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What is a Child Custody Agreement?
In Minnesota, custody agreements can vary widely depending on the situation. MN courts distinguish between legal and physical custody, with either sole or joint custody for each. St. Cloud area’s top custody agreement attorney will help you understand what the differences are and how it affects your parenting time. Since this is such an important subject, it is especially beneficial to contact a family law attorney or a custody agreement attorney.
This is perhaps the most common perception of child custody, and refers to the general day-to-day care for the child. Parents with physical custody take care of the child’s routine needs like clothing, food, and transportation. In almost all cases the child will live with the parent granted physical custody. The other parent will be given visitation rights and shared legal custody in common cases. Visitation rights give the parent without physical child custody specific dates with their children. For example the agreement could be every other weekend, and division of holidays, and summer vacation days. Generally, if a parent has sole physical custody, he or she will receive child support from the other parent. There are other physical custody agreement your child custody attorney can hep you work out. Contact our compassionate and experienced child custody attorney today.
Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to be involved in and to make major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. It also grants a parent the right to be involved in decisions regarding the child’s religion and practice, the type and location of education, and health care. If the custody agreement isn’t being followed by each parent matters can be taken back to court. Although the court session will not result in fines or jail time, there may still be fees with hiring an attorney. The relationship between parents may also get more complicated and possibly worsen. While it is rare that a parent will not receive at least joint legal custody, a history of domestic abuse or a parent’s inability to cooperate with the other parent can prevent an award of joint legal. The child’s best interests must be kept in mind when trying to gain sole legal custody. Your child custody attorney will help you figure out what custody agreement arrangement is best for your family.
At the end of custody proceedings, the court will then decide whether parents will share joint custody or whether one parent will have sole custody. There are instances where combinations of sole and joint legal and physical custody exist. In Minnesota, joint legal custody and joint physical custody agreement arrangements are becoming more common.
Sole custody can help in extreme cases when one parent is unfit to care for the child. A couple of the ways the court determines a parent unfit is if they are drug/ alcohol dependent, or have a history of child neglect or abuse. To make specific decisions on if a parent should be granted more time than the other. The court will look at the parent/child relationship, the child’s relationship with family members and siblings, and the child’s current routine.
Most cases suggest that joint legal custody may be the best option for both parents. In Minnesota, joint legal custody and joint physical custody agreement arrangements are becoming more common, but it is possible to have varying combinations of sole and joint legal and physical custody. Joint custody exists, when parents don’t live together, are divorced or separated, or never lived together.
In the case of joint physical custody, parents may have either an equal or unequal distribution of parenting time with the child. The courts will determine the distribution of parenting time based on a number of factors, such as the desires of the parents and child, the strength of the parent-child relationship, the child’s relationship with other siblings and family members, and the potential for disruption of daily life. This delicate topic is best discussed with a family law attorney, a child custody attorney or a parenting time attorney. Our attorneys specialize in each one of these areas.
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