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What weight does custody study evaluator's report weigh in court?

Minneapolis, MN |

Going thru a high-contested divorce with my husband. I am seeking sole physical custody for my two minor children (75/25 parenting time). Custody evaluator prescribed 60/40 parenting time. What are my chances to get more parenting time than 60%? Does 60/40 qualify for sole physical custody for me?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Awarding your spouse anything less than 45.1 percent of the time is, in fact, awarding you sole physical custody. However, there is still the issue of legal custody, and Minnesota law presumes that joint legal custody is appropriate, unless you can convince the court otherwise. The judges do give a lot of weight to the custody evaluator's recommendations, so you will have the burden of convincing the court to do something different than what was recommended.


  2. A custody evaluator's report can be very persuasive. However, generally, they are not unassailable. The report must be reviewed to determine potential errors in methodology and challenges can be made to the conclusions developed from potentially limited facts and sources. often, a private custody evaluation may be requested to determine if another professional may recommend a different outcome.

    60% would generally be considered primary physical custody, although the label is less important in the context of Minnesota's current laws.

    Disclaimer: Nothing in this email message creates an attorney client relationship absent a retainer agreement with this office. Any response to email inquiries should be considered general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. You should always consult a lawyer in your state regarding your specific legal matter.


  3. Hello. A custody evaluator's report is important to the decider, the judge or referee. Talk this over with your attorney because the full details need to be known. Your attorney will be able to advise you. The concern is the children's best interest.

    TWIN CITIES to ST CLOUD. Do seek legal counsel for your personal legal issues and needs. This post is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post is to be considered general information which may or may not apply to your personal situation.


  4. Custody evaluators' reports carry tremendous weight in court. Attached is an article I've written on this topic, which may be of use to you: http://www.minnesotadivorce.com/articles/custody-evaluations/index.html.

    The "sole physical custody" label is not defined by one's percentage of parenting time. However, at 60% you would be considered the primary parent.

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