In a recent blog post, we discussed the importance of hiring an experienced divorce attorney to handle your complex dissolution of marriage, especially if children are involved. This week, we wanted to further the discussion by sharing a brief overview on child custody laws and how to protect your sole or joint custody case before initial court proceedings.
Understanding the Different Types of Child Custody:
- Legal Custody
- Physical Custody
In addition to deciding legal and physical custody requests, a parent needs to decide whether to request “sole” custody or “joint” custody for both Legal and Physical custody labels. Parents who have joint legal custody have equal rights in making decisions that will affect the child’s upbringing (e.g. school, religion, and health care). However, should a dispute arise, it would need to be settled in court by a family judge. Parents who have joint physical custody have a say on the child’s day-to-day upbringing, which is largely dictated by the parenting time schedule.
Filing for Sole Custody:
Before you can file for either sole, legal, or sole physical custody, you’ll want to be aware of the following considerations that could affect your case:
- If you decide to move out of the family home, you may hurt your chances of filing for sole custody later.
- To ensure the best possible outcome for your child, a judge may be hesitant to award you custody if it disrupts the child’s established living patterns (i.e. where they go to school, community, etc.)
- If you do decide to leave and take your child (because of difficult living arrangements with your spouse or domestic abuse), you’ll want to file for temporary child custody immediately; otherwise, your spouse could report you to a judge and claim you took the child without consent.
Hiring a Child Custody Lawyer:
Navigating through the complexities of family law can be challenging, especially during a major life event, such as a divorce. To help you understand the process and protect your rights as a parent, it’s vital that you hire an experienced child custody lawyer to help you win your case.
From helping you file your petition and other legal paperwork to advocating on your behalf in front of a family court judge, the child custody lawyers at KTF Law Firm will help resolve your case in a way that protects you and your most important asset, your children. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact our Minnesota law firm today!