Child custody and parenting time arrangements vary dramatically from one couple to the next. When resolved in court, these matters largely come down to the best interests of the child. This can be frustrating for parents, who may disagree vehemently on what, exactly, constitutes a child’s best interests. In Minnesota, courts typically take the following factors into account:

Parenting Ability

While Minnesota courts generally maintain that it is in the best interest of most children to enjoy strong relationships with both parents, discrepancies can arise when parenting ability comes into play.

Local courts sometimes examine evidence indicating that one parent is more responsible or reliable than the other. For example, a history of criminal activity or drug abuse could impede a parent’s ability to secure custody or even parenting time. Domestic abuse, in particular, warrants concern.

Stability

Even in the best circumstances, divorce involves significant upheaval. This can cause huge problems for the families of divorce, as children tend to function best when exposed to stable environments. For this reason, courts favor arrangements that allow children to maintain as much stability as possible. This could mean living near siblings or grandparents, attending the same school, or otherwise continuing habits and traditions that previously enriched the child’s life.

The Child’s Preferences

Depending on their age, children or teens impacted by divorce may be granted some say in custody arrangements. A strongly expressed and reasonable preference for living with one parent or another could have a huge impact on the ultimate outcome.

As you make arrangements for child custody, support, and parenting time, don’t hesitate to seek counsel from an attorney who prioritizes the best interests of both you and your child. Look to the Brown Law Offices for quality representation.

Photo of Cynthia Brown Cynthia Brown

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia served…

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia served as the law clerk to the Honorable Timothy R. Bloomquist, retired Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Upon completing her clerkship, Cynthia practiced with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003.

Cynthia has handled a wide variety of family law matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child protective services, orders for protection and harassment restraining orders. Many of her clients have also asked her to provide guidance concerning their estate planning needs.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor, public defender and criminal investigator. In addition to her family practice, Cynthia routinely represents clients facing criminal charges such as DWI, assault, theft and criminal sexual misconduct.

Cynthia founded the Amigos de Guatemala Foundation in 2007. She is a former Board Member and President of the Foundation, which provided educational, health and financial resources to underprivileged Guatemalan citizens. Her interest in serving the impoverished began with a medical mission trip to Honduras in 1994.

When she is not practicing law, Cynthia enjoys scrap-booking, soap-making, ATV riding and spending time with family.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Child Protective Services
  • Restraining Orders
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Bar Admission
  • Minnesota State Bar, 1998
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 1998
  • University of South Dakota, 1995
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Panel Attorney, Anoka County County Family Law Clinic
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper
  • Author, Family Law Forum
  • Author, Divorce Magazine