Child custody matters are extremely important issues that can profoundly affect families and that, for this reason, require the professional legal counsel of an experienced St. Paul child custody attorney Child custody cases determine who will make critical decisions on behalf of the children and whom the children live with – and according to what schedule. If you have a child custody concern, it’s far too important to leave to chance.
Legal custody refers to the important legal right and responsibility of making significant decisions on behalf of one’s children. Legal custody can be either joint (both parents share this responsibility) or sole (one parent is entrusted with this responsibility). Legal custody involves decisions on major issues like the following:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, some legal custody issues have taken on a more serious tone. For example, some divorced parents find that they don’t agree about whether their children should attend school in person, should be schooled online, or should engage in a hybrid of both. Those decisions that parents must make on a daily basis are left to the parent whom the children are with at the time, and the same is true in the event of an emergency.
Physical custody refers to whom the children live with, and it too can either be sole or joint. It’s important to point out that even if parents share joint custody, it does not necessarily mean that they will split their time with the children right down the middle (although this is an option). Generally, parenting schedules are planned to accommodate the children and the parents’ schedules and needs. Sometimes, one parent with joint custody will become the primary custodial parent with whom the children reside the majority of the time while the other parent has a visitation schedule.
If one parent is awarded sole custody, the other parent is likely to have a visitation schedule. This schedule may be quite generous, very limited (with the potential for required supervision), or anywhere in between, depending upon the situation. The court’s stance is that, unless there is a significant reason to rule otherwise, children’s best interests are best served when they are able to spend time with both parents (and the court is always motivated by the best interests of the children).
If you and your divorcing spouse are able to agree to child custody terms that you are both comfortable with, the court is almost certain to accept them and incorporate them into your final divorce decree. If not, the court will address the matter on your behalf.
If you are facing a divorce or another child custody concern, the accomplished St. Paul child custody lawyers at Atticus Family Law are committed to skillfully advocating for your parental rights and for child custody terms that work for you. We’re on your side, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.
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