As you and your spouse prepare for divorce, you will have to consider custody arrangements if you have children. In an ideal world, you two would share custody of your kids. But your spouse’s parenting or personal conduct may make this difficult. If either is, you may wonder if it’s worthwhile pursuing sole custody.
Rhode Island’s custody laws
Rhode Island is one of the few states where courts do not presume joint custody. If you and your spouse want to share custody of your children, you will have to decree this decision in your divorce agreement. If you two cannot reach an agreement, the court will put credence in your children’s best interests.
To determine your children’s best interests, the court will consider their relationship with both you and your spouse. And it will evaluate each of your fitness as parents. If your spouse has a history of neglect, abuse or adverse actions, you may receive sole custody. If awarded it, you will make all major decisions about your children’s upbringing and welfare. Receiving sole custody can also mean that your children will not live with your spouse. In this case, your spouse can still receive reasonable visitation rights. But if they have physically or sexually abused your children, they may lose these rights altogether.
Protecting your children
During your divorce, it’s crucial to reach a custody agreement that allows your children to grow and thrive. If your spouse cannot provide them a safe and loving home, you may decide to fight for sole custody. An attorney with family law experience can help you work toward an arrangement that protects your kids.