MN CHILD CUSTODY DESKBOOK - LINKEDLAW
LinkedLaw Deskbook
ITEM #:  60099100   |   PUBLISHED:  DECEMBER 13, 2023
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Minnesota Child Custody Deskbook, 4th Edition

Edited by Gary A. Debele

The Fourth Edition of the Minnesota Child Custody Deskbook includes updated case law, including cases from the United States Supreme Court, the Minnesota Supreme Court, and the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Updated annually, the Deskbook features chapters covering all aspects of custody cases, including representing children, interviewing clients, bonding and attachment issues, managing high-conflict custody issues, child custody labels and parenting plan evaluations, a comprehensive overview and analysis of the new best interest factors, a chapter on legal recognition of queer families (which includes a look at both national and state laws and case law), as well as chapters on paternity issues, interstate and international jurisdiction, child abuse allegation, and much more!

Simply put, the Minnesota Child Custody Deskbook brings together all the knowledge necessary to be successful in this dynamic, challenging field.  Written with the practicing attorney in mind, the Deskbook examines all areas of child custody and support law.  Covering everything from initial client interviews through appeals, and including more than 50 helpful sample forms, the Minnesota Child Custody Deskbook is a comprehensive guide to family law issues involving children.  Written by experienced judges, attorneys, guardians, mediators, psychologists, and professors, it offers every perspective on issues of child custody and support.  Discussions of motion practice sit alongside thorough analyses of attachment issues within families, with the text enhanced throughout by Minnesota CLE’s trademark practice tips, ethical considerations, and informative appendices with checklists and additional resources.

2023 UPDATE
The 2023 Update to the Minnesota Child Custody Deskbook includes updates to all 25 Chapters, including Ch. 4, Interviewing the Client; Ch. 8, Preparing, Settling, and Trying a Custody Case; Ch. 11, Representing Children; Ch. 12, Third-Party Custody; Ch. 14, Custody Modification and Relocation; Ch. 17, Paternity Issues and Trends; Ch. 18, Parenting Plan Evaluations; Ch. 19, Custody and ADR; and many others! The 2023 Update provides expert analysis of new case law, including new discussion in Ch. 10, Tribal Court Practices, ICWA, and MIFPA in MN Custody and Child Support Cases, of the recent U.S. Supreme Court case Haaland v. Brackeen, 143 S. Ct. 1609 (2023). There is also new examination of Resist-Refuse Dynamics included in Ch. 18, Parenting Plan Evaluations and Ch. 23, Custody Labels and Parenting Plans.  Additionally, Ch. 8, Preparing, Settling, and Trying a Custody Case, now includes three NEW appendices: 

  • Appendix A – Supervised Visit Considerations
  • Appendix B – Exhibit List 
  • Appendix C – Witness List


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CHAPTER 1
History and Introduction 
Introduction; A Brief History of Family Law and Child Custody; About This Deskbook
– Gary A. Debele

CHAPTER 2
Psychological Issues and Trends in Custody Cases 
Introduction; Optimal Living Arrangements; Appropriate Parenting Standards; Attachment Issues in Divorce and Custody; High Conflict Parenting; The Dilemma of Relocation; Special Populations; New Roles for Family Court Professionals; The Best Interest Factors; When the Unprecedented Occurs – COVID-19 Pandemic; Conclusion; Appendix A - References
– Beth Painter Harrington, Ph.D., LP

CHAPTER 3
Bonding, Attachment, and Parent-Child Relationship Issues
Introduction; Definitions; Origins and Individual Differences in Attachment; Implications of Early Attachment Experience for Later Development; Attachment Assessment Across Development; Applications of Attachment Theory and Research to Family Law; Summary
– Dr. Elizabeth Carlson

CHAPTER 4
Interviewing the Client
Importance of the Client Interview; Interviewing Considerations; The First Contact with the Attorney’s Office; The Initial Meeting; Following Up; Appendix A – Client Intake Form; Appendix B – Client Information Form; Appendix C – Non-Representation Letter
– Jade K. Johnson

