Top Minnesota Child Custody Questions – Family Law

During a Minnesota Family Law case, the 3 most frequent questions regarding child custody are (1) What is legal custody ? (2) What is physical custody ? and (3) Do most parents share legal and physical custody?  Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions about how to raise the child or children, including decisions about education, health care, religion and activities.  Physical custody refers to the right to make decisions about the routine day-to-day activities of the child or children, and where the child or children live.  It is quite common for parents to share legal and physical custody; however, there are many reasons for one parent to have sole physical custody.  In some cases, a Custody Evaluation, which may be conducted by a social worker, psychologist or similarly trained professional, can be a useful tool to aid the Court in determining what is in the best interests of the minor child or children while making a custody determination.

Some parents share Legal custody and Physical custody for their child or children.  This is referred to as Joint Legal and Joint Physical custody.”Joint legal custody” means that both parents share the responsibility for making decisions regarding how to raise the child, including the right to participate in major decisions about the child’s education, health care, and religious training.”Joint physical custody” means that the routine daily care and control and the residence of the child is structured between both of the parents.

Family Mediation can also be used to assist parents in resolving custody disputes, and is commonly required by the Court as a means for parents to discuss and resolve matters outside of the courtroom, and in a confidential environment.

Attorney and Mediator Randall A. Smith is the founder and principal attorney of Lake Harriet Law Office and has practiced law since 1996. Mr. Smith earned his B.A. from Hamline University, his J.D. from Drake University and his M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas.

Lake Harriet Law Office represents clients in Minneapolis, Edina, Bloomington, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Plymouth, New Hope, Minneapolis, Linden Hills, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, St. Paul, Wright County, Anoka County and Scott County.

Published On: September 9, 2013Categories: Family Law Updates

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