In Minnesota divorce and child custody proceedings, "Parenting time" means the time a parent spends with a child regardless of the custodial designation regarding the child. Therefore, based on this definition, any time that either parent spends with the minor children constitutes "parenting time," regardless if the parent is the "custodial" parent or "non-custodial" parent. Parenting time at one time was referred to as "visitation."
Minnesota law provides that, "the court shall, upon the request of either parent, grant such parenting time on behalf of the child and a parent as will enable the child and the parent to maintain a child to parent relationship that will be in the best interests of the child." Thus, the Court applies "the best interest of the child factors" as provided in this website under "Minnesota Child Custody" to determine an appropriate parenting time schedule.
If the court finds, after a hearing, that parenting time with a parent is likely to endanger the child's physical or emotional health or impair the child's emotional development, the court shall restrict parenting time with that parent as to time, place, duration, or supervision and may deny parenting time entirely, as the circumstances warrant. The court shall consider the age of the child and the child's relationship with the parent prior to the commencement of the proceeding.
A parent's failure to pay support because of the parent's inability to do so shall not be sufficient cause for denial of parenting time. The court may provide that a law enforcement officer or other appropriate person will accompany a party seeking to enforce or comply with parenting time.
Upon request of either party, to the extent practicable an order for parenting time must include a specific schedule for parenting time, including the frequency and duration of visitation and visitation during holidays and vacations, unless parenting time is restricted, denied, or reserved.
In the absence of other evidence, there is a "rebuttable presumption" that a parent is entitled to receive at least 25 percent of the parenting time for the child. The percentage of parenting time may be determined by calculating the number of overnights that a child spends with a parent or by using a method other than overnights if the parent has significant time periods on separate days when the child is in the parent's physical custody but does not stay overnight. The Court may consider the age of the child in determining whether a child is with a parent for a significant period of time.