Once your lawyers draft a parenting plan you’re both happy with, you can submit it to the judge for review.
Around 10% of all marriages in Minnesota end with a divorce. In many cases, the couple has young children as the nationwide average age for the first divorce is 30 years. Unfortunately, many couples agonize over who is to blame instead of worrying about their children’s future.
When you reach out to experienced Minnesota child custody lawyers they will advise you to pull yourself together and start thinking about the children’s future.
No matter what you might be thinking about your ex, a child has different feelings. For them, it’s a parent who’s been there for all of their life and losing them can cause incalculable damage. Your own hurt feelings might make you want to get back at your ex by making sure they lose contact with their children. This is unwise and you might end up paying for this mistake.
As all Minneapolis child custody lawyers will tell you, judges do not like this sort of attitude as it goes against the children’s’ best interests. A judge is required by law to look out for a child’s best interests and it is only if the other parent is unfit or abusive that you can limit or forbid them to spend time with the kid.
In most cases, your child custody lawyers will advise you and your partner to sit down and work out a parenting plan that you can both be comfortable with.
There are two things you need to decide – physical custody and legal custody. Both of them can be either sole or joint custody.
Physical custody addresses the practical part of the arrangement – where is the child going to live. If one parent gets sole physical custody, the plan needs to detaliate when the other parent gets to spend time with the children. Usually, there’s a schedule for alternate weekends, overnight stays or arrangements for the holidays.
If the parents live in the same area, it is possible for them to have joint physical custody of the children, who will spend roughly the same amount of time with each of them.
Many people wonder whether the child ever gets a say in this. It is up to the judge to decide if a child is mature enough to have a real opinion on this issue. Generally speaking, children over the age of 7 can be asked for their opinion but the judge will want to make sure the kid was not trained what to say.
Legal custody refers to who gets to make the important decisions for the child’s welfare. If one parent gets full legal custody, they will get to decide what school the child goes to, what medical treatments they should get, etc. If both parents want to stay involved in the child’s life it is important that they put their hurt feelings and recriminations aside and learn how to work together as a team.
Once your lawyers draft a parenting plan you’re both happy with, you can submit it to the judge for review. In most cases, judges approve such plans if the family can work with it. If you change your mind later on, you can have that plan altered, but you will have to go before the judge and show there has been a significant change in one of the parent’s health or financial situation.