When divorcing parents negotiate a child custody arrangement, or a family court judge in Minnesota issues a ruling on the matter, all parties involved are supposed to consider the child’s best interests first and foremost.

But what is best for a child when his or her parents divorce may not be the same, say, five years later. Similarly, the parents’ living arrangement or financial situation may change a great deal as the years pass.

In recognition of this reality, Minnesota law does not force parents to comply with a child custody order until the kid turns 18. Instead, parents have the right to ask the court to modify the order.

Reasons for parents to ask for more or less custody of their child depend on their particular circumstances. Common reasons people seek a child custody modification include:

  • The parent is seeking to move out of Minnesota to pursue a job in another state
  • The parent’s job has been transferred out of state
  • The children have grown older, and have their own opinions about their custody and visitation arrangement.

Even if you have a reasonable pretext for adjusting the custody arrangement, doing so may not be easy. Your ex-husband or -wife may object. Or if you do not properly follow procedure, or fail to clearly establish your argument, the court may not accept it.

On the other hand, you may be happy with the way things are now, and oppose your ex’s proposed changes. Either way, you will likely need the services of a family law attorney.