Actor George Eads is familiar to many people in Minnesota as one of the stars of the popular TV series “CSI.” In real life, Eads is in the throes of a bitter divorce. He and his wife, Monika Casey, have been married for four years. The couple have one child, a daughter. Eads has requested joint legal and physical custody of the child. Casey, however, is seeking sole physical custody.
The difference between legal and physical custody is that legal custody refers to the authority to make major decisions about the child’s upbringing, for example, education, health care and religious affiliation. Physical custody simply refers to which parent the child will live with. Visitation, known in Minnesota as parenting time, refers to arrangements by which the noncustodial parent spends time with the child.
In Minnesota, as in most states, the best interests of the child are the most important consideration in deciding child custody issues. The child custody statute lists 13 factors to be considered by the court in determining what custody arrangement is in the child’s best interest. All of the factors receive equal weight in the decision-making process.
A child custody dispute can be one of the most emotionally wrenching aspects of a divorce. When parents can put their own emotions aside and focus on the child’s best interest, it is sometimes possible to negotiate a mutually acceptable custody agreement which can then be approved by the court. But if the parties are unable to agree, an experienced family law attorney can help a spouse fight for an outcome that best meets the child’s needs.
Source: TMZ.com, “‘CSI’ Star George Eads Nasty Custody Battle Brewing In Divorce,” Nov. 2, 2015