You have decided to file for divorce, and the move has sparked a range of emotions within you. Although you look forward to breaking free from the other party, you worry about how you and your future ex will handle the custody of your children.
In Minnesota, you could have joint custody with the other parent or gain sole custody of the children, where custody is awarded to you alone. Here is a glimpse at what sole custody in particular involves.
What exactly is sole custody?
If the court awards you sole physical custody as well as sole legal custody of the children, you have exclusive rights regarding your child. A sole custody arrangement is rare, but it is certainly possible if the court deems the other parent incapable of caring or unfit to care for your children. For instance, the other party could have a drug abuse problem, or there could be evidence that he or she abused your children.
In a sole custody situation, the other parent is your children’s non-custodial parent. This person does not have either legal or physical custody of the children. However, the other party can still visit with your children, although these visits might be supervised — particularly in a situation involving child abuse or domestic violence.
How do sole physical and sole legal custody differ?
If the court awards you sole physical custody, your children will live you. The other parent can still visit with the children if the court believes that visitation would be in your children’s best interests.
Meanwhile, if you have sole legal custody, you alone have the responsibility and right to make significant decisions concerning your children’s welfare and upbringing. These decisions involve matters regarding education, religious and moral development, and emotional and medical care, for example.
What are the benefits of sole child custody?
A major benefit of this type of custody arrangement is that your children get to live with you. In addition, you do not have to discuss major decisions involving the children’s lives with the other party. At the same time, if you want your children to maintain relationships with their other parent, they can still do this through visitation.
An attorney can help you to determine whether to push for joint custody or sole custody and how to go about this to meet your wishes and, most importantly, the children’s best interests.