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Rhode Island Family Law Attorneys Tip - Understanding Placement

"Placement" or "Physical Placement" is often confused by laypeople with "Legal Custody" in divorce matters and post divorce relief.

Without repeating the last section let's get into what "Placement" or "Physical Placement" is in a Rhode Island Divorce proceeding. Thankfully, it is exactly what it sounds like. It is the physical place where the child primarily resides.

In the same way that there are two forms of legal custody, there are also two forms of "Placement".

The first form is just called "Placement". So if you have a divorce proceeding here in Rhode Island and it is determined by the judge that the best interests of the minor child of the parties of the child are served by the child residing full-time with his mother then the court's ruling would most likely reflect, "The minor child shall be placed with the mother." or something to that effect.

The second form can vary depending upon the attorney, but it is most commonly known as either "joint physical placement" or "shared physical placement". In theory, the spouses each provide what would amount to a primary place for the minor child to live. In otherwords, they would each have a bedroom for the child, toys, television, things to do, etc... and each would provide a stable environment for the minor child. The idea behind "shared physical placement" is that each parent gets equal time with the minor child and also bears equal responsibility for the child.

This type of arrangement may involve one week with one parent and then one week with another, or it may involve three days with one parent and four with another and then they alternate weeks to make up for the one extra day the four day parent got.

Though shared physical placement arrangements are not common and are scrutinized and sometimes discouraged by some Rhode Island Divorce Judges due to the shuffling of the child back and forth and the possibility for conflict between parents who have clearly decided to get divorced for their own reasons, there are positive aspects to this placement arrangement.

Authored by:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire
PEARSALL LAW ASSOCIATES
571 Pontiac Avenue
Cranston, RI  02910
Phone:  (401) 354-2369

NOTE:  The postings on this website are NOT legal advice, DO NOT create an attorney/client relationship and are NOT a substitute for a detailed consultation with an attorney experienced in the state where you have your legal issue.  This site is presented for the convenience of the internet public.

* The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law and has no procedure for recognition of specialty in any area of law.

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