Child Custody in Minnesota 


Under Minnesota law, there are two types of child custody.

"Legal custody" refers to the right to make decisions about how to raise the child, including decisions about education, health care, religious training and certain activities.

"Physical custody" refers to the right to make decisions about the routine day-to-day activities of the child and where the child lives.

Across Minnesota, a majority of parents share Legal custody and Physical custody for their child or children.  This is referred to as Joint Legal and Joint Physical custody.

"Joint legal custody" means that both parents share the responsibility for making decisions regarding how to raise the child, including the right to participate in major decisions about the child's education, health care, and religious training.

"Joint physical custody" means that the routine daily care and control and the residence of the child is structured between both of the parents.

Custody Labels in Minnesota

In some cases parents share Joint legal custody but one parent has Sole physical custody.  This is common in cases where parents disagree about who should be the primary caregiver for the child or children.  Other best interest factors also contribute to the granting of Sole physical custody by the court to one parent.

Custody evaluations, performed by either a Social Worker, Psychologist, Family Attorney or Court Services is sometimes required to aid the Court in making a custody decision that is in the best interests of the minor child or children.

Located in the historic Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis, Lake Harriet Law Office provides experienced and personalized legal representation exclusively in the area of Family Law.

Attorneys Randall A. Smith and Amber C. Bretl can represent you in DivorceChild CustodyChild SupportParenting TimeProperty DivisionSpousal Maintenance cases and Family Law Appeals.

We also provide Family Mediation and Early Neutral Evaluation (both Social ENE and Financial ENE) in Family Law cases throughout the Twin Cities.

It is important to have an experienced attorney who understands every phase of the Family Law process, including the various Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options that are used in Minnesota Courts, as well as the Trial process in the event the case does not settle.

Personalized service, attention to detail and effective communication are the cornerstones of our firm, and our promise to you, the client.

We represent Family Law clients in Minneapolis, Bloomington, Edina, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Plymouth, Hennepin County, St. Paul, Ramsey County and throughout the Twin Cities.

Please call 612-750-4843, or complete the Contact Us form to schedule a consultation.

Attorney Randall A. Smith  612-750-4843

Attorney Amber C. Bretl     612-223-8925


To schedule a consultation with Lake Harriet Law Office, please complete the form below or call 612-750-4843.

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