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Rhode Island is One of the Toughest States for Parents Seeking Shared Custody

Many child and family psychologists have determined over the years that it is best for a child to have a meaningful and healthy relationship with both their parents. In the event of a divorce or break-up, it can be difficult for children to have such meaningful and healthy relationships with both their parents, especially when the legal system for determining custody is designed in such an adversarial manner, putting one parent against the other with the children often stuck in the middle. A recently published article discusses one man’s experience in fighting for 50-50 custody of his daughters, and his lobbying efforts to change state laws that discourage true shared custody.

According to the discussion in the local report, Rhode Island is one of the two worst states for obtaining a true shared child custody order. Although many experts agree that the best interests of children are served by effective joint custody arrangements, the family court system in Rhode Island is designed to choose one parent over the other as the “primary custodian,” while the other parent falls into more of a secondary role. The courts’ tendencies to favor primary/secondary custody arrangements may be the result of outdated gender roles that have assumed women would act as “stay-at-home moms” while their ex-partner would work and support the child by making child support payments. In today’s society, this belief is outdated. Many fathers want to take an equal role in parenting responsibilities, while many mothers work full time. As a result of these changes, the state laws should be updated to favor shared custody arrangements.

Although the state laws to determine custody in Rhode Island tend to support a primary/secondary custody arrangement, shared or 50/50 custody is available and commonly ordered by the courts. Family courts in Rhode Island see the “best interests of the child(ren)” as a primary factor in determining a final custody order. A skilled Rhode Island family law attorney should be able to make a case to the court that a shared or 50/50 custody order would be in the best interests of the children. Although Rhode Island is not the easiest place to seek out joint custody in the event of a divorce or custody dispute, parents with competent legal representation can ensure that the final order is consistent with the best interests of their children.

The Best Option for Parents Involved in a Divorce or Custody Dispute

If you or a loved one is anticipating a divorce, or in the process of a custody dispute, selecting and retaining a qualified Rhode Island family law attorney can make all of the difference in your case. The experienced Rhode Island family law attorneys with Bilodeau Capalbo understand the factors that courts take into account when awarding custody to parents, and with our help, you can be confident that your case will be handled effectively, from beginning to end. Contact Bilodeau Capalbo, LLC to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Rhode Island family law attorney by calling 401-300-4055 today. You can also connect with us through our online form.

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