Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Minnesota Child Custody Laws

State laws regulate the child custody process and how decisions are made by the court, with some variations from one state to the next. However, all jurisdictions (except Massachusetts) have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which helps eliminate interstate child custody conflicts. State laws address whether joint custody is an option, whether grandparents have visitation rights, whether the child has a say in the court's custody decision, and other aspects of child custody.

This article provides a brief overview of child custody laws in the state of Minnesota.

Minnesota Child Custody Laws at a Glance

In the state of Minnesota, there is a rebuttable presumption that joint custody is in the best interests of the child. However, the state has no presumption regarding physical custody, or parenting time, spent with the child. The state of Minnesota recognizes two basic types of child custody: joint or sole custody (parents have the legal authority to make long-term decisions about the child's upbringing and well-being) and parenting time (the amount of time each parent will spend with the child).

Additional information about Minnesota's child custody laws and procedures is listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's extensive Child Custody section for more articles.

Code Section

§ 518.155 et seq. of the Minnesota Statutes

Year Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, § 518.17 Sub. 1 and 3

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

 Yes, § 518.1752

Child's Own Wishes Considered?

Yes, the reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient ability, age, and maturity to express an independent, reliable preference will be considered

Note: State laws are constantly changing, typically through legislation, case law, or ballot initiative. We make every effort to keep these pages up-to-date, but you may also want to contact a Minnesota child custody attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Minnesota Child Custody Laws: Related Resources

Don't Leave it Up to Chance: Get Legal Help With Your Custody Case

Battling over custody of your child with your ex can be both emotionally draining and legally challenging. You should understand Minnesota family laws surrounding child custody issues before going to court or mediation. Before you file any papers, consider meeting with a Minnesota family law attorney today.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Custody & child visitation cases are emotional, and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
  • A lawyer can help protect your children's interests
  • Lawyers can seek to secure visitation rights

Get tailored advice and ask a lawyer questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


 If you need an attorney, find one right now.

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options