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Child Custody Lawyer in Minnesota

Child Custody Lawyer in Minnesota

Both parents have the right to custody of their child, and that's typically the preference of the courts. The idea is a simple one: each child and parent has the right to develop their relationship. Barring any serious issues like abuse or neglect, child custody is a right both parents have. Determining what that manifests as is another issue altogether.

At Heritage Law Office, our child custody attorney in Minnesota will thoroughly review your case, listen to your concerns and preferences, and outline the best course of action for you. We know you have your child's best interests at heart. To that end, we will make every effort to attain the child custody arrangement best for you and your child. Contact us online or at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation.

What is Child Custody in Minnesota?

When two parents are no longer together, one of the most important matters to be decided is who will have custody of their child. In most states, there are two different types of custody that the court must consider: legal custody and physical custody.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is not related to whom the child lives with. Instead, the parent with legal custody has the legal right to make important life decisions for the child. For example, a parent with legal custody will decide where the child attends school and the type of healthcare they will receive. It is possible in some states for the parents to share legal custody.

Physical Custody

Physical custody concerns where the child resides. It may be awarded solely to one parent, or it may be shared jointly between parents. Parents with joint custody will have a plan set in place that determines who has the child when.

When determining who to award child custody to, a court will consider what is in the best interest of the child. Some of the factors the court will look at are:

  • Who can provide a safe environment for the child
  • Any evidence of abuse
  • The child's relationship with each parent

If a matter affects the child, the court will likely consider it when awarding custody.

Parent Plans and Child Custody in Minnesota

Once child custody has been determined, unless one parent has sole custody, most jurisdictions request the parties enter into a parenting plan. A parenting plan lays out what is expected of each parent to provide the child with the physical and mental stability they need to prosper. It can address everything from where a child lives, to the religion they will be exposed to. A parent plan differs from a parent order in that a parent order is enforceable by the court. The parent plan is an agreement the parties reach together, often with the help of mediation.

Unfit Parents and Child Custody in Minnesota

When a court reviews a case and determines that a parent is unfit, it is likely it will award custody to another party, and the court may allow the unfit parent supervised visitation. The court may also order the unfit parent to undergo counseling and parenting classes if they want to continue to have a relationship with their child.

While it is not impossible in most jurisdictions for an unfit parent to later regain custody of their child, it is not an easy feat as they must prove to the court the issues that deemed them unfit have been completely resolved.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer in Minnesota Today

If you are facing a child custody issue, make certain your rights are protected by hiring a lawyer with experience in child custody disagreements. Contact Heritage Law Office in Minnesota today by using our online form or calling us directly at 414-253-8500.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the difference between Legal Custody and Physical Custody?

Legal custody and physical custody are two different but important aspects when it comes to child custody arrangements. Legal custody refers to the parent's legal authority to make significant life decisions for the child, such as schooling and healthcare. Physical custody, on the other hand, pertains to the residence of the child. A parent with physical custody is responsible for the day-to-day care of the child, including where the child lives.

2. How does the court determine the best interest of the child in Minnesota?

The court assesses multiple factors to determine what is in the child's best interest. These factors include the child's relationship with each parent, any history of abuse, and the ability of each parent to provide a safe environment. The court may also consider other matters that have a direct impact on the child. The aim is to provide a stable and nurturing setting for the child's physical and emotional well-being.

3. What is a Parenting Plan and how is it different from a Parent Order?

A Parenting Plan is a mutually agreed-upon document between the parents that outlines their responsibilities and expectations for raising the child. It can cover everything from living arrangements to religious exposure. On the other hand, a Parent Order is enforceable by the court and typically comes into play if the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan. While both aim to provide structure and stability for the child, a Parent Order has legal implications and can be enforced through legal means.

4. Can an "Unfit Parent" regain custody of their child?

While it's not impossible for an unfit parent to regain custody, it is a challenging process. The parent must demonstrate to the court that the issues which led them to be deemed unfit have been resolved. This often involves undergoing counseling and parenting classes. Courts will re-evaluate the situation carefully, weighing the child's best interest above all.

5. Do both parents have equal rights to custody in Minnesota?

Generally, both parents have equal rights to custody unless there are extenuating circumstances such as abuse, neglect, or other factors that may endanger the child. The court's preference is usually to allow both parents to maintain a relationship with the child, barring any serious issues. However, the final custody arrangement is determined based on what the court believes is in the best interest of the child.

Contact Us Today

For a comprehensive plan that will meet your needs or the needs of a loved one, contact us today. Located in Downtown Milwaukee, we serve Milwaukee County, surrounding communities, and to clients across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and California.