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When is a Minnesota co-parent entitled to make-up parenting time?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Family Law & Divorce

Co-parenting or sharing custody is very difficult for most parents. Even if they manage to work together, parents normally find it very challenging to limit when they spend time with their children. Missing out on weekends and holidays can leave a parent feeling cut off from their children and frustrated.

The actions of a co-parent might only intensify those emotions. Sometimes, those who should share custody with one another end up trying to manipulate parenting arrangements. One parent might try to reduce how much time the other gets to spend with the children. They might cancel parenting sessions by claiming that a child is sick or consistently schedule medical appointments during the other parent’s time with the children.

When can someone frustrated by a loss of time with their children expect to receive make-up parenting time?

When the other parent canceled

The Minnesota family courts have rules about adherence to custody orders. Parents do have the option of making informal adjustments on a case-by-case basis as complications arise. They can agree to reschedule a parenting session or to change the current schedule when there are unusual demands, like an illness in the family.

Cooperative and infrequent adjustments to a custody order usually involve the adults agreeing on a way for the parent who doesn’t get to see the children to make up their time with the children. However, in a situation where one parent intentionally tries to cut the other off from the children, they could shorten or cancel parenting sessions without offering make-up parenting time.

Provided that the parent denied time with the children showed up for their parenting session, they may have grounds to request make-up time. If their co-parent does not cooperate with that request, they could potentially take the matter to the family courts. In scenarios where one parent cancels or shortens their own parenting time, they usually do not have the option of demanding make-up time for those canceled sessions.

If there is documentation affirming someone’s claim that a co-parent has repeatedly reduced their time with the children or otherwise interfered in their parental relationship, the courts can grant that parent make-up time with the children. In more extreme cases, a judge might even decide to modify a custody arrangement to reflect how one parent has put their own selfish desires ahead of what is best for the children and the custody order established by the courts.

Those who understand the nuance of Minnesota’s custody laws are often in a better position to protect their relationships with their children. Seeking make-up parenting time when appropriate can help preserve the bond a parent has with their children.


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