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A Checklist for Understanding Legal Custody in The RI Family Court System

Legal Custody is a major component in situations when children are involved with two parents whether it is in the context of a divorce or not.

Understanding legal custody is not a complex task and can be understood at a fundamental level by this checklist.

1.  The court likes to see Joint Legal Custody between parents of their minor children.

2.  This is the preference of the court because Joint Legal Custody is the legal right of each parent as a birth parent to have a say in major decisions regarding the child they are the natural parent of.

3.  The major legal decisions covered by legal custody are major decisions making for your child regarding Religion, Healthcare, Education and other things that substantially affect the general well-being of the minor child.

4.  Absent proving to the RI Family Court Judge that the other parent does not have the ability to make good decisions for the minor child. Typically obtaining sole custody by one parent involves substantially proving to the court that one parent is not fit to make decisions for the minor child.  The best way to prove this to the court is to demonstrate to the court that the parent is not able to make good life decisions for himself or herself and therefore should not be allowed to participate in making major life decisions for the minor child.


Knowledge is the key to understanding and making the best decisions for yourself and for your child(ren).


All My Best to You on Your Journey Through The RI Family Court,
Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall "The Rhode Island Divorce Coach"™