Edina, MN Family Law Attorney, Jane Van Valkenburg talks about whether or not the terms of child custody and visitation can be altered after the divorce is finalized.
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Yes, they can. Physical custody is very difficult to change, and that’s good. Physical custody can be changed by an agreement of the parties. It can be changed by the child becoming integrated into the other parent’s home, and integrated means it’s changed schools, got new friends, those kinds of things, and it’s been for a significant period of time.
The other is that the other parent has interfered with the other parent’s relationship willfully in an ongoing basis; so the child’s got a schedule and the other parent’s not letting that happen. The last one is the child is endangered in the current parent’s home, and it’s an endangerment mentally or physically. And that’s very difficult to show and that’s very sad if that occurs. But those are the standards. And the court wants it to be difficult because a change of custody is so traumatic for a child.
As far as parenting time, that standard is what’s in the child’s best interest. So if the parent who doesn’t have as much parenting time wants more parenting time, it’s basically what’s in the child’s best interest. And we usually figure that parenting time changes about every two years because, developmental, the children change.