A bill for an act
relating to judiciary; requiring courts to recognize the fundamental right to the
parent-child relationship in child custody and parenting time determinations;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2022, section 518.155.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Minnesota Statutes 2022, section 518.155, is amended to read:
new text begin (a) new text end Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a court in which a proceeding for dissolution,
legal separation, or child custody has been commenced shall not issue, revise, modify or
amend any order, pursuant to sections 518.131, 518.165, 518.168, 518.17, 518.175 or 518.18,
which affects the custody of a minor child or the parenting time of a parent unless the court
has jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to the provisions of chapter 518D.
new text begin
(b) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, courts shall adhere to and uphold the opinion
issued in SooHoo v. Johnson, 731 N.W.2d 815 (Minn. 2007). A court or any practitioner
involved in providing recommendations to the court, in a proceeding for child custody or
parenting time determinations, must recognize and protect the fundamental right to the
parent-child relationship absent a finding of harm by clear and convincing evidence. The
court shall use appropriate judicial scrutiny afforded a fundamental right in decision making
prior to interfering, infringing, affecting, superseding, or limiting these rights. The court
shall equally protect the fundamental rights of each fit parent to the custody, care, and
control of the child. Marital status alone shall not restrict this fundamental right.
new text end