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Time With The Kids: The Basics Of Parenting-Time Determinations

Parenting time, sometimes called “visitation,” is the time that each parent spends with a child. Custody labels, such as “sole” or “joint,” do not dictate parenting time; it is a separate determination. The court will order a parenting-time schedule that it determines to be in the child’s best interest.

Minnesota law sets forth twelve “best interest factors” that the Court must consider. In setting the schedule, the court looks at things such as the child’s age, the child’s safety, and the child’s past relationship with each parent.

In most cases, children benefit from ample time with both parents and the court typically wants both parents to be involved in raising their child. Schedules in which each parent has 50% parenting time are becoming more and more common, but it depends upon whether such a schedule is determined to be in the best interests of the child.

In general, each parent gets at least 25% of the parenting time. This is usually calculated by counting the number of overnights in a two-week period. Four overnights in two weeks -- for example, every other Friday/Saturday and every Tuesday -- is approximately 25%.

If one parent denies parenting time or interferes with a set parenting-time schedule, the Court can order additional “compensatory” time to the parent who was denied their regular parenting time. Repeatedly and purposefully denying or interfering can cause the court to change parenting-time schedules or modify custody. The only exception is if the denial of parenting time was to protect the child’s physical or emotional health. In other words, if you deny the other parent’s parenting-time, have a very good reason and be prepared to explain it to the court.

To discuss parenting time, or any other family law matter, call Kruse Family Law PLLC at 612.231.9865 or email

Children generally benefit from ample time with both parents.

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