Parenting Time in Minnesota, Divorce, and Step-Parent’s Rights

Dad with DaughterThere are many blended families these days.  Folks divorce and then re-marry.   Children have step-parents as a result of a parent’s re-marriage.   What happens when and if the re-marriage goes south and the parties divorce.  Is the step-parent who has a relationship with his or her step-children now out of the children’s lives?  Not necessarily.

Minnesota law recognizes that the children may have a substantial and loving relationship with step-parents. Minnesota provides a remedy for the step-parent who suddenly finds that because of the divorce the children’s natural parent has cut all ties.

The specific statute is found in Minn. Stat. Section 257c.08, Subd. 4, and lists what must be demonstrated for the Court to order step-parent parenting time;

  • Visitation (parenting time) rights would be in the best interests of the children
  • The petitioner ( step-parent bringing the case) and the child had established emotional ties creating a parent and child relationship; and,
  • Visitation rights would not interfere with the relationship between the custodial parent and the child.

Children  only benefit from loving, stable, and supportive relationships with adults whether those adults are naturally related,  step-parents, or extended family.  Every loving adult in a child’s life contributes something important to that child’s development.  A child’s joy is profound when that child is cared for and loved by so many.

About Kate Willmore, Esq.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, divorce, custody and family attorney brings over 25 years experience to every client's legal matter. *** Licensed in Minnesota and in California

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