In Minnesota, there are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. “Legal custody” is the right to make decisions about how the child will be raised, such as decisions about education, health care and religious training. “Physical Custody” concerns the child’s daily care and where they will live.
Parents may be awarded joint or sole custody. “Joint custody” means that they share the particular custody. For example, if a party is awarded joint legal custody, each party shares the right to make decisions about the child’s schooling, medical care and spiritual life. “Sole custody” gives one party the exclusive right to make those decisions. However, if one party has sole physical custody, it doesn’t necessarily mean the other party won’t be able to see the child. The non-custodial parent may have the right to what’s called “parenting time” – the right to spend time, even time overnight, with the child. Likewise, if the parties are awarded joint physical custody, they won’t each necessarily have to right to spend 50% of the time with the child because one party may be awarded more parenting time.