CHAPTER 5
Temporary Proceedings and Motion Practice
Introduction; Temporary Proceedings; Purposes of Temporary Orders; Discovery; Obtaining an Order for Temporary Relief; Supporting Documents for Temporary Relief Requests; Important Rules Related to Motion Practice; The Hearing; Appeals; Non-Merger Clause; Other Forms; Order for Temporary Relief; Appendix A – Form 5.4A – Notice of Motion and Motion for Temporary Relief; Appendix B – Form 5.4B – Parenting/Financial Disclosure Statement; Appendix C – Form 5.4B.1 – Confidential Financial Source Document; Appendix D – Form 5.4C – Certificate of Settlement Efforts; Appendix E – Form 5.4D – Order and Stipulation for Order; Appendix F – Form 5.4E – Signature Page for Order for Temporary Relief or Other Order Recommended by Referee; Appendix G – Form 5.4F – Order; Appendix H – Form 5.4G – Stipulation for Temporary Relief; Appendix I – Form 5.4H – Affidavit of Attorney Regarding Fees; Appendix  J – Form 5.9A – Affidavit in Support of Order to Show Cause/Order for Interim Support; Appendix K – Form 5.9B – Order to Show Cause and Temporary Restraining Order; Appendix L – Form 5.9C – Notice of Motion and Motion for Change of Venue (or in the Alternative, Temporary Relief); Appendix M – Form 5.9D – Notice of Motion and Motion for Oral Testimony and Hearing in Excess of One-Half Hour; Appendix N – Form 5.9E – Notice to Medical Insurance Provider; Appendix O – Form 5.9F – Notice to Remove; Appendix  P – Form 5.9G – Objection to Referees; Appendix Q – Form 5.9H – Order and Stipulation for Order Appointing Parenting Consultant; Appendix R – Form 5.9I – Order Appointing Guardian ad Litem
– Elizabeth A. Beach

CHAPTER 6
Guardians Ad Litem in Custody Cases
History of Guardians Ad Litem in Minnesota; Appointment of Guardians Ad Litem in Family Court Cases; Responsibilities of the Guardian Ad Litem in Family Court; Duties of the Guardian Ad Litem; Roles a Guardian Ad Litem Cannot Take On; Recommendations of the Guardian Ad Litem in Family Court Cases; How to Prepare for Court; Special Issues in Family Court Cases; Controversial Issues in the Role of the Guardian Ad Litem; National Guidelines for Guardians Ad Litem
– Laura Miles

CHAPTER 7
Best Interest Factors
Introduction; Statutory Best Interest Factors – Minn. Stat. § 518.17
– Amy L. Helsene

CHAPTER 8
Preparing, Settling, and Trying a Custody Case
Custody Trials: A Necessary Evil; Commencing A Custody Matter: Could There Be a Trial and Who Will be the Decision Maker?; Early Case Management; Making the Best Use of Discovery Tools; Effective Use of Custody Evaluations and Handling Adverse Evaluations; Preparing for Trial: The Theme, Evidence, and Witnesses; Know the Case: Use Trial and Exhibit Notebooks; The Big Day: Trial; Appendix A – Considerations for Supervised Parenting Time; Appendix B – Exhibit List; Appendix C – Witness List
– Kimberly J. Robinson & Hon. James J. Street (ret.)  

CHAPTER 9
Child Custody and Child Support Appeals
Introduction; Appellate Mediation; Motions for New Trial and Motions for Amended Findings; Standard of Review; How to Begin an Appeal – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 103; Electronic Filing; Appealable Judgments and Orders – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 103.03; Time for Taking an Appeal – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 104; Respondent’s Right to Appeal – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 106; Motions – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 127; Motions for Attorney’s Fees – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 139.06; Cost Bond – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 107; Handling of Confidential Portions of the Appellate Record; Taxation of Costs and Disbursements on Appeal – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 139; In Forma Pauperis – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 109; Stays on Appeal – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 108; Record on Appeal/Transcripts – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 110; Briefs – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 128; Oral Arguments – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 134.03; Constitutional Questions – Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 144; Special Rules of Practice for the Minnesota Court of Appeals; Appendices and Forms; Helpful Resources; Appendix A  - Standards of Review for Specific Case Types; Appendix B – Form 103A: Notice of Appeal (Court of Appeals); Appendix C – Form 103C: Notice of Related Appeal (Court of Appeals); Appendix D – Form 110A: Certificate as to Transcript; Appendix E – Form 110B: Certificate of Filing and Delivery; Appendix F – Form 128: Appellant’s Formal Brief and Appendix; Appendix G – Form 132: Certification of Brief Length; Appendix H – Form 133: Statement of the Case; Appendix I – Form 139: Taxation of Costs and Disbursement
– Sonja C. Larson & David C. Gapen

CHAPTER 10
Tribal Court Practices, ICWA, and MIFPA in Minnesota Custody and Child Support Cases
Introduction; Custody and Support Matters in Minnesota’s Tribal Courts; The Indian Child Welfare Act
– Gary A. Debele & Jody M. Alholinna

