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Can my spouse “get custody” of our child?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2022 | Family Law & Divorce

One day your spouse announces they are filing for divorce and intend to get custody of the kids. 

All sorts of things will probably go through your head, yet many of them need not do if you understand Minnesota laws. As a child’s parent, you have considerable rights, and your spouse cannot just decide to take them away.

What do they mean by getting custody?

People often misunderstand custody. The state splits it into two terms: legal custody and physical custody. To complicate things further, it adds a third term: parenting time. Here are the ways things can play out:

  • Both parents usually share legal custody: This refers to the right to make decisions about health care, schooling and religion. A court will only deny you this right in exceptional circumstances.
  • You can share physical custody, or one person can have it: This covers where the child will live. So when your spouse says they are filing for custody, they probably mean they want the child to live with them all the time.
  • You will get parenting time even if you do not get physical custody: Provided the court does not consider you a danger to your child, it will insist that you and your child get a certain amount of regularly scheduled time to see each other. Unless, of course, you do not want to.

So, it is still possible to spend considerable time each week with your child even if they will not live with you. Provided you get help to understand your rights and fight for them. Understanding more about custody agreement options will be crucial to deciding what outcome to seek.

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