Custody and Parenting Time
In a divorce or paternity matter, the parents will have to determine how they will deal with their children’s legal and physical custody as well as parenting time. Parenting time determines child support. Each parent is entitled to have parenting time with their minor children unless valid reasons exist to restrict or prohibit it. Ideally the parents would be able to set aside their differences and make these decisions in the best interests of the children. If they are unable to agree, the Court will ultimately make the determination which may not please either party.
Legal custody is the right to share in the important decisions of the children’s lives. Physical custody is usually the place that the child primarily resides. Minnesota law presumes that legal custody will be joint in most circumstances. There is no presumption that physical custody will be joint but the parties can agree to share joint physical custody. In addition, the court can grant joint physical custody where the facts justify it even over one party’s objection.
If the Court is ultimately required to make custody or parenting time decisions, it is required to apply the statutory factors to its analysis to make a final decision and you will have an opportunity to influence that decision.