If both parents do not agree to a parenting plan, the court may create one. The court will not create a parenting plan if it finds that a parent has committed domestic abuse against the other parent or a child. The law encourages both parents to remain actively involved with their children. The parent who does not have custody is usually granted the right to visit the children. Parenting time is decided by what is in the best interests of the children.
The court will look at the reasons why the parenting time schedule was not followed. Grandparents may seek visitation with their grandchildren. Minnesota law also allows a person who is not a parent but who previously lived with the child for two years to ask the court for the right to visit the child. A court will grant visitation if it is in the child's best interests and if visitation will not interfere with the parent-child relationship. Scheduled Parenting Time If the parents cannot agree, or if one parent asks for a schedule, the court may schedule parenting time.
Additional Parenting Time to Provide Child Care Additional parenting time may be granted to the non-custodial parent to provide child care while the custodial parent is working, if this arrangement is reasonable and in the best interest of the child. If an agreement is not reached, the expeditor will make the decision. The decision of the parenting time expeditor is "non-binding.
If a problem comes up, the expeditor will meet with the parents. The parents may also agree to meet with a mediator, social worker, or someone who can help them reach an agreement. If no agreement is reached, they may go back to court.
You and the other parent may be responsible for paying for the expeditor. The court will decide how much each of you will pay before appointing the expeditor.
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The court can do this by limiting the hours of parenting time or limiting the place where parenting time can take place. The court can require that he or she only visit when another person is present supervised parenting time. In very rare cases, parenting time may be denied altogether. If a parent has been convicted of certain crimes, that parent must convince the court that parenting time with the child is in the child's best interest.
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These crimes include assault, sexual abuse, parental kidnapping, terroristic threats, felony harassment, domestic assault by strangulation, and stalking. Ask your lawyer if these laws apply in your case. If parenting time is not restricted or supervised, you may ask the court to order that a law enforcement officer or some other person come along to make sure parenting time happens according to what is written in the court order.
Child support is money the non-custodial parent pays to help support the children. Buying gifts, food, or clothing for the children does not count as child support. Each county has a child support enforcement unit which will help you establish and enforce a child support order at no or minimal cost. You can to apply for these services at your county offices.
The court will order a reasonable amount of child support to be paid by the non-custodial parent. Minnesota law has guidelines that say how much support should be paid. The court can also order either parent to pay medical insurance premiums or expenses and to pay part of child care costs.
The court considers the parent's income or ability to earn income and the number of children supported. The court considers the income or ability to earn income of both parents. This way of calculating child support is called Income Shares.
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Failure to pay child support is not a reason to limit parenting time. See the section on denying or interfering with parenting time. For more information about child support, see our booklet Child Support Basics. Spousal maintenance is money paid to support an ex-spouse. Either spouse can ask for spousal maintenance, but the court will not award spousal maintenance unless there is a need for it. Spousal maintenance may be granted for several reasons. These include disability or illness or not having worked outside the home for a number of years. If there is a large difference between your income and that of your spouse, you may be in need of spousal maintenance.
In some cases, the court may order spousal maintenance for a limited time while the spouse returns to school or trains for employment. Permanent spousal maintenance may be awarded if the court finds that one of you will not be able to adequately support yourself. The court will consider age, health, education, work experience, skills and other factors.
If you agree to give up waive your claim for spousal maintenance, you cannot come back to court and ask for spousal maintenance later. If you ask the court to "reserve" spousal maintenance, the court will not award you spousal maintenance now, but may in the future. Health Insurance for Children Health insurance coverage for your children is a part of child support. If the parent ordered to pay child support is not ordered to get health insurance for the children or to pay all medical and dental expenses the court may order them to pay some of the cost of insurance.
If neither parent has enough coverage, the court may order one of the parents to apply for public health care, such as MinnesotaCare.
You need to be low-income to be eligible for public health benefits. The court will also order the parents to pay anything not covered by insurance. The cost is usually divided between the parents. Health Insurance for Ex-Spouse The court may also require that medical insurance for an ex-spouse continues. For example, group medical insurance rates may not be available to one spouse or may not cover as many medical costs as the insurance available through the other spouse's employer. The court may order that the insurance through one spouse's employer continue.
Either party may be ordered to pay the cost. This kind of insurance coverage is part of spousal maintenance.
Life Insurance The court may also order the non-custodial parent to keep a life insurance policy in effect so that if that parent dies, the children will receive the insurance benefits to make up for the lost child support. Generally, a court will not order that a life insurance policy be continued just for the benefit of an ex-spouse. If the insurance policy has cash value, ownership of the policy may be granted to either party, the same as other property of the parties.
The court may order either spouse to pay all debts or may order each spouse to pay part of them.
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The court will look at several things. A court order directing one of the spouses to pay a debt does not give the other spouse legal protection from the person or business to whom the debt is owed the creditor. The creditor can still take legal action against either spouse.
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All property that was acquired during the marriage is called "marital property. Both parties are assumed to have made an equal contribution.
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A homemaker's work in the home counts as an equal contribution. This "marital" property is divided fairly. Usually, fairly means equally. The court will decide the value of all the property and try to divide the property so that each spouse gets approximately half of the overall value. If one spouse has misspent the family's income, or misused or taken property, the court may award more property to the other spouse to make up for that. If one spouse has special needs, the court may award more property to the needy spouse.
For example, if there are two automobiles, each spouse is usually given one of them. This is especially true if the cars are nearly equal in value. If there is only one automobile, the court often awards it to the spouse who has the greater need for transportation.