Going through a divorce is extremely difficult, and when the two of you are parents, this makes it even more difficult. Determining who has custody, or working out joint legal custody is often what creates the most tension between divorcing couples.
Under Minnesota law, there are two types of child custody, legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is defined as “the right to make decisions about how to raise the child, including decisions about education, health care, and religious training.” Physical custody is defined as “the right to make decisions about the routine day-to-day activities of the child and where the child lives.”
Child Custody Rights
Determining who receives custody of children depends on several factors. Parents may share custody, which is often called “joint” physical or legal custody. In some cases one parent may have sole custody of the child either physically or legally. Also, the arrangement can be different for each child in a family.
If parents have joint legal custody, that means parents share the responsibility to make decisions about education, healthcare, religion. Joint physical custody means that the daily routine for the child will be structured by both parents.
There are residency requirements that will determine where you will take your case to court, and that can complicate the situation. Almost always, the child has to have lived in Minnesota with a parent or a person acting as a parent or guardian for more than 6 months before the court process. Although this is the general rule, there are exceptions in emergency situations. If one of the parents lives in Minnesota and the other parent and child lives in another state, this will complicate the situation and different laws apply.
Determining custody for your child is a long and hard process. Although the Court prioritizes making the best decision for the child, cases can be extremely complicated, not all options will be explored and if the other parent has an attorney, and you try to self represent, this could be extremely detrimental for you and your relationship with the child. It is highly advised to consult with an attorney.
If you are living in Minnesota and are trying to find an attorney to help you with a custody battle, or just to explore your options, Kallemeyn & Kallemeyn PLLC specialize in family law and have years of experience practicing law in Minnesota and understand the ins and outs, even in complex situations. They explain the costs and fees involved and will provide each client with the information necessary to make the right decision for your legal representation.