A Minnesota custody order outlines who has legal and physical custody along with any expected support from one party to the other. The court does not choose who has custody based on emotion.

Instead, the court determines child custody based on the best interests of the child, but what does that mean for you?

All relevant factors evaluated

The Minnesota Courts outline what they determine to be the best interests of the child. Ideally, you and the child’s other parent are willing to cooperate and work together. The court wants to ensure your child has the maximum amount of parenting time with each of you to facilitate familial relationships.

As a parent, your history regarding domestic abuse and child care are subject to scrutiny. Your mental, physical and emotional health can help the court determine your ability to properly care for your child.

The court looks at yours and your child’s health including any specific health or educational needs requiring special consideration. Changing where your child lives or attends school can impact his or her well-being. Yet some children may have a say in who has primary custody, especially if they are a certain age or maturity level.

Court’s application of factors

The court wants to ensure that your child has nurturing relationships that promote development. The factors listed above can help show how well you can meet your child’s needs.

Unless there is a reason otherwise, you can expect joint legal custody of your child. Simply sharing joint custody with the child’s other parent does not mean you share equal amounts of time. If you disagree with joint custody, you may provide reasons that rebut this decision.