Many people believe that children do best when they have both of their parents in their lives. Minnesota law agrees. In most cases, divorced parents have a rebuttable presumption that they are entitled to parenting time, also known as visitation, for a minimum of 25 percent of the time.
A “rebuttable presumption” is one that the court starts with, but something that the other party can dispute. And there are cases where a parent’s visitation with his or her kids must be restricted or prohibited, unfortunately.
According to the relevant statute, a judge can place restrictions on parenting time in regard to time, place, duration or supervision, or deny visitation outright. To do so, he or she must find that having visitation with that parent is likely to endanger the child’s physical or emotional health, or hinder the child’s emotional development. Among the evidence the judge must consider are the age of the child and the child’s relationship with the parent prior to the proceedings.
In some cases, the court will grant parenting time, but require a third party be present to supervise, so that the child’s health and safety is protected. The supervisor can be a police officer or “other appropriate person.” But if the evidence does not indicate that parenting time is appropriate under any circumstances, the court may deny it entirely. The existence of an order of protection on behalf of one parent against the other will be taken into consideration.
Divorcing parents who want what is best for their children need the help of a family law attorney.