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Child custody cases in Rhode Island are often the most complicated, emotionally intricate and difficult type of family law. Whether as a result of a divorce, change of life circumstance or something more complex, child custody arrangements protect not only your rights, but the rights of the child. With so much at stake, you need an experienced Rhode Island child custody attorney to help you through the family court process.
At Braatz Family Law, our Rhode Island family law team has helped thousands of families navigate the issue custody. From amicable agreements in divorce cases, to emergency orders in abuse cases, we handle all aspects of Rhode Island child custody law.
We approach RI child custody cases with the utmost care and sensitivity, working to ensure the best outcome for the child. Our goal is to create a path for families and children to thrive and help our Rhode Island child custody clients.
How Is Child Custody Decided in Rhode Island?
When it comes to child custody cases, Rhode Island courts will always choose what they believe is in the best interest of the child. A judge will always attempt to avoid any change for the child, mainly because change can be traumatizing. Although this is usually status quo in Rhode Island, there are situations where the court can reconsider.
In the case where the parents have been separated prior to filing for divorce, then again the judge will avoid forcing any change upon the children and will look to continue the current arrangement. However, there are factors in a custody dispute that may change this.
Factors that Influence How Custody is Decided in Rhode Island
Here are a few of the factors that will determine how the court approaches custody in any case. Judges will always prioritize the best interest of the child and will consider the following:
- Pre-existing child custody arrangements
- Each parent’s ability to care for the child
- The amount of time each parent currently spends with the child
- Criminal history of each parent including domestic violence or substance abuse infractions
- The preference of the child if the child is of sufficient intelligence, understanding and experience to express a preference
- The physical and mental health of the child as well as each of the parents
- The stability of the child’s home environment
- The moral fitness of each parent
- A willingness of each parent to foster a meaningful relationship with the other parent
Here are a few of the most common questions your attorney can give you legally once you have retained them:
Q: I want to modify my child custody agreement, do I have a case to do this and what are the next steps?
Q: My child’s other parent is not fit for visitation at this time, what are my options?
Q: I have concerns about abuse happening at my child’s other parent’s