Child Custody


This is the voluntary action of a Parent transferring custody to another person. In a proceeding under this statute, a parent may transfer legal and physical custody of a child by a writeen consent decree.

The court may approve a proposed consent decree if the custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child and all parties to the decree agree to it after being fully informed of its contents.

A consent decree under this section must:

(1) transfer legal and physical custody of the child to a third party and state that this includes the ability to determine the child’s residence; make decisions regarding the child’s education, religious training, and health care; and obtain information and public services on behalf of the child in the same manner as a parent;

(2) indicate whether the transfer of custody is temporary or permanent; and

(3) include an order for child support in the guidelines amount and an allocation of child care costs as provided by section 518A.40, subject to income withholding under section 518A.53 and including an order for medical support under section 518A.41.

A party who has custody of a child under this section must seek modification of the consent decree before transferring physical or legal custody of the child to anyone.

A party to a consent decree under this section may file a motion to modify or terminate the consent decree at any time. Though the following criteria apply, as per Minnesota Statute 518.18, paragraphs (d) and (e):

  • A court shall not modify a custody consent decree unless it finds, upon the basis of facts (including unwarranted denial of, or interference with, a duly established parenting time schedule) that have arisen since the prior order or that were unknown to the court at the time of the prior order, that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or the parties and that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child.
  • In applying these standards the court shall retain the custody consent decree unless:
  • The court finds that a change in the custody consent decree is in the best interests of the child and the parties previously agreed, in a writing approved by a court, to apply the best interests standard, as applicable; and, with respect to agreements approved by a court on or after April 28, 2000, both parties were represented by counsel when the agreement was approved or the court found the parties were fully informed, the agreement was voluntary, and the parties were aware of its implications;
  • Both parties agree to the modification;
  • the child has been integrated into the family of the petitioner with the consent of the other party;
  • The child’s present environment endangers the child’s physical or emotional health or impairs the child’s emotional development and the harm likely to be caused by a change of environment is outweighed by the advantage of a change to the child; or
  • The court has denied a request of the primary custodial parent to move the residence of the child to another state, and the primary custodial parent has relocated to another state despite the court’s order.
  • In deciding whether to modify a prior joint custody order, the court shall apply the standards set forth above unless: (1) the parties agree in writing to the application of a different standard, or (2) the party seeking the modification is asking the court for permission to move the residence of the child to another state.
Posted On

February 14, 2016

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