Many parents have issues surrounding parenting time or visitation. “Parenting time,” also commonly referred to as “visitation,” refers to the time the non-custodial parent spends with a child, regardless of the labels used in the custody arrangement.
Parenting time is often set according to a schedule as a result of a court order. The amount of parenting time can vary greatly from case to case based upon the individual circumstances of the parents and children. Courts in Minnesota consider the “best interests” of the minor children in determining the appropriate parenting time for each parent.
Visitation or parenting time issues can be very emotional and frustrating for parents and children. Many times specific schedules are not set in court orders or a custodial parent will deny or interfere with visitation. Other times a custodial parent has a legitimate concern about the safety and welfare of the child during visitation.
All of these issues can be addressed through an action to determine custody and parenting time or during the divorce process. Sometimes it is necessary to involve a “neutral” professional that is appointed by the court such as a parenting time evaluator or Guardian Ad Litem to assess the circumstances of the minor child. A ”neutral” can investigate the concerns raised by the parents and access information that is relevant to investigating the circumstances and determining the validity of the concerns that have been raised. The “neutral” will typically make recommendations to the court regarding how concerns should be addressed and what parenting time schedule may be in the minor child’s best interests.
These types of matters can be very complex and involve the necessity to include evaluations, assessments and therapeutic interactions to gain resolution. In certain cases, it may be necessary to challenge recommendations or findings from a Guardian Ad Litem or custody evaluator that are inaccurate. At Priest Law Firm, Ltd. we have extensive experience with all of these parenting time issues and are able to address everything from a simple visitation schedule to custody reports that are contrary to the child’s best interests. If you have an issue call for a free consultation.