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Family Law: How Do You Modify a Parenting Plan in Minnesota?

by | Dec 29, 2022 | Child Custody, Visitation & Parenting Time

Are you a divorced or otherwise separated parent whose needs have changed? If so, you may need a modification of your parenting plan. In Minnesota, parenting plans are always subject to modification. They can be modified through mutual agreement of the parents or through a court order based on a substantial change in circumstances. Within this article, our Mankato family law attorneys explain the key things to know about the modification of parenting plans in Minnesota.

What is a Parenting Plan?

In Minnesota, a parenting plan is a legal document that outlines how parents will share the responsibilities of raising their children after a divorce or separation. A parenting plan addresses important issues such as custody, visitation, decision-making authority, and communication between the parents. It is designed to provide a clear and detailed outline of how the parents will work together to meet the needs of their children. Following a divorce or separation, it is important to have a comprehensive, well structured parenting plan in place.

A Parenting Plan is Subject to Modification (Substantial Change in Circumstances)

Under Minnesota law (Sec. 518.18 MN Statutes), a parenting plan is subject to modification in certain situations. State policy recognizes that the needs of parents—and families—are not static. A parenting plan that was effective when it was initially put into place may no longer be useful for a family in Southern Minnesota. Parents can agree to change their plan or the plan can be modified based on a substantial and material change in circumstances.

Two Categories of Parenting Plan Modification Cases

Not all parenting plan modification cases are the same. Indeed, these legal matters fit into one of two broad categories in Minnesota. A parenting plan may be modified based on the following:

  • Mutual Agreement: In cases where the parents agree to modify the parenting plan, they may be able to do so without involving the court. This is often the case when the parents have an amicable relationship and are able to work out a mutually acceptable plan for the care of their children. Courts give parents considerable authority to make agreed-upon changes. Though, for legal protection, it is best to file a revised plan with the court.
  • Court Order: In cases where the parents do not agree on a modification of the parenting plan, or where one parent wishes to modify the plan based on a change in circumstances, the matter may need to be resolved through the court. In these cases, the parent seeking the modification must file a motion with the court and provide evidence of the change in circumstances that justifies the modification.

Call Our Minnesota Family Law Attorney for Immediate Help

At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Minnesota family law attorneys represent parents with professionalism, experience, and personal attention. If you have any questions about modifying a parenting plan, we can help. Contact us today to set up a completely confidential consultation. With offices located in Mankato and Rochester, we provide family law support throughout Southern Minnesota, including in Blue Earth County, Dodge County, Le Sueur County, and Olmstead County.