In Minnesota, there are two types of child custody: “physical” and “legal.” “Physical” custody refers to where the child resides on a day-to-day basis, and the day-to-day decisions on care that go along with that. “Legal” custody refers to the right to make decisions regarding the child’s educational and religious upbringing, along with decisions on healthcare.
When determining custody, parents may either have “sole” custody or “joint” custody. Under “joint” custody, the parents share the responsibilities. Both “physical” and “legal” custody will be determined on a “sole” or “joint” basis, and they may be mixed in a variety of ways. One parent may have “sole” physical custody while both parents retain “joint” legal custody. Also, if there are two or more children in the family, custody arrangements may vary for each child.
When deciding issues on child custody, the court rules based on what will be in the “best interests” of the child. The “best interests” of the child are decided based on a number of factors. A qualified Minnesota family law attorney can explain these factors to you, and will assist you in representing your wishes in court.