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Custody of Children Born Out of Wedlock in Minnesota

By Eric C. Nelson, Esq.

In Minnesota, the determination of custody for children born out of wedlock is no different than the determination of custody for children of marriage - both are decided pursuant to the "best interest of the child" standard set forth in Minnesota Statute section 518.17.

It is important to understand, however, that until a custody order is issued, the mother of a child born out of wedlock has sole legal and sole physical custody by operation of law.1

Also, the father of a child born out of wedlock generally has no standing to obtain custody until paternity has first been legally established. This may be accomplished by means of a Recognition of Parentage signed by both parties,2 or by means of a Judgment of Paternity.3

1 Minnesota Statute section 257.75, Subdivision 3.
2 Minnesota Statute section 257.75, Subdivision 3.
3 Minnesota Statute section 257.66.

Eric C. Nelson has devoted his practice exclusively to family law, with particular focus on divorce and child custody matters, including, but not limited to post-decree modification of custody. Eric has successfully handled hundreds of cases of divorces (both contested and uncontested), child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, parenting time, out-of-state moves, domestic abuse, harassment, and other miscellaneous family law matters, both in and out of court. Mr. Nelson has been praised by clients for a respectful attitude, promptness and honesty.

He can be contacted by phone at (612)321-9402 or
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