When it comes to ending your marital relationship, an uncontested divorce is often the most inexpensive and fastest alternative to do it. However, not all couples have the luxury of uncontested divorce. Most divorces get finalized in the court, and one of the parties often disagrees with the court’s decision.
Child custody, which is one of the most critical elements of a divorce case involving minor children, is no exception to this fact. When one of the spouses disagrees with the child custody award, they will appeal the court’s decision in the hopes of getting a better outcome.
Here’s what you need to know about child custody and appealing it in Brainerd, MN.
1. Types of Child Custody
In Minnesota, there are four primary types of child custody. They are:
A. Sole Physical Custody: In this custody, the court will place the children under the supervision of one parent, while the other parent will get limited or generous visitation depending on the circumstances of your case.
B. Joint Physical Custody: In this type of custody, the children will stay with both parents for a significant amount of time. However, this type of custody is rare.
C. Sole Legal Custody: Legal custody gives a parent the right to have a say in major decisions like health, education, religion, and general upbringing of the children. Sole legal custody means only one parent gets this right.
D. Joint Legal Custody: In joint legal custody, both parents get to decide regarding the health, education, religion, and overall welfare of the children. However, both parents need to make things work. Only then the court is likely to award joint legal custody.
2. Child’s Best Interest Is Key
As an experienced child custody lawyer in Brainerd would tell you, the court always puts the child’s best interests first. Of course, the court will take into account different factors when determining child custody. However, the child’s overall best interests form the crux of their decision.
The various factors that can affect the outcome of child custody include parents’ wishes, the relation of the child with both parents, adjustment to home, school, and community, and cultural background, among other things.
The court will also check if the parent seeking custody is capable of raising a child financially, emotionally, and mentally. Just like each divorce case is unique, so is every child custody situation. You should talk to your lawyer to know your legal options.
3. Can You Appeal Child Custody Decision in Brainerd?
Although the short answer is “Yes,” appealing a child custody decision is not as easy as it sounds. In almost all cases, if your argument for an appeal is that the trial court didn’t get it right, the appellate court is not likely to entertain your request.
However, if your appeal is based on the argument that the trial court applied an incorrect legal standard when determining the child custody, your chances of being heard are better. Unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed, and the possibility of filing a successful appeal will change from case to case. Make sure to discuss your case with an experienced child custody lawyer in Brainerd first.
4. File for Modification Instead of Appealing
Although you can appeal the child custody order, it is often better to seek modification instead. If your current custody arrangement is no longer in the best interest of the child, you can go to the court and ask for an order modification.
However, there needs to be a change in circumstances that warrants the modification, and you should be able to prove this change in the court. For example, if the present environment threatens the mental and physical well-being of your child, the court will be more willing to change the previous custody arrangement.
If both parents agree to the modification (which does happen), the court will modify the order. Also, if the custodial parent is found guilty of criminal offenses, the custodial arrangements will be modified.
However, at least one year needs to pass from the date of issuing the original custody order before you can file for modification. If you have already filed a motion for modification before, whether or not the court granted it, you can’t file a subsequent request for at least two years. But there are exceptions to these rules as well. Talk to a competent family lawyer to discuss your options.
Getting a divorce is exceptionally difficult when children are involved. Sometimes, the child custody order can be unbearable for one of parents, resulting in an emotional decision to appeal the original custody order. However, you need to consider all your legal options carefully before proceeding with a crucial decision like this. Hopefully, this short post will help you understand a few important facts related to this issue.
Talk to an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer in Brainerd Today!
We know how heartbreaking it is to see an unexpected outcome of your child custody request. But don’t worry! Carlson & Jones, P.A., one of the most experienced child custody lawyers in Brainerd, are here to help you. Call us on (855) 663-7423 or contact us online to know how we can help resolve your child custody issues.