time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes