People often confuse the terms "custody" and "parenting time." Under Minnesota law, there are two types of custody: legal and physical. It is common in Minnesota for parents to have joint legal and joint physical custody. This does not mean that parents have equal "parenting time." Parenting time is the actual time each parent spends with the children. Parents who have joint custody may have a parenting schedule in which one parent has the children 70% of the time. Parenting time is often a disputed issue in a divorce or custody case.

A parenting time schedule gives parents actual time with the children on a regular basis, as well as on holidays, birthdays, and during vacations. Custody provides parents with authority to make important decisions about how their children are being raised.

Since Minnesota child support laws were changed in 2007, custody labels generally have no impact on child support. The amount of parenting time a parent has, however, may impact how much he or she pays, or receives, in child support. To learn more about the differences between custody and child support, please see our articles on custody and parenting time or consult our Resources page.

Acting in the Best Interests of Children

Custody and parenting time issues can be the most difficult family law matters to resolve because these issues can be subjective. Parents often have different parenting styles, and often don't want to give up any time with their children. Custody and parenting time disputes are much more personal than financial disputes and parents can feel that they, and their parenting, are under attack in the litigation process. At Callahan Family Law & Mediation, LLC, we know our clients' primary concern is the well-being of their children. We have strategies to help our clients make smart choices in creating custody and parenting time plans in the best interests of their children. Acting in the best interests of children is the court's priority, and it is ours as well.

To learn more about Minnesota child custody and parenting time, we invite you to contact Callahan Family Law & Mediation, LLC online, or to call our Chanhassen office at 952-975-9961 to schedule a free initial consultation.

We offer child custody attorney services throughout Minnesota, with an emphasis on the communities southwest of Minneapolis, including Carver County, Hennepin County and Scott County, as well as localities from Chanhassen to Chaska, Victoria and Waconia.

We look forward to working with you.