Custody disputes are common in Minnesota divorce cases, but you do not have to be married to find yourself facing a battle with your now ex over child custody. As a parent, you have rights which are just as important, whether you are going through a divorce or not. A custody battle can be a frightening thought for most people as there is certainly a fear you may lose time with your child. The fears can be compounded if there are other issues at play, like questions surrounding a child’s paternity or if there are concerns about your child’s well-being when he or she is with the other parent.
Like in other states, Minnesota courts look at what is best for your child when determining custody arrangements. You may feel overwhelmed and concerned that your voice is being lost in the process. This is where you need a Stillwater child custody attorney. At Atticus Family Law, our team of attorneys is here to make sure your voice is not lost. We are here to make sure your rights are protected, and your child’s best interests are understood.
There are two main types of custody with which every parent needs to be familiar. These are legal and physical custody. Before you can start the process, it is imperative that you understand what each one means. Legal custody is about who has the legal right to make important decisions for your child. This can include topics like religion, what school to attend, non-emergency medical treatments, etc. Legal custody can be awarded to one or both parents. In most cases, the court will award joint legal custody unless you can show the judge a valid reason for awarding sole custody only.
Physical custody is what most people think of when you talk about child custody battles. Physical custody means where the child primarily lives, and which parent will handle the daily routine. Determining physical custody is where most battle lines are drawn and where emotions can really heat up. It is understandable as you are both used to seeing your kids on a daily basis. No matter what happens, your life is going to change. Each parent will have to sacrifice in some manner or another.
Courts may award physical custody to both parents, but it does not automatically mean your child spends an equal amount of time between both of you. This does not affect how child support is awarded, either. The same goes for sole custody. Being awarded sole custody does not determine the amount of child support that the parent will receive.
The other major step in a custody case is creating a parenting time agreement. This is the schedule that determines how custody will be split, where your child spends holidays, school breaks, etc. It is a very important part of the process because it can help reduce a lot of arguments down the line. Having a skilled Stillwater custody attorney on your side is key for this step in the Minnesota custody process.
Due to the complicated aspects of child custody cases, it is highly recommended that you have a knowledgeable, yet compassionate, Stillwater child custody attorney on your side. Contact Atticus Family Law today to schedule an initial consultation.
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