Custody And Parents

Some couples think they can make a clean break once the divorce is finalized. This may be the case if there are no children, but the reality for divorced parents is that they usually must continue to work together and communicate to fulfill their parental obligations and exercise their rights. The parents and their lawyers outline these issues through custody, parenting plans as well as other arrangements made during the divorce agreement.

McCormick Law Offices is based in Cranston but serves Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. We handle a variety of family law issues, including custody and parenting plans. At our firm, we believe that the needs of the children are the priority, but the arrangement needs to be workable for the entire family if it is to be successful on a long-term basis.

Factors Considered In A Custody Agreement

Whether determined by the parents or the courts, these issues need to be considered in a custody agreement:

  • The needs and wishes of the child and their relationship with their parents
  • The needs and wishes of the parent
  • The parent's ability to fulfill various parental or child care obligations
  • A parent's history of drug use, alcohol abuse or violence
  • What makes the least impact on the children in this new era of the parents living apart

Traditionally, the mother was granted custody of the children in a divorce and the father would pay child support. In the era of two-income households and active co-parenting on a daily basis, the courts often need a very specific reason to not award joint custody. This is the case even if the child care plan includes the kids staying with one parent more often.

Children Born Out Of Wedlock

Parents who have children born out of wedlock can have the same custody and visitation rights as if previously married. The difference is that fathers need to file a petition in family court to establish the custodial and visitation rights. Filing this petition is important even in cases where the parties are amicable because relationships and circumstances may change. Further, if individuals have established a custodial order, that order can be modified based on changes. The modification of an order is much easier to accomplish than establishing an order. It should also be noted that the father is next in line for custody if the mother proves unsuitable for raising the children.

Have Questions About Child Custody?

Call our office at 401-406-7155, or contact us online if you wish to schedule an appointment with child custody attorney Ed McCormick.