Joint Custody Agreements
Legal Help from Experienced Rhode Island Child Custody Attorneys
A joint, or shared, custody agreement is granted to parents who do not live together but who wish to share in the decision-making responsibilities concerning their children. A joint custody agreement can include legal custody, physical custody, or both. Typically, these agreements are reserved for parents who are divorced, separated, or no longer cohabiting.
If you’re interested in learning more about a shared custody agreement, contact a Rhode Island child custody lawyer at TJC • ESQ today.
Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody
The courts prefer to grant joint custody over sole custody whenever possible, as this is the best way to keep both parents present and active in a child’s life. In joint custodial arrangements, parents share the legal and physical responsibilities of raising a child, including decisions regarding the child’s education, moral upbringing, and healthcare. They also share physical time spent with the child, including living arrangements.
In sole custodial arrangements, only one parent is granted physical and / or legal custody. Cases of sole custody are typically reserved for situations in which one parent is deemed “unfit.” For example, a parent who struggles with a drug or alcohol addiction, or a parent who has displayed abusive or neglectful behavior, may be seen as unfit for legal and / or physical child custody privileges.
Establishing & Enforcing Joint Custody in Rhode Island
Parents who share joint custody will not necessarily split their time equally with the child. However, whenever possible, the state does prefer that the child’s contact with both parents be frequent and ongoing. That being said, all joint custody agreements should establish the following:
- Residential Schedule
- Holiday Schedule
- Vacation Schedule
Provisions for telephone and / or electronic communication between the child and each parent should also be arranged for in the joint custody agreement.
Contact TJC • ESQ for a Consultation
For help establishing or enforcing a child custody order in Rhode Island, contact us at TJC • ESQ. Backed by more than 30 years of professional experience in family law, we are here to help you and your family create a fair, balanced joint custody agreement that works for all parties involved.
TJC • ESQ is now a part of Burns & Levinson, one of the largest and most respected family law firms in the nation. Learn more.