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At What Age May the Child Decide Where He Wants to Live in Minnesota Divorce Cases?

In Minnesota, there is no particular age at which a child gets to decide which parent he wants to live with. Generally, the older the child, the more weight the child’s preference carries, whether in the initial custody determination or in the context of a motion to modify custody. Still, the child’s preference alone is an insufficient basis for modification of custody. There must be a showing of endangerment, at least on an emotional level, in order to modify custody. The child’s preference is an important factor and often a sine qua non of a showing of endangerment.

* THE INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE IS NOT ADVICE FOR YOUR PARTICULAR CASE. ALSO, THIS INFORMATION APPLIES ONLY TO MINNESOTA LAW, AND NOT TO THE LAW OF ANY OTHER STATE OR COUNTRY.


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Minnesota is a no-fault only state. The divorce petition must state either that the parties have been living separate and apart for 180 days or more or that there is "serious marital discord" with no chance of reconciliation. All fault grounds, such as adultery, cruelty and insanity are no longer recognized in Minnesota.
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