The word "custody" in Rhode Island family law is often confused by people who are headed for divorce or in a divorce proceeding.
When you have "custody" of something many people think of physical possession. Yet the word "custody" by itself has become confusing under Rhode Island Family law as it relates to children particularly without any context to give it reference.
For example, I am meeting with Silvia who says to me "We both have custody of our son."
Here's the issue. Does Silvia mean "joint legal custody" or "joint/shared physical custody" also referred to as "joint/shared placement?"
It is not a wonder there is confusion. Some Rhode Island divorce attorneys have used the word "custody" without making reference to any context in court orders for years. This has been compounded by some cases from the Rhode Island Supreme Court. In some RI Supreme Court cases the word "custody" is used by itself. Then, later in the case it is described in either a legal context or a physical placement context.
This has unfortunately caused a continuance of the "custody" confusion with lawyers who don't take the time to understand and clarify the concept and add contextual words to "custody" to clear up the confusion, especially when it comes to court orders, decisions and judgments.
If a Rhode Island divorce is in your future and you have either natural or adopted children from your marriage I strongly recommend that you make absolutely certain that you have your lawyer explain to you the concepts of the different types of custody and be certain that you understand them.
Understanding is key to a divorce. Understanding helps relieve stress, anxiety and worry. There are few things worse than simply not knowing or not understanding something so crucial in your divorce.
Not getting understandable answers from your own lawyer? Isn't your child worth a measly $145 to make sure you understand what is happening? If so, call me at (401) 632-6976 now to set up your 1 Hour Coaching Session!
All my Best to All Who Go Before the Rhode Island Family Court,
I am Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall and I am "The Rhode Island Divorce Coach."