Going through a divorce can be especially difficult when the stakes are high. But everyone's most important asset is their children, and after working to divide the material things, many high-asset couples worry about how much they will have to fight in order to maintain custody of their kids.
In the state of Minnesota, the Uniform Child Custody Act (UCCA) has been adopted. This means that many changes in the laws between states are mitigated, so issues such as interstate custody cases and relocation disputes tend to cause less conflict.
Is joint custody an option?
The first thing that a Minnesota court will do in any child custody case is assess whether joint custody is an option. Joint custody, meaning that both parents have shared custody of the child, is the default favored scenario of the courts. This is because they consider it to be, in most cases, in the best interests of the child.
In order for joint custody to not be an option, one parent must be considered a danger to the child, or he or she does not want to have any custody of the child. If your former spouse is trying to make a case that you should not have custody for his or her own personal gain, it is important that you stand up for your rights and show that you are a good parent.
How can I prove that I am a parent worthy of custody?
First off, it is important to acknowledge that the parent who is fighting for sole custody is going to be subject to more interrogation than the parent who is seeking joint custody. He or she needs a very good reason to prevent the other parent from having legal access to the child. But that can also mean that the battle can get ruthless.
If you're fighting for joint custody, try keeping a record of the ways that you have supported your children over weeks and months. This could be receipts of you taking them to the movie theatre, to the doctor's office or diary notes of you taking them to their soccer game or ballet class. This can be used as information to show that you are a supportive parent who adds value to your children's lives.
If you do manage to gain joint custody, establishing a parenting plan can be a great way for you and your former spouse to coparent in the future. Remember that it's important to fight for your parental rights through the process, as the decision could be in effect for years to come.