While shared parenting arrangements are becoming more common in Rhode Island, a majority of child custody cases are still resolved with an award of primary physical custody to the mothers. Shared parenting may be a much better alternative for both the children and the parents, however.
Shared parenting is a type of child custody arrangement in which the parents share equal or nearly equal amounts of time with their children. Children have been shown to do better when they are able to develop strong relationships with both parents instead of with only one. Fathers benefit from shared parenting by being able to build deep, rewarding relationships with their children. Mothers may also benefit by being able to advance in their careers and earn more income.
Despite the positives of shared parenting, courts have been slow to order it. According to some data, 80 percent of child custody cases are still resolved with traditional child custody orders in which the mothers are granted a majority of the time with their children. Having children most of the time may make it more difficult for women to work, resulting in them being less able to earn sufficient incomes to support themselves.
People who are going through child custody disputes with their exes might want to discuss whether or not shared parenting might be appropriate for their families. Experienced family law attorneys may help their clients to determine whether or not this type of arrangement might work for them. The attorneys may help their clients move beyond the tough emotions that child custody cases often involve so that they can consider what is in the best interests of their children in a more logical manner.