At Pelletier Marshall & Clark, our RI and MA child custody lawyers understand that nothing is more important to a parent than the health, safety, and welfare of his or her child. We also understand how stressful and difficult co-parenting can be. That’s why our attorneys put our client’s children first and will work aggressively for what is in the best interest of each child.
Custody is the legal decision making power over the health, safety, and welfare of a child. Most courts favor “joint custody” where each parent is afforded equal rights regarding the child, the child’s education, health, and future. However, in some instances, a court will award “sole custody” to a parent if that parent can show that the other parent is unfit. Unfitness to have joint custody can be for many reasons:
- Little to no contact with the child/children
- Little to no support paid for the support of the child/children
- Inability of the parents to communicate or cooperate regarding decisions about the children
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Physical or emotional abuse of the parent or child/children
Our child custody lawyers have years of experience evaluating custody cases and counseling our clients on custody issues in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. With our clients’ input, we systematically gather information and determine our client’s best legal and factual arguments regarding rights to their children.
Physical Placement (in RI) or Physical Custody (in MA) is the term for the parent with whom the child primarily lives. Most courts will award one parent primary physical placement or physical custody. However, in some instances, it is best for the child to live in a “shared placement” or “shared custody” scenario. We evaluate each case in light of the appropriate factors and counsel our clients on their legal rights to physical custody or physical placement of their children. We know from experience that time with one’s children is often the most important issue for our clients. We will not hesitate to fight for our client’s rights to a meaningful relationship with their children.
Under RI and MA law, child custody is modifiable if a parent can show a substantial change in circumstance has occurred. Examples of a substantial change include:
- Moving out of a school system mid-year
- Child/children desire to live with the other parent
- Criminal activity of a parent
- Abuse by a parent or a parent has otherwise become unfit for primary placement
At Pelletier Marshall & Clark, our RI and MA family law attorneys understand that circumstances change and that those changes could warrant the review and intervention of the court regarding placement of your children.