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Child Custody in Dakota County

Compassionate Child Custody Attorneys Proudly Serving Eagan Families

Child custody is one of the most challenging areas of family law. The objective of child custody disputes should always be to establish a reasonable and workable parenting time schedule for both parents. It is important to remember that there are two types of child custody designations in Minnesota: “legal” custody and “physical” custody.

Legal Custody

Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make decisions regarding his or her child’s health care, education, and religious upbringing. Legal custody can rest with one parent (i.e., “sole” custody) or both parents (i.e., “joint” custody).

Physical Custody

Physical custody is held by whichever parent shares a primary physical residence with his or her child. Parents with physical custody are responsible for their child’s daily routine and care. As with legal custody, physical custody can be granted to one or both parents.

Historically, labels governing custody (whether “joint” or “physical”) were directly related to the issue of child support. Today, due to newly enacted child support laws, the custody titles themselves have no bearing on child support arrangements.

Protecting Your Child’s Best Interests

When a child custody case is contested, the court may require a custody evaluation to be performed by an evaluator. This evaluator will interview the parents, child, and other third-party sources (i.e., daycare provider, doctor, etc.).

The custody evaluator will submit a report with his or her recommendations for custody and parenting time based on their analysis of what arrangement serves the “best interest of the child.” The court will look at several factors to determine a child custody arrangement.

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For trusted Family Law Services

Howard Family Law, LLC represents Eagan and Dakota County clients in cases involving child custody disputes. Call (952) 224-9410 today to schedule your free consultation with a compassionate and trusted family law attorney.