In August of 2014, Minnesota made some big changes to their state laws regarding child custody schedules and the care of adopted children. Amendments were made to existing legislation that have the potential to impact tens of thousands of families within in the state.
Better Financial Reimbursement For Older Adoptive Children
The first change was created in order to create a reimbursement program to compensate the adoptive parents of older children who require mental health services or may need medical care. More than 60% of children awaiting adoption in Minnesota are older than the age of 6. Traditionally, the older a child is, the less likely it is for them to be adopted by loving families. It is also increasingly difficult to find homes for children with continuing medical needs, mental health disorders, or to place siblings with the same family. The change in the state law is designed to make adopting an older child more appealing by offering financial reimbursement for health services, offering support to those families who would otherwise find it difficult to care for such a child.
Families who are interested in the adoption process or recent changes to the law should contact a legal representative. An attorney who specializes in family law can not only help navigate the ever-changing guidelines of adoption, but can also offer invaluable help with issues of legal separation, divorce, child custody, and other related litigation.
More Flexibility For Child Custody Schedules
Modifications were also made to the child custody laws in Minnesota that make it easier for parents (non-custodial and custodial) to make changes to their parenting time schedules. The previous law made it difficult to make any significant changes to the custody schedules set by the courts without agreement from the other parent. This made schedule changes all but impossible unless a parent could prove endangerment or integration in the non-custodial home. Many parents were frustrated that scheduling laws did not account for changes in the circumstances of the parents schedule which was likely to change over time. The new statutes creates three significant changes in regards to custody.
The first modification removes the requirement that courts must use the endangerment or integration standard when changing schedules. This allows for better custody negotiation which supports the best interests of the child while considering the schedule of the parents. The second modification is a change that allows courts to consider the developmental needs of the child when making changes to a custody order. The schedule which may have been appropriate for a two year old is not always as appropriate for an eleven-year-old. The third and most significant modification is that the courts now have authority to expand a parent’s schedule in the future. This means that for families with existing custody orders, a schedule change is not only possible, but much easier to arrange.
The Importance of Legal Representation
With the implementation of the new custody statutes, more parents battling past schedule restrictions now have a new opportunity to seek a change in their custody orders. Hiring an attorney who specializes in family law and custody issues can be especially beneficial with the recent legislation. Lawyers specializing in family law bring an in-depth understanding of state and federal laws in their areas of expertise as well as problem solving and dispute resolution skills (Source: http://johnsonandturner.com/family-law).