Life goes on after a divorce, which means that circumstances eventually change. A parent may start working on a different shift. Children grow and change. Parents may relocate. Sooner or later, the original court order may become outdated.
Sheridan & Dulas, P.A., provides experienced counsel and representation for clients initiating or challenging a petition to modify orders for parenting time (child custody) or financial support. We offer detailed information needed to make sound decisions. We are prepared to advocate for you in court as necessary.
Protecting Your Rights And Interests
Changing a parenting time order is one of the most difficult goals to pursue in family law. There is nothing simple or straightforward about the process of seeking or obtaining a parenting time modification. An original parenting time order is determined on the grounds of what is in the best interests of the child. Petitioning a family law court for modification requires a demonstration of a significant change in circumstances.
There is a much higher level of proof of the best interests of the child when a parent seeks a modification on this basis. Usually, the time has gone by and a child has become integrated into a household as his or her usual place of residence. The upheaval of the child is likely to be disruptive to his or her stability. Consistency and stability are assumed to be good for children. Seeking to change the parenting time order may mean showing that the child is in danger or that one parent is denying access for parenting time to the other parent. Parental relocation for good reason may be another acceptable justification for a change in parenting time order.
You may have urgent concerns about the welfare of your child and the other parent’s fitness for joint custody. Alternatively, you may believe that your family needs a new custody and visitation schedule that reflects changes in your family structure or schedules. We handle all custody-related modifications, including:
- Petition for sole custody because of abuse, neglect or addiction
- Change of custody, as when an older child switches households
- Parental relocation
- Petition for increased parenting time (visitation)
- Petition to decrease the parenting time of the other parent
- Alterations to the parenting plan
We know that these can be emotionally charged disputes with little middle ground. Stakes are high. If you are unsuccessful in your bid for a change in parenting time, you may be prohibited from petitioning for this request again for two years or more. It is to your advantage to work with an attorney who has experience and confidence in this area. DeAnne Dulas of Sheridan & Dulas, P.A., can skillfully help you assess your unique circumstances and predict your chances of success before you take your petition for a parenting time modification before a family law judge.
DeAnne Dulas focuses almost exclusively on family law. She has successfully handled many custody and parenting time modification proceedings in 15 years of practice, some cooperatively and others in highly contested proceedings. She is prepared to bring well-argued motions for changes of custody before family law courts under compelling circumstances.
Obtaining A Custody Or Parenting Time Modification
Courts in Minnesota decide custody and visitation matters in ways they perceive to be in the “best interest” of the children. The court procedure used to determine what the best interest is in a particular case depends on the level of significance of the proposed change.
If the judge considers the proposed modification to be insignificant (such as modifying parenting time for the noncustodial parent), the matter will be heard in a single hearing, based on information provided by an affidavit.
When the proposed change is considered significant, (such as cases involving changes in the child’s primary residence or endangerment), the process is much more complicated. In this situation, there will be two or more hearings, requiring the presentation of evidence and possibly investigations by a neutral party.
DeAnne Dulas has extensive experience in both types of cases. As your lawyer, Ms. Dulas will work diligently to achieve your goals, while protecting your rights and interests at all times.
Child Custody Attorney Serving The Twin Cities
For a free consultation with an experienced Dakota County custody and parenting time modification attorney, contact Sheridan & Dulas, P.A. Our firm handles cases throughout the Twin Cities metro area. You can reach us by telephone at 651-686-8800.