Physical custody is important in a divorce case and if you are raising a child with someone who you do not live with. Physical custody refers to where the child lives and which parent is responsible for providing the day-to-day in-person care. Physical custody is distinct from legal custody, which is the right to make decisions for the child on important issues such as academics, medical decisions and religious education. In many cases, a parent who has physical custody of the child will also have legal custody of the child. However, this is not always true and there may be times when one parent does not actually see or take care of the child on a regular basis but still has a say in important decisions on the child’s life.
Physical Custody and Your Custody Agreement
The issue of who should have physical custody of a child is often one of the most important and most contentious issues in a divorce situation or when two people separate and share a child. This is because each parent wants to make sure he continues to have access to his or her kids and can maintain their relationship.
In Mankato Minnesota, physical custody can be divided in a number of different ways. For example, one parent can have sole physical custody of the child. Under these circumstances, the other parent (the non-custodial parent) might have a limited right to see or visit the child but would not have the child living with him/her on a regular basis. Another option is for one parent to have primary physical custody. In this case, the child would live with the custodial parent almost all of the time but the other parent would have routine visits, such as seeing the child every other weekend and during certain holidays.
Sole and primary custody are possible options but in most cases, it is better for a child to maintain a regular ongoing relationship with both parents when feasible to do so. As such, it is common for physical custody to be shared among both parents. If the parents have joint custody, the child gets to spend time under the care of both mother and father regularly. For example, the child might stay with his or her mother for one week or one month and then go to the father for the next week or the next month.
Determining which of these options is the right one can be tricky, especially as the decision on physical custody also affects each parent’s child support obligation. In general, it is best if parents can come to an agreement on the issue of physical custody on their own outside of court with the help of their lawyers. If this is not possible because parents are unable to agree, the court will make a decision on how physical custody in Mankato Minnesota should be shared based on what is in the child’s best interests.