Legal Question in Family Law in Minnesota

Custodial mom wants to leave state - what can dad do?

My husband and a former girlfriend have a son together and never married. The son is now 13. My husband has visitation rights only and mom is the custodial parent. He sees his son every other weekend. Mom has made a mess of her life here and wants to start over in Florida but she wants to take her son with. She has no job lined up down there or a place to live. Last winter Mom was arrested and charged with domestic assult on a minor (son) but not convicted. She plead guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and got a fine and probation. During that time his son lived with us and went from a C-D student to straight B's. What in the world can we do to keep my stepson in this state???

Asked on 9/18/02, 5:33 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Maury Beaulier612.240.8005 Minnesota Lawyers

Re: Custodial mom wants to leave state - what can dad do?

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In order to change physical custody, you must demonstrate that the current custodial situation "endangers" the minor child emotionally, physically or developmentally and that the benefits of the change outweigh any harm. Custody may also be changed if the child is integrated into the non-custodial parent's home with the other parent's consent.

Often, courts may find that a prima facie case of endangerment has been made if the child threatens to run away,or feuds with a parent to the point that his/her grades are affected. To prove these facts, independent evidence, such as report cards, are needed. Once you have made a prima facie case of endangerment, the Court will weigh thirteen factor set out in Minnesota Statutes for determining custody. The child's preference is only one of those factors.

If you do not have a basis to change custody, you may seek a more liberal and reasonable visitation schedule.

You may review the statute on changing custody at

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Answered on 9/18/02, 7:30 pm

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