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Types of child custody in Minnesota

When it comes to divorce in Minnesota, there are many issues that may weigh heavy on the minds of separating spouses. Property division issues, such as who will get to keep the house, car or cabin, can play a big role. Alimony can also be another source of contention with regards to whether or not alimony is appropriate, and how much is owed. But of all the divorce issues divorcing parents face, those involving children are usually the most important.

Of course, the best interests of the child are always at the forefront of any divorce decisions. However, there is not always agreement on what is meant by the best interests of the child. And, of course, there is no one size fits all solution. However, there are only two types of child custody to consider, even though the specifics of each situation can get complicated.

The two types of child custody under Minnesota law include legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make major decisions involving raising the child. These decisions include anything from religious training to education to health care. Physical custody refers to the right given to a parent to make decisions regarding the daily, routine activities the child engages in. Also, the parent granted physical custody is able to make decisions regarding where the child lives.

Although there are only two types of child custody, there are myriad complications that can arise in child custody cases. In some situations, parents may disagree as to which parent should be awarded physical or legal custody. Family law attorneys are available to discuss options with parents and, if necessary, devise a strong legal strategy so that a parent can fight for his or her interests.

Source: Minnesota Judicial Branch, "Child Custody & Parenting Time," Accessed on April 3, 2017

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