What is joint custody? What is sole custody?
In Minnesota, joint custody means the condition under which both parties share custody and where neither parent’s custody rights are superior. The parties are required to consult and attempt to reach agreement with respect to decisions affecting the lives of the minor children.
There are two types of custody: Legal and Physical. Legal custody is the authority to be involved in the educational, medical, and religious decisions affecting the child’s life. Physical custody is the authority to be involved in the decisions involving the routine daily care of the child.
It is possible for parents to share one type of custody and not the other.
In a joint custody situation, each of the parties is required to provide advance notice to the other regarding these decisions so as to facilitate co-parenting communication, cooperation, and mediation if necessary.
Sole custody is the condition under which one party has sole authority to make these decisions.
This designation to one parent is often done if the parents have difficulty communicating, have different beliefs governing an issue, or if one parent is a significant distance from the other.
If both parents share custody does anyone pay child support?
The child support order, and whether one should be issued, depends on the actual parenting time schedule and each parent’s income.
Can a parent refuse to allow visitation if child support is not paid?
No. Failure to pay child support is not a basis for denying another parent their parenting time.
When will child custody be decided?
The custody and parenting time order will be finalized either when the parties reach an agreement or following a trial. In the interim, temporary custody and parenting time can be decided between the parties or by the court in a temporary order.
What if we cannot agree on a custody arrangement?
When parents cannot come to an agreement on custody and placement, the court will likely first encourage the parties to attend mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, he court may also require a custody study or other evaluations to be completed for the court’s review in making a determination.
Can a judge order supervised visitation or no visitation?
A court can order supervised parenting time if a reason for the supervision is found by the court, which is usually to alleviate a safety concern about the children. The supervised parenting time can be supervised by a mutually agreeable person or at a facility.
Do courts favor the mother over the father?
By statute, the court may not prefer one parent or potential custodian over the other on the basis of sex or race of the parent or potential custodian.
In practice, parents may have perceived a preference based on the roles that each parent has assumed. For example, if the court is determining a parenting time schedule for a young infant and the mother is breast-feeding the child, that role will be a large factor for the court to consider.
What should I know before a custody trial?
Each custody trial is very different, and many steps must be completed prior to a trial. These steps may include mediation, and a custody evaluation. You should know what your burden of proof is and how you are going to meet that burden in an appropriate and effective manner.
Can I collect my own evidence to use if my custody case goes to court?
Evidence will need to be presented at trial or at motion hearings. Some of this evidence may be collected by the custody evaluator, depending on what is involved in your case. However, you should not rely on other individuals to present evidence.
In terms of gathering evidence, you have the right to gather evidence through formal and informal discovery. Discovery should be conducted appropriately to gather the necessary information.
What is the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act?
The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act is a federal law that requires every state to enforce any child custody determination made in another state. It also prohibits a state from modifying any child custody determination unless it has jurisdiction and the state that issued the previous order no longer has jurisdiction.