When it comes to determining where children will live, who will have decision-making authority and other important issues in divorce, every state, including Minnesota, has its own guidelines. However, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act promotes recognition and cooperation between states in order to help enforce court orders and prevent interstate child abductions. This state basically recognizes two types of custody, physical and legal.
The latter grants a parent or parents the authority to make decisions regarding medical care, education, religion and other matters on behalf of a child. Physical custody, on the other hand, pertains to a child’s living arrangements; in particular, with which parent the will reside — whether on a permanent basis or by sharing time between two households. There are options in Minnesota for parents to share both legal and physical custody of their children, and the court typically believes that this option is best in most cases.
This does not mean, however, that the court would rule this way in every case. In fact, there are sometimes extenuating issues that might prompt a family court judge to restrict or prohibit a parent from living with or even visiting his or her children. Such cases often include instances of parental substance abuse or evidence that a parent’s presence is placing children’ in harm’s way.
A parent whose rights are being undermined or relationship with children is being impeded has options for legal recourse. If a Minnesota parent has questions or concerns regarding child custody laws and state guidelines, a meeting can be scheduled with an experienced family law attorney. This is typically the swiftest and most convenient way to obtain answers and to seek guidance and support if a specific legal problem arises.