Child Custody And Child Support

Issues having to do with children are often the hardest part of any divorce or parental breakup (for parents who were never married). But the most important thing to keep in mind during child custody and support proceedings is the well-being of the children. This means that, to the extent possible, kids should be shielded from parental conflict.

At Robert M. Brady, Attorney at Law, we bring over 40 years of experience to child custody and support cases, and we understand how to successfully advocate for clients and their children without putting kids in the middle. Keep reading to learn more about custody and support issues in our two states of practice.

The Two Types Of Child Custody

In both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, there are two types of child custody: legal and physical. Legal custody refers to each parent's authority to make major decisions about a child's education, extracurricular activities, medical care and religious upbringing.

Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to which parent the child lives with and for what period of time. This is what most people think of when they hear the term "child custody."

In many states, it is common for parents to share legal and physical custody in equal or nearly equal measure. But Massachusetts and Rhode Island are outliers in terms of how courts generally award custody. Unless parents have agreed to an equitable custody split on their own, courts generally award physical placement (custody) to one parent and visitation rights to the other.

Child Support Considerations

As in other states, child support in Massachusetts and Rhode Island is calculated based on a specific formula and set of criteria (unique to each state). In general, the non-custodial parent will be asked to pay child support to the custodial parent, since the child lives with the custodial parent most of the time.

Although the exact formula is different in each state, factors considered include each parent's income, the needs of the child (day care, medical care, insurance, clothing, food, etc.) and any unique circumstances that would require additional resources.

Although we cannot greatly influence the child support award or the monthly amount, we can and must make sure that the calculations are based on accurate financial information. It is much harder to petition for a change in child support after the fact than to get things right the first time.

Contact Us To Receive Your Free Initial Consultation

With an office in Providence, Robert M. Brady, Attorney at Law, serves clients throughout Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. To take advantage of a free initial consultation with a highly experienced family law lawyer, call us at 401-437-4229 or send us an email.