Concerns related to child custody are common to divorces involving children, but they can also arise when post-divorce modifications are needed and when parents who share children but were never married face custody issues. If you find yourself in any of these categories, an experienced St. Paul child custody lawyer has the legal insight and skill to help.
As parents, we face tremendous responsibility for our children, and part of this responsibility is making important decisions on their behalf. This decision-making power is the basis of legal custody, and the kinds of matters involved include:
You and your children’s other parent can make these decisions together (joint legal custody), or one of you can take sole responsibility (sole legal custody). You can also share joint legal custody while one of you retains tie-breaking authority (in the event that you cannot come to a consensus), or you can divide legal custody according to the kinds of decisions being made. In other words, there is some flexibility available when it comes to legal custody.
When it comes to those workaday decisions that every parent encounters on a moment-by-moment basis, they remain the responsibility of the parent who has the kids at the time. In other words, if the question at hand is whether or not Johnny can have an extra 30 minutes of screen time today, that’s on you.
Parenting time is what you may think of as physical custody or visitation. Parenting time determines when the children will be living with you and when they will be living with their other parent. The basic modes of physical custody include you and your ex either splitting your time equally or one of you becoming the primary custodial parent while the other has the children according to a visitation schedule. Within these two basic categories, you can devise any parenting schedule that addresses your family’s needs and that works for you.
If you and your children’s other parent are able to negotiate child custody terms that you are both comfortable with, the decision-making power will remain with you. If your negotiations grind to a halt, however, you’ll need the court to intervene on your behalf. All things being equal, the court prefers – based on its commitment to the best interests of the children – that kids spend a considerable amount of time with both parents, and the court has standard visitation schedules that it generally implements.
Child custody issues are some of the most complicated and emotionally fraught issues that arise in family law, and the trusted St. Paul child custody lawyers at Atticus Family Law recognize the gravity involved. Our dedicated legal team is well-positioned to skillfully advocate for child custody terms that protect you and your children’s best interests and that work for you. To learn more about what we can do to help, please don’t wait to contact us today.
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Alexandra and the entire team at Atticus Family Law have been nothing short of amazing during what is no doubt one of the most challenging times to navigate! Her incredibly poised and professional approach with opposing counsel and
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