Rhode Island couples who divorce might have the best intentions for co-parenting their children by sharing custody after their split. However, there are times when a joint custody agreement might not work for the family. This might be due to a situation that can put the children in danger or simply to logistics that might make shared custody impossible.
When there is danger to the children
There are several reasons why a joint physical custody arrangement might be dangerous for the children. While in most cases the court will look favorably at parents splitting their parenting time 50-50, they will not when the best interests of the child are not being served, particularly when the situation puts the children in danger. These reasons include:
- Drug or alcohol abuse by a parent
- History of child neglect or domestic abuse
- A parent’s inability to properly care for their children and meet their needs
When logistics make it impractical
Even if parents want to share custody equally, it might not always work for the family. One reason this might not work is when the children are old enough to choose who they want to live with and decide they would prefer to spend most of the time with one parent. Another reason is where the parents live. For example, if a parent lives too far from the children’s school and other activities, it might not be possible for the child to spend part of the week with that parent, so other child custody arrangements must be made.
Custody issues are usually resolved to protect the child’s best interests. However, this might mean that parents’ initial vision for the shared parenting journey is to the realized and that adjustments will need to be made.