When parents split up or get divorced, it is not uncommon to find themselves in the middle of a custody dispute. As a parent, you have the rights to protect while making sure the best interests of your child remain the top priority. Going through a custody battle can be frightening for most parents, as they fear that they may lose time with their child. When other issues are outstanding, it can make the fear even worse. This is when you need the expertise of a St. Paul child custody lawyer.
In Minnesota, the courts will look out for what is best for your child, but it is understandable that you may be worried that your voice is being lost during the child custody process. Our team of Minnesota family law attorneys will make sure your rights are being protected and that your voice is being heard during your St. Paul child custody case.
When you are preparing for your child custody case, it is important to understand what the two main types of custody are. The first is physical custody, which is what most people think about when they hear of a custody battle. Physical custody determines where your child will spend the bulk of his or her time. Your child will typically live primarily at one parent’s home, and that parent will be the one who handles the day-to-day routine.
Not surprisingly, this is the most emotional part and where tempers often flare. It is not easy to go from seeing your child every day to possibly only a few days a week. No matter what decision the court makes, your life is going to change, and each parent needs to come to terms with that.
Legal custody refers to the authority to make important decisions on your child’s behalf. These decisions can include topics like religious upbringing, which school your child will attend, care for non-emergency medical issues, etc.
Courts will try to award joint custody wherever possible unless there is a reason that would make it unsafe for the child to remain in one parent’s household. This is usually only a concern when there are allegations of domestic violence, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, etc. It is important that you also understand that joint custody does not mean there is a 50/50 split. Your child may be spending more than half his or her time at your house or your ex’s house.
Your attorney will also discuss the need to create a parenting time agreement. This is the formal schedule that will set forth how physical custody will work and where your child spends holidays, school breaks, etc. It is an important part of the process because it can help reduce the risk of arguments down the line.
If you are preparing for a child custody dispute, contact Atticus Family Law today to schedule an initial consultation.
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