Outside of the legal profession, custody is simple. After a divorce, who takes care of your children?
Within this simple question, though, other details come up. Where will your children live? Who will make decisions about raising them?
There are two different kinds of custody and two different ways each can be awarded to a parent by the court.
Below are the ways the Minnesota Statute defines custody and our practical definitions:
- Statutory definition: “Legal custody means the right to determine the child’s upbringing, including education, health care, and religious training.”
- Practical definition: When you have sole legal custody, you alone make the major decisions about raising your child. When you have joint legal custody both you and your child’s other parent share in making major decisions about raising your child.
Physical custody and residence
- Statutory definition: “Physical custody and residence means the routine daily care and control and the residence of the child.”
- Practical definition: When you have sole physical custody your child resides mainly with you. When you share joint physical custody, your child usually spends substantial time in both your home and your child’s other parent’s home.
- Statute definition: “Custody determination means a court decision and court orders and instructions providing for the custody of a child, including parenting time, but does not include a decision relating to child support or any other monetary obligation of any person.”
- Practical definition: A custody determination sets forth the legal and physical custody arrangements for you child as defined above. These orders may include, or may not include, financial responsibilities for each parent, as well.