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Who Makes Decisions About a Child’s Upbringing After Divorce in Minnesota?

When a Minnesota court makes child custody decisions, they must rule on two types of custody. Physical custody determines where a child spends his or her time, but legal custody determines who gets to make the decisions about the child’s upbringing. In almost all cases, legal custody is awarded jointly to both parents, even in cases where one parent is given primary physical custody. Legal custody allows a parent to decide issues such as:

  • Legal custody allows parents to determine where a child goes to school, what school activities they participate in, and what programs they attend outside of school.
  • The legal custodian can choose which recreational activities the child participates in, such as sports, camps and clubs. This does not mean that they can sign the children up for activities that would affect the other parent’s custody, visitation or parenting time, however.
  • Decisions about healthcare, such as when to seek treatment and from whom, are left up to the legal custodian.
  • A parent with legal custody can choose whether to raise a child as a member of a particular faith, as well as which church or congregation the child should attend. When legal custody is shared by parents of different faiths, however, it may be possible to raise a child in different religious traditions.

Because parents generally share legal custody, these decisions are usually made jointly. When parents can’t decide, they can seek the help of the court. Even when one parent has full legal custody, a court can sometimes be petitioned to intervene in extreme circumstances.

If you and your child’s other parent are having trouble making decisions about the child’s upbringing, consult an experienced Minnesota legal custody attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. today.

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