Minnesota has two types of custody, legal and physical. In any custody case, both legal and physical custody, as well as parenting time, must be determined.

Legal custody means the right to determine the childís upbringing, including education, health care and religious training. If parents share joint legal custody that means they both have equal rights and responsibilities, including the right to participate in making decisions regarding the childís upbringing. The courts prefer to award joint legal custody, unless it is determined that the parties cannot cooperate and agree on these decisions, or if there has been domestic abuse.

Physical custody means the routine daily care and control and residence of the child. Joint physical custody refers to an agreement in which the daily care and control and residence of the child is structured by both parents. If a child resides primarily with one parent, the court will often award sole physical custody to that parent. In Minnesota an award of sole physical custody to one parent does not affect the other parentís rights or responsibilities as a parent, nor does it alone determine child support. The amount of time a child spends with each parent is determined by the parenting time schedule.