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Smear Campaign: What is Relevant in Custody Disputes?

Minnesota Statute Sec. 518.17 (1)(b)(4) states that “the court shall not consider conduct of a proposed custodian that does not affect the custodian’s relationship to the child.”   Further under MN Court Rules all documents must be “relevant and material to the issues before the court.”

Unfortunately during a dissolution or custody fight, many people want to fight “tough” and often will resort to “playing dirty” – i.e. disclosing the other party’s families criminal records, pregnancies, alleged affairs, social media postings, etc.    Before the case gets to that level consider these issues:

  • You have your child’s lifetime to co-parent with the other party.  Does going to such extreme levels enable you to do that?
  • Were these actions/allegations/etc. done while the child was alive?  A DWI conviction that was 10 years before child was even born is likely not relevant.
  • Affidavits submitted to the Court are public record.  Are you comfortable knowing your child, neighbor, friend, etc. days, months, or years later can simply go to the courthouse and request a copy?

Custody disputes are a highly emotional and difficult time for all parents.  Often the results of “playing dirty” do not succeed and only paint a negative picture of you to the Court.   

We can be tough without resulting to dirty tricks.   We are here to help you navigate through it with respect and pride.  

If you have questions related to a possible dissolution of marriage, child custody questions, or parenting time concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office. (952) 224-9410