CHAPTER 11
Representing Children
Introduction; Children’s Voices in Family Court; Role of Independent Counsel for Children in Family Court; Differences Between Counsel for Children and Guardians Ad Litem; Types of Family Court Cases Where Children Have The Right to Counsel as a Matter of Law; Types of Cases Where Children May Be Represented by Counsel; Retention or Appointment of Counsel for Children; Ethical Obligations in Representing Children in Family Court; Standards for Representing Children in Family Court; National Trends Regarding Independent Counsel for Children in Family Court; Resources; Conclusion; Appendix A – American Bar Association Section of Family Law: Standards of Practice for Lawyers Representing Children in Custody Cases; Appendix B – Child Representation Appointment Order; Appendix C – Minnesota Rule of Professional Conduct 1.14: Client with Diminished Capacity
– Marian E. Saksena

CHAPTER 12
Third-Party Custody and Alternative Custodial Arrangements
Introduction; United States Supreme Court Jurisprudence; Minnesota Developments; Minnesota Statutes Chapter 257C; Juvenile Court Proceedings; Practice Issues; Appendix A – Summary of Major Minnesota Appellate Court Decisions Regarding Third-Party Custody; Appendix B – Sample Forms
– Gary A. Debele

CHAPTER 13
Management of High-Conflict Custody Issues
Introduction; Recognizing the High-Conflict Custody Case; Legal Representation in the High-Conflict Matter; Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct; Special Concerns in High-Conflict Custody Matters; Appendix A – Annotated Sample Form: Stipulation and Order to Appoint Parenting Consultant
– Nancy Zalusky Berg

CHAPTER 14
Custody Modification and Relocation in Minnesota
Introduction; The Statute on Modification; Affidavit Practice; Time Limitations on Modification of Custody; Endangerment; Integration; Unwarranted Denial or Interference with Parenting Time; Change in Circumstances; Best Interests of the Child; The Balance of Harm; Custody Modification Involving Older Teenagers; Minnesota Law on Removal; Relocation During Dissolution Proceedings
– Theresa Bea & Ruta Johnsen

CHAPTER 15
Child Support
Introduction; Minnesota Child Support Guidelines Definitions; Child Support Calculations; Modification of Child Support: Minnesota Statutes Section 518A.39; Expungement of Criminal Record/Barriers to Employment; Life Insurance to Benefit Children: Minnesota Statutes Sections 518A.39, Subdivision 4 and 518A.71; Six-Month Review Hearing: Minnesota Statutes Section 518.1781; The Purpose of the IV-D Program; Receipt of Public Assistance; Enforcement of Child Support; Tax Exemption; Uniform Interstate Family Support Act: Minnesota Statutes Chapter 518C; Supreme Court Rules; Appeal; Emancipation; Overpayment of Child Support; Bankruptcy: U.S.C. Title 11; Court Forms and Filliping Fees; Tribal Court; Appendix A – Form FAM301 (Effective Aug. 1, 2016)
– Rebecca Morrisette

CHAPTER 16
Medical Support
Introduction; Treatment of Medical Support
– Alex Gonzalez-Mazurek

CHAPTER 17
Paternity Issues and Trends
Introduction; Judicial Determination of the Parent-Child Relationship; Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity; Assisted Reproductive Technologies; Custody of Embryos; Putative Father’s Adoption Registry; Appendix A – When an Action to Determine the Existence or Non-Existence of a Parent-Child Relationship May be Brought
– Dana McKenzie & Autumn L. Nelson

CHAPTER 18
Parenting Plan Evaluations
Introduction; The Evaluator; Ethics of the Evaluator; Overview of the Parenting Plan Evaluation; Best Interest Factors; Preparing the Client for a Parenting Plan Evaluation;  Alternative Tools and Processes; Brief Focused Evaluations; Parenting Plans; Considerations for Resist-Refuse Dynamics in Parenting Plan Evaluations
– Jennifer E. Joseph

CHAPTER 19
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Introduction; General Categories of ADR Processes; ADR Processes Commonly Used for Custody-Parenting; Mandatory and Voluntary Use of ADR; Confidentiality; Assessing Client Process Capacity; The Neutral; Process Adaptations for Domestic Abuse and Other Special Circumstances; Appendix A -  Comparison of Commonly Used Custody ADR
– Sonja Nyberg & Bethany Hurd

CHAPTER 20
Legal Recognition of Queer Families
Introduction; Queer Competency: Working with Queer Families in Child Custody Cases; Determining Legal Parentage; Custody, Parenting Time, and Child Support After Separation; Conclusion; Resources; Appendix A – Parentage Presumptions Flow Chart
– Mary Pat Byrn & Elizabeth E.  Due

CHAPTER 21
Interstate and International Jurisdiction
Introduction; Interstate Child Custody and Parenting-Time Jurisdiction; Interstate Enforcement Mechanisms; International Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement
– Valerie D. Arnold

CHAPTER 22
Child Abuse Allegations in Custody Cases
Introduction; Definitions of Child Abuse; Responding to Child Abuse Allegations; Child Abuse Allegations in Juvenile Court Proceedings; Impact of Child Abuse Allegations on Family Court Proceedings; Neutral Evaluations to Assess the Status of the Child as Informative to the Court’s Decision; Therapeutic Management of Sexual Abuse Cases; Practice Pointers
– Mallory K. Stoll

