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Child custody these days may differ from that of past generations


So-called "Generation X" and "Millenium" couples in Rhode Island who have children may find that their lives are very different from those of their parents. For example, unlike previous generations, it is more likely that both partners have jobs outside the home. Moreover, both partners may be more involved in raising the children and keeping the home than in past generations.


This means that when these couples divorce, both parties may want to spend significant time with their child -- more than just the traditional "every-other weekend and mid-week dinners." Fortunately, if the parties are willing, they may be able to negotiate a shared parenting agreement that meets these needs.

Parenting agreements include which parent, or both, have physical and legal custody of their child. Legal custody refers to each parent's right to make major decisions regarding the child. Some examples of these decisions include what religion the child will practice, decisions regarding the child's medical care and decisions regarding the child's education. Physical custody, which these days is referred to as "placement," is where the child lives on a day-to-day basis.

If both parents can communicate effectively and live relatively near one-another, shared child placement may be a possibility. Parental access is also a focus of parenting plans. This includes overnight stays, vacations and holidays. Of course, any parenting plan should be customized to incorporate the child's best interests.

It is important that parenting agreements meet the needs of both the parents and the child. It may benefit parents in Rhode Island who have separated or divorced to get more information to better understand their rights to access to their child and to ensure that any parenting plan they are entering into is fair. Our law firm's child custody webpage may provide Rhode Island parents with further information on child custody and divorce.

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