Experienced Child Custody Attorneys
At Heimerl and Lammers, LLC, our family law attorneys understand that one of the most difficult parts of any divorce is deciding not only where your children will live, but how they will share time with both parents.
We also know that child custody matters are not solely reserved for married couples, and when any parents make the decision to move forward with their lives in different directions, the same challenging decisions about their kids’ futures must be made.
This is no easy task. There are both physical and emotional complications that can affect the way you and the other parent respond to each other’s custody expectations. And often, the initial responses may be met with resistance and confusion.
The hard truth is, our family courts will require decisions to be made about legal and physical custody of the children — whether you and the other parent were married or not —including visitation and parenting time agreements.
Our child custody lawyers will explain your parenting rights and the legal requirements for pursuing the custody arrangements you desire, so both you and your children can move forward with confidence.
What is the Difference Between Legal and Physical Custody in Minnesota?
There are several components to prepare for when determining how to pursue custody of your children.
Legal custody determines who will make important decisions about the children’s upbringing, including choices about their religion, healthcare, and education.
Physical custody determines who will be responsible for the children’s daily routines, ongoing care, and where they live.
First, before assessing both legal and physical custody, parents must determine whether they are seeking sole or joint custody.
Sole custody is exactly like it sounds: One parent would assume complete control of where the child lives, and all decisions associated with their upbringing, which would mean he or she has sole legal and physical custody of the children.
When applicable in sole custody cases, a non-custodial parent will be awarded scheduled parenting time through the finalized court order, which is often referred to as visitation.
Joint physical custody awards both parents equitable time with their children.
When shared legal and physical custody of the children is awarded, the kids will split their time between two households, and all decisions and responsibilities regarding their well-being will be determined by both parents.
How is Child Custody Determined in Minnesota?
Our Minnesota family courts prefer that all parents come to a mutual agreement — or at the very least attempt to — regarding child custody matters before they enter the courtroom.
This can occur during private discussions and agreements made by both parents, which are later outlined in a binding legal document during the divorce proceedings. If the parents were never married, they may make these decisions on their own and see them through without the court’s involvement. Although, it is advised that all child custody and child support agreements are in writing and legally binding, otherwise they may not be enforceable.
If an agreement cannot be reached, our child custody will be determined by the courts based on the best interests of the child.
The judge will then consider a variety of factors, including the:
- Parents’ requests for sole or joint/legal and physical custody
- Physical, mental, or chemical health of both parents, which impacts the child’s safety or developmental needs
- Child’s preference, which may be based not only on their age, but maturity and ability to express an independent a reliable preference
- Current primary caretaker
- Child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
- Length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity
- Proposed or existing custodial home, and its permanence as a family unit
- Each existing interfamily relationship, including the child-parent relationship, the connections with siblings, and bonds with others who significantly contribute to their overall well-being
- Domestic violence issues that occurred within the home, either with the other parent or another individual
The courts will also weigh each parent’s ability to give the child love, affection, and guidance, and to continue educating the child while raising them within the family culture, religion, or creed, when applicable.
Finally, the courts will weigh each parent’s ability and willingness to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the other parent and the children.
When parents are seeking joint custody of their children, there are additional factors that will be measured during the judge’s ruling.
- The ability of parents to cooperate in child-rearing
- Whether it would be detrimental to the child if one parent were to have sole authority over their upbringing
- Methods — and, more importantly, the parents’ willingness to use those methods — for resolving disputes regarding any major decision concerning the children’s lives
- Whether domestic abuse has occurred between the parents
With so much to consider, our child custody attorneys work hard to build a strong case and do everything in our power to ensure that your parental rights are protected.
Our attorneys work diligently to secure the best possible outcome for you and your child often by using a unique team approach or on an individual basis. In both cases, your attorney works on your behalf to ensure a high-level solution based on their experience and knowledge.
How Can the Child Custody Attorneys at Heimerl and Lammers, LLC Help With My Unique Case?
Couples with children have a lot of things in common, but their unique child custody challenges are not one of them, as no two sets of custody circumstances are the same.
At Heimerl and Lammers, LLC, our child custody attorneys will listen to each of your needs and guide you through the legal process while eliminating as much stress as possible, so you can make informed decisions about your involvement in your children’s futures.
We offer over two decades of experience and an award-winning reputation in family law in the following child custody legal areas:
Whether you are seeking a divorce or if you were never married and are moving in a separate direction from your child’s other parent, your legal needs include making important decisions about child custody, and our experienced attorneys will provide the legal resources and solutions you need to take the next step.
Contact our child custody attorneys at Heimerl and Lammers, LLC today at one of our eight offices located in six cities throughout the state by calling (612) 294-2200 to schedule a free consultation today.
We Are Ready to Fight for You
For our clients, our Minnesota child custody attorneys work hard to build a strong case and do everything in our power to ensure that your parental rights are protected. Our attorneys work diligently to secure the best possible outcome for you and your child often by using a unique team approach or on an individual basis. In both cases, your attorney works on your behalf to ensure a high-level solution based on their experience and knowledge.
Let us stand by your side during this intimidating and complicated process. Our Minnesota custody lawyers can guide you through the process while eliminating as much stress as possible. We offer over two decades of experience and an award-winning reputation in family law. Your first consultation is always free.