When parents decide to move forward with divorce, it can lead to significant upheaval and distress for the children. Even between two amicable Minnesota parents, it can be difficult to decide on the right choice for custody and visitation arrangements. In order to provide your kids with stability and lessen the chance for harmful disruption in their lives, it may be useful to learn as much as you can about custody and your parental rights. 

For many families, joint custody is a reasonable solution to child custody concerns. This type of arrangement can allow the children to maintain close contact with both parents, which is beneficial for their mental and emotional health. Whether you are pursuing a joint custody arrangement or want sole custody, you will need to understand legal custody and physical custody, along with what they mean for you.

Two types of custody

No matter what type of custody goals you have, physical custody and legal custody should be important factors in your parenting and visitation plan. It may help to consider the differences between them as you work for a beneficial custody plan that will suit your kids for years to come. They are as follows:

  • Legal custody — This is a parent’s right to make important decisions on behalf of his or her kids. Legal custody affects your ability to make important decisions for your child, such as where he or she will go to school or the type of religious upbringing he or she will have.
  • Physical custody — This involves the actual amount of time your children will be with you. Physical custody pertains to regular visitation schedules, but also things like summer vacation and holidays with families. 

As you seek a custody plan that will be workable for you and your kids, it is smart to remember to keep your focus on what will be best in the future, not just what feels right now. 

The best future for your family

Divorce is a complex, difficult process, but you can make choices that will provide your children with stability and continuity of lifestyle. No matter what type of custody plan you think will be most beneficial for your family, you will find it helpful to start with an explanation of your parental rights from an experienced family law attorney. Starting with the right guidance and support, you can fight for the best future for your kids and yourself as an involved, loving parent.