Benton County District Court File No. F59050206
Considered and decided by Stoneburner, Presiding Judge, Toussaint, Chief
Judge, and Klaphake, Judge.
Time restrictions on the frequency of motions to modify custody or parenting plans, which are set out in Minn. Stat. § 518.18(b) (2002), do not apply to a motion to modify parenting time; rather, motions to modify parenting time are governed by Minn. Stat. § 518.175, subd. 1(a) (2002), which requires consideration of the child's best interests.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Klaphake, Judge
Appellant Julie Glaraton brought this motion for unsupervised parenting time with her daughter.*fn1 Respondent Brian Pollard, the child's father and custodial parent, opposed the motion. The district court determined that because the motion was brought less than three months after an amended judgment was entered that changed custody and parenting time, it was precluded by Minn. Stat. §á518.18(b) (2002) (precluding motion for modification of custody order or parenting plan that is filed within two years after disposition of prior modification motion).
Because appellant's motion requests a change in parenting time and because the time constraints of Minn. Stat. § 518.18(b) apply only to modifications of custody and certain aspects of parenting plans, the district court erred in dismissing the motion without considering the child's best interests under Minn. Stat. § 518.175, subd. 1(a) (2002). We therefore reverse and remand.
The parties are the parents of a daughter born in 1990. Appellant had physical custody of the child until January 2002, when custody was temporarily transferred to respondent.
In July 2002, the parties entered into a stipulation in which they agreed to transfer custody of the child to respondent and to establish a "parenting contact time" schedule for appellant. This stipulation was incorporated into an amended judgment entered by the court on July 18, 2002. The provisions setting out appellant's "parenting contact time" require that the child have no contact with appellant's husband, who is a registered level III sex offender, and that the child's contact with appellant is supervised by third parties.
On September 30, 2002, less than three months after entry of the amended judgment, appellant moved to change the "existing Parenting Time/visitation Order to allow unsupervised parenting time." (Emphasis in original.) Appellant attached letters from a licensed psychologist who recommended that she be allowed unsupervised visitation with her daughter.
The district court denied appellant's motion, concluding that it was precluded by Minn. Stat. § 518.18(b) (2002), because it was brought within two years of ...