By law, a mother is not necessarily more likely to be granted custody over a child’s father. Rather, custody is determined based upon a number of factors, which are outlined in MN 518.17. Among the factors that help to determine child custody in a divorce case or separation, the most important deal with the custody preference of the parents and child, the child’s relationship to each parent, and the most stable and consistent custody arrangement possible given the two previous considerations. If you are concerned about retaining custody of your child, it is important to remember that while the legal system is meant to work with and for you, it can become adversarial, particularly if you participate in a courtroom custody battle. By working for Amber M Serwat Mediation, however, you can avoid conflict-fueled custody battles and come to a fair custody agreement based on your needs, your child’s needs, and the needs of your parenting partner with as little pain as possible.

Depending on your preferences and the preferences of your parenting partner, you may find that coming to a reasonable parenting schedule is more simple than you imagined. However, that is not often the case, as both parents are typically hoping to keep as “normal” a relationship with their children as possible. If a “normal” relationship involves seeing your child every day, then you will likely need to reach some form of compromise. When compromising, it is helpful to consider the needs and wishes of the child, if appropriate, evaluating his or her desire to spend time with each parent or family member.

Evaluating a Child’s Relationship to Each Parent

Determining a child’s relationship to each parent is a crucial element of custody decisions, as the intimacy of child’s relationship to their mother or father can vary significantly from child to child. If you have been the primary caregiver for your child, or if you have spent significantly more time with your child than their other parent, then it may be appropriate for your child to spend the majority of their time with you.
Determining the Most Stable Custody Arrangement for a Child
Creating a stable custody arrangement involves coming to an agreement that suits the needs of you, your spouse, and your child. In order to promote routine in your child’s life, it is best to create a simple custody arrangement that you each can depend upon for stability, even when conflict arises. This stable custody agreement can only be reached by evaluating the important factors mentioned and considering the benefits and drawbacks of every custody scenario. At Amber M Serwat Mediation, our Burnsville, Minnesota divorce mediators can help you determine a fair custody agreement, ensuring that you avoid the cost and emotional strain of court. Contact us at 952-252-1492 or to learn more about parents’ custody rights and how custody is determined.