As a soon-to-be divorced Minnesota parent, you may have heard that joint custody represents the best post-divorce option for your minor children. This is true in many situations, but not all of them. In addition, you need to understand that two kinds of joint custody exist with regard to minor children: joint legal custody and joint physical custody.

Joint legal custody means that you and your children’s other parent will both have a say in decisions about and affecting your children. Joint physical custody, on the other hand, means that you and your children’s other parent will both have a roughly equal amount of time during which your children will live with you.

You can also opt to have joint legal custody while granting sole physical custody to one parent and reasonable visitation time to the other. Your parenting plan will need to specify what type, if any, of joint legal and physical custody you and your soon-to-be former spouse wish to share.

Joint legal custody advantages

Assuming you and your former spouse can work together for the benefit of your children, joint legal custody presents you and them with numerous benefits, including the following:

  • The opportunity for you and your children’s other parent to be a continuing part of the decision-making entailed in raising your children to maturity
  • The opportunity for your children to observe their parents continuing to work cooperatively together even though they no longer live together
  • The opportunity for your children to have you and their other parent as role models when it comes to resolving their own problems and disagreements with others
  • The opportunity for you and your children’s other parent to alleviate your respective child-rearing burdens

All in all, joint legal custody can have an enormously positive effect on your children. Joint physical custody can likewise have such an effect.