If you are a parent in Rhode Island who will be petitioning for custody of your children, you will need to understand how this is determined in the state. There are two types of custody that are determined, and a set of factors that are considered to make final decisions.
Legal custody and physical placement
When courts decide on child custody, they are actually establishing two types of custody. Physical placement refers to the parent with whom the child will be residing. Physical custody can be sole custody, where one parent is responsible for the day-to-day upbringing of the child and the other parent has visitation, or it could be joint custody, where the parents share the day-to-day responsibilities of child-rearing. Legal custody refers instead to decision-making power over the important aspects of a child’s life, such as education, health, and religious upbringing.
Factors that affect child custody
Before the court decides on custody, there are certain factors that are considered. These include:
• Each parent’s relationship with their child, should demonstrate a healthy, loving, supportive relationship
• Each parent’s wishes about custody, as the parent should show that they desire to take care of their child
• The child’s wishes and preferences, if the child is old enough, about where they would like to live
• The environment in each parent’s home, should be peaceful, stable, and appropriate to raise a healthy child
• The physical and mental health of each parent, as a custodial parent should be able to fully care for their child
• Any special health needs the child might have and each parent’s capability of taking care of those needs
Each custody case is different even if the general rules are the same. The solution for yours might not look the same as the one for another family, so focus on finding a custody agreement that works for you and your children.