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Forms -- Child Custody & Parenting Time
IMPORTANT! Carefully read the Instructions for the Forms, which explain how to fill them out and what to do with them. Go to Self-Help Services in the Courts to find information on getting help in your court. If you do not see a link to forms that fit your situation, visit your local law library, or talk to a lawyer.
If you started a case and then all parties reach an agreement on the legal issues involving child custody, you may be able to file your agreement with the court, which is called a "Stipulation and Order." All parties must sign the Stipulation in front of a notary, and then one party files it with the court. The MN Judicial Branch does NOT publish sample Stipulation forms. You might find sample forms at your local law library or you could talk to a lawyer.
Ask for Custody & Parenting Time (no order exists)
The two forms packets below can only be used in cases where the child's parents are not married to each other. Both parents must have signed a MN Recognition of Parentage ("ROP"), or there must be a current paternity order stating who is the "legal" father. If unmarried parents did not sign a "ROP" form when a child was born, they can only get a custody order AFTER the court determines who is the child's "legal" father (i.e., paternity). The MN Judicial Branch does NOT publish forms to establish paternity.
Ask for Custody and Parenting Time
Respond to Request for Custody and Parenting Time
NOTE: Married parents can get an order for custody or parenting time through cases involving divorce or legal separation, or when a parent gets an Order for Protection from domestic abuse. Talk with a lawyer about your options.
Change Custody & Parenting Time (order exists)
Respond to Request to Change Custody
Problems with Parenting Time
The forms packets below can be used to ask the court to change an existing parenting time order; enforce a parenting time order; OR assign a parenting time "expediter" to help with on-going parenting time problems.
Get Help with Parenting Time Problems
Respond to Request for Help with Parenting Time Problems
Third-Party Custody (not the parent)
The MN Judicial Branch does NOT publish forms to start a third-party custody case. This area of law is very technical and there are several other legal options that you might want to consider other than third-party custody. A helpful booklet is the Legal Steps Manual: Raising Relatives' Children, which explains possible legal options related to caring for someone else's child. You could also call the Relative Caregiver Warmline (Lutheran Social Services) at (651)917-4640 (metro) or (877)917-4640 (toll-free) to learn more about third-party custody and get referrals to Minnesota attorneys who help with these types of cases.
If a parent wants to give another adult temporary authority to provide a home for a child and make decisions about the child's schooling, medical care, etc., the parent may be able to use a NON-court form called Delegation of Powers by Parent Form. NOTE: Use of this form does NOT grant "custody" of a child under Minnesota law.
Emergency Custody Issue
Emergency "ex parte" actions involve one party asking the court for a hearing and/or order without giving advance notice of their request to all other parties involved in the case. The party asking the court to hear a case on an emergency ex parte basis is required to follow several laws and Court Rules, including but not limited to:
The MN Judicial Branch does NOT publish forms to ask the court to hear a custody matter on an emergency ex-parte basis. You might find sample forms at your local law library, but we strongly encourage you to talk to a lawyer about your case.
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