CHAPTER 23
Custody Labels and Parenting Plans: Requirements, Consequences, and Options
Introduction; Custody/Parenting Labels and Residential Restrictions: Definitions, Legal Consequences, and the Impact of Labels on Parents and Children; Parenting-Time Schedules and Parenting Plans: Legal Requirements, Legal Consequences, and Developmental and Other Practical Considerations; Child-Inclusive Mediation: An Effective Method for Hearing from Children; Resist-Refuse Dynamics; Conclusion; Appendix A – Considerations for Determining Post-Separation Overnight Care of Children Aged 0-3 Years; Appendix B – Sample Findings and Conclusions of Law on Parenting Time
– Michael D. Dittberner & Mindy F. Mitnick, LP

CHAPTER 24
Adoption and ART Law: Creating Families by Traditional and Non-Traditional Means
Introduction; Adoption; Minnesota Law and Becoming a Parent Via Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART); Appendix A – Sample Adoption Petitions; Appendix B – Adult Adoptee Consent Form; Appendix C – Waiver of Relative Placement Affidavit; Appendix D – Affidavit and Questionnaire as to American Indian Heritage; Appendix E – Waiver of Risk; Appendix F – Sample Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order for Judgment, and Judgment and Decree of Adoption; Appendix G – Outline for Final Adoption Hearing; Appendix H – Resources; Appendix I – Sample ART Contract Checklist; Appendix J – Physician’s Affidavit; Appendix K – Internet Resources
– Jody O. DeSmidt

CHAPTER 25
Domestic Violence in Custody Cases
Introduction; Definition of Domestic Violence; Domestic Violence Screening; Impact of Domestic Violence on Victims and Children; Trauma Informed Interview Techniques; How Domestic Violence Impacts Determinations of Custody and Parenting Time in Family Law Cases; How Domestic Violence Impacts Determinations of Custody and Parenting Time in Order for Protection Cases; Advocacy; Safety Planning; Appendix A – Client Screening to Identify Domestic Violence Victimization; Appendix B – Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Bench Guide
– Rana S. Alexander & Bethany A. Assell

Table of Authorities
Subject Index

  • Client Intake Form 
  • Client Information Form
  • Non-Representation Letter
  • Notice of Motion and Motion for Temporary Relief 
  • Parenting/Financial Disclosure Statement 
  • Confidential Financial Source Document 
  • Certificate of Settlement Efforts
  • Order and Stipulation for Order 
  • Signature Page for Order for Temporary Relief or Other Order Recommended by Referee 
  • Order 
  • Stipulation for Temporary Relief 
  • Affidavit of Attorney Regarding Fees 
  • Affidavit in Support of Order to Show Cause/Order for Interim Support 
  • Order to Show Cause and Temporary Restraining Order 
  • Notice of Motion and Motion for Change of Venue (or in the Alternative, Temporary Relief) 
  • Notice of Motion and Motion for Oral Testimony and Hearing in Excess of One-Half Hour 
  • Notice to Medical Insurance Provider 
  • Notice to Remove 
  • Objection to Referees
  • Order and Stipulation for Order Appointing Parenting Consultant 
  • Order Appointing Guardian ad Litem
  • Considerations for Supervised Parenting Time
  • Exhibit List
  • Witness List
  • Notice of Appeal (Court of Appeals) 
  • Notice of Related Appeal (Court of Appeals)
  • Certificate as to Transcript 
  • Certificate of Filing and Delivery
  • Appellant’s Formal Brief and Appendix 
  • Certification of Brief Length 
  • Statement of the Case
  • Taxation of Costs and Disbursement
  • Summons
  • Petition for Third-Party Custody
  • Notice of Motion and Motion for Temporary Third-Party Custody
  • Affidavit Regarding Default, Nonmilitary Status, and Request for Relief
  • Affidavit in Support of Third-Party Custody
  • Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Regarding Custody and Child Support
  • Annotated Sample Form: Stipulation and Order to Appoint Parenting Consultant
  • Form FAM301
  • Sample Findings and Conclusions of Law on Parenting Time
  • Sample Adoption Petitions
  • Adult Adoptee Consent Form
  • Waiver of Relative Placement Affidavit 
  • Affidavit and Questionnaire as to American Indian Heritage 
  • Waiver of Risk 
  • Sample Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order for Judgment, and Judgment and Decree of Adoption 
  • Outline for Final Adoption Hearing
  • ART Contract Checklist 
  • Physician’s Affidavit
  • Client Screening to Identify Domestic Violence Victimization
  • Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Bench Guide

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