When a court awards custody of a child or children they do so with the children’s best interests front and center. With this in mind, it can be difficult but not impossible to modify child custody agreements through the Minnesota court system. Modifications to parenting plans are often carefully scrutinized to make sure that the changes meet the court’s standards that are specified under Minnesota Statute 518.18. A good option for many families with parenting plan disputes is to utilize the services of a parenting consultant (PC) at AMS Mediation to solve disputes outside of the courtroom.

How To Modify A Child Custody Order

When divorced, legally separated or co-parents have a disagreement related to an existing child custody order they often find an unsympathetic legal system that requires a waiting period before a motion to modify custody can be submitted. Parenting plans that are under a court jurisdiction can only be modified under limited circumstances. Most requests for custody modifications must wait at least one year after the date of decree unless the circumstances meet the criteria of an approved exception to this rule.

Standards For Changing Child Custody Award

Minnesota courts could approve changes to a child custody award earlier than one year if certain standards are met. Here are some examples of reasons when modifications to a custody order may be approved:

• Both parties agree in writing to modify an existing parenting time schedule.
• Facts show that one parent is willfully and persistently interfering with a child custody order.
• Or, the court finds that the child’s physical or emotional health or emotional development could be at risk.
• Change in circumstances related to the child in which the court sees modification to be in the best interest of the child
• The child’s primary custodial parent has moved out of state after having been denied the right to do so by the court.

MN Parenting Consultants (PC)

The role of a parenting consultant (PC) can have in working out parenting agreements can be very beneficial. AMS Mediation can assist with getting both parties to agree to modifications to child custody or parenting plans. We prioritize the best interests of the children when working to find solutions for disputes between parents. A parenting consultant can help to improve communication, reach a fair and comprehensive solution to difficult parenting disputes, clarify or modify parenting time schedules with a smooth, efficient process that can save time and money.

You can schedule an appointment with a Burnsville, MN Parenting Consultant at AMS Mediation by calling (952) 252-1492.


The safety of clients, ourselves, and colleagues is our top priority while we remain available to assist you as you navigate the new and uncharted territory caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


Offering All Services Virtually

While providing virtual ADR services was not part of our plan, we have made the necessary accommodations to ensure we can continue to serve our clients during these unsettling times. All services are currently available through virtually. We are using Zoom for videoconferencing. We suggest that you download this app to your phone or the program to your computer at https://zoom.us/download.


Limited In-Person Services

We have resumed limited in-person services for sessions with 1 or 2 participants scheduled for a maximum of 2 hours. Masks are required in our building and in session. Availability is subject to change based on local regulations and CDC guidelines.


Office Hours

Our office hours remain the same and we remain available by phone and email. The main office number is 952.252.1492. Gabe can be reached via email at gabe@amsmediationplus.com.


New Clients Welcome

We offer free 1-hour divorce consultations via Zoom. Potential PC and PTE clients are invited to schedule a free 15-minute phone call. Please call 952.252.1492 to set up an appointment. We are here to help!

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all continue to adapt to these rapidly changing and chaotic times. Stay strong, stay resilient, and stay healthy!


Amber Serwat & Gabe Frye
ADR Professional & ADR Assistant

Divorce Mediation & Dispute Resolution Services - Amber Serwat Mediation

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