When parties are unable to reach agreement on physical custody or parenting time (visitation) issues, a custody investigator may be appointed. Sometimes the court will request a parenting investigation, but most often the parties make the request. A custody investigation is a thorough analysis of the Minnesota best interest of the child factors based on first-hand observations. This normally involves interviews with the parties, collateral witnesses, and, in some cases, the children.
Most often, a custody investigator is a family law attorney in Minnesota, but it’s not a requirement. Instead, it could be a lay person with a background in child development, social services, or a related field.
A custody investigation is often a useful tool for the judges involved in cases. May times, a well written and researched report will allow the parents to avoid court completely.