Best Interest Factors for Custody in MN

When a judge in Minnesota must decide which parent will be awarded custody of a child, the decision is based upon 13 Best Interest Factors. Evidence for any of these factors will be provided by the parents, witnesses, or through the testimony or reports made by any Guardian Ad Litem or Custody Evaluator.

An honest and in depth look at your unique situation through the lens of these thirteen factors should give an idea of the possible outcome.

 MN Best Interest Factors

“The best interests of the child” means all relevant factors to be considered and evaluated by the court including:

1. The wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to custody;

2. The reasonable preference of the child, if the child is old enough to express a preference;

3. The child’s primary caretaker;

4. The intimacy of the relationship between each parent and the child;

5. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with a parent or parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;

6. The child’s adjustment to home, school and community;

7. The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity;

8. The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home;

9. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;

10. The capacity and disposition of the parties to give the child love, affection, and guidance, and to continue educating and raising the child in the child’s culture and religion or creed;

11. The child’s cultural background;

12. The effect of abuse on the child where the domestic abuse occurred between the parents or between a parent and another individual; and

13. The disposition of each parent to encourage ad permit frequent and continuing contact by the other parent with the child, except in cases where a finding of domestic abuse has been made.





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