Grandparents’ and Third Party Custody Rights in Minnesota

Decisions about who should have custody of a minor child are rarely easy, and should always be based on an evaluation of the facts and circumstances to determine what custody arrangement will truly be in the best interest of the child.

In certain situations, it may make sense for a grandparent, or another third-party to request custody of minors, including situations where the parents are unable to provide adequate care; where abuse or neglect exists; or where one or both of the child’s parents are deceased.

Minnesota law allows third-parties to request custody in these circumstances, and a child custody proceeding will determine who will have physical and legal custody of the child as well as making determinations about parenting time and child support, if appropriate.

Either a “de facto custodian” or another interested third party can request custody. A de facto custodian is someone who has been the primary caretaker for the child and has resided with the child for a period of 6 months or more in the previous 2 years without the parent’s consistent participation in providing care for the child.

An interested third party is someone who does not meet the definition of de facto custodian, but who has evidence to show that the child will be harmed by living with the parent, and that either the child is in danger of physical or emotional damage by staying with the parent, or other extraordinary circumstances exist that mean staying with the custodial parent is not in the child’s best interest.

If you are considering requesting custody of a minor child as either a de facto custodian or another interested third party, contact us to learn more today.