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Stepparent Visitation in Minnesota

It is often the case that stepchildren form close bonds with their stepparent. Unfortunately, in divorce proceedings, the biological parents don’t always let the stepparent maintain contact after the divorce, even where this is very hurtful to the stepchildren.

In cases where the stepparent has lived with the stepchild for at least two years, he or she may obtain court-ordered visitation with the stepchild by proving:

  • Visitation rights would be in the best interest of the child;
  • The petitioner and child had established emotional ties creating a parent and child relationship; AND
  • Visitation rights would not interfere with the relationship between the custodial parent and the child.

* 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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When custody is in dispute, a Minnesota court issues a custody order that is in the "best interests of the child." Joint custody will only be awarded if parents have shown the court that they are willing and able to cooperate. A court also examines several factors with the child's welfare in mind. They include (1) the child's preference, (2) each parent's health, (3) the child's health and whether any special needs exist, (4) each parent's relationship with the child, (5) which parent has been the child's primary caretaker, (6) each parent's ability to provide a stable environment for the child, (7) any history of domestic violence or child abuse and (8) any allegations of abuse.
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