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How does child custody work in Minnesota?

If you and your spouse decide that it's time to get a divorce, one of your main concerns may be how to split custody. You love your child and want to make sure that they are able to be cared for well despite everything that's happening.

Minnesota has two forms of custody. These are legal and physical custody. As two parents who are able to care for your child and raise them well, you may both want to share legal and physical custody.

Legal custody gives you the right to make decisions

The importance of legal custody can't be overlooked. Legal custody gives you the ability, and right, to make choices about your child's care, whether that includes making medical decisions, decisions about how to raise your child, or decisions about religion or education. Without legal custody, you will not be able to make these decisions and will have to raise your child in accordance with the other parent's wishes.

Physical custody allows you to see your child and make day-to-day decisions about their activities

With physical custody, you get to make some decisions, like about what time your child goes to school, if they can stay home when they're unwell and what they eat during the day. You'll have physical custody, which means you dictate where your child lives while they're with you.

Should you seek joint custody?

Many parents like the idea of joint custody, and it's for good reason. If you and the other parent are supportive of your child and respectful of each other, then joint custody allows you both to make decisions about their care and to see them. You'll both make decisions about how to raise your child and have the opportunity to bring your child up in your residence.

When does custody become more complicated?

Every case is different, and they can be complex. Certain situations can be more difficult, though, such as if you and the other parent live in different states or even different countries. In that case, you'll need to speak with your attorney about which state or locale has jurisdiction over the custody case, so that you can make sure your child is protected.

Your case may be heated, or it may just be difficult to settle. Fortunately, the laws are relatively straightforward, which will help your attorney work with you to negotiate a good custody schedule and protect your parental rights.

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