At Marvin Law Office,
protecting your family is

A Law Firm Protecting Parent-Child Relationships

If you are seeking solutions to child custody or parenting time problems connected to your divorce, or modifications to custody obligations in your current divorce decree in Minnesota, experienced Anoka family law attorney Joseph E. Marvin and Marvin Law Office, L.L.C., can help.

During your consultation with Joseph Marvin, you can discuss your physical custody or legal custody goals. Joe Marvin works hard to reach the objective of both parents maintaining a prominent role in a child’s upbringing. “The best interests of the child” are always his top priority.

Important Custody Terms To Know

Here are some terms that will be discussed during the custody process:

Physical custody deals with which parent will have the children residing with them. It may be joint between the parties if circumstances permit, though joint physical custody is unusual because circumstances typically do not exist.

Legal custody addresses each parent’s right to make decisions on behalf of the child, including on issues like education, health care and religion. Legal custody is presumptively joint if no abuse has occurred prior to or during the divorce. Joint legal custody gives both parties access to school records, a notice of school conference dates and input regarding the child’s religious direction.

Parenting time is the allocation of time with the children between the parents. Standard parenting time is alternate weekends, one or two evenings per week, alternate major holidays and extended parenting time in the summer. There are many options with the parenting time schedule. An arrangement that works for one family may not work for another. Our attorney will listen carefully to your ideas and propose sound recommendations of his own, based on your availability to your child.

How Our Firm Can Help

Are you worried about a custody issue? Do you have questions about joint, legal, physical and sole custody, or parenting time issues in Anoka County or elsewhere in the northern Twin Cities area of Minnesota?

Whether you are divorcing or seeking a modification of an existing child support order, we are here for you. We excel at mediation, negotiation, and/or litigation of custody and parenting time matters. Joe Marvin can also consult with you on paternity issues as they relate to custody and parenting time if you are an unmarried parent seeking to establish parental rights.

Is Minnesota biased against fathers or mothers in custody decisions?

Thankfully, there is no gender bias in statute (written law) and very little practice. There was a time in the United States where some courts favored mothers, particularly when children were very young, but this is no longer the case. Instead, Minnesota courts are directed to make custody decisions “in the best interests of the child.” In most cases, that means keeping both parents actively involved (even if parenting time isn’t allocated perfectly equally).

Is one parent allowed to interfere with the other’s parenting time if that other parent is behind on child support?

No, they are not. While child support is influenced by custody decisions, they are two separate legal rulings. Interfering with a custody order is potentially damaging to your children and could land you in legal trouble. If your co-parent hasn’t been paying child support, you may need to take them back to court to enforce the order.

When would it be appropriate to seek sole custody?

As mentioned above, courts try to keep both parents involved. But that assumes both parents are fit and do not pose a danger to the child or the other parent. Our firm can help you seek sole custody if your child’s other parent has a history of committing domestic violence, is actively struggling with drug/alcohol addiction, or has a serious mental illness that makes them a danger to themselves or others. Those are the primary circumstances in which sole custody would be appropriate, but there are others as well. If you have concerns, feel free to discuss them with us directly.

Can my child choose which parent they want to live with?

In Minnesota, courts will consider a child’s expressed wishes so long as the child is deemed old enough and mature enough to make and express those preferences. There is no specific age at which this happens. Even when a child’s wishes are considered, however, they are not necessarily the deciding factor in the case. The child’s preference is one of the numerous factors judges must consider when allocating physical custody (parenting time).

Can grandparents seek court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren?

Yes, they can, although these outcomes can be difficult to achieve if there is significant opposition from the parents. You can learn more about this topic by visiting our grandparents’ rights page.

Contact Marvin Law Office, L.L.C., When Seeking Effective Solutions For Your Child Custody Issues

For experienced guidance and knowledgeable representation on issues related to child custody in Minnesota, contact Marvin Law Office, L.L.C., to schedule an initial consultation. Just call 763-200-5754 or send us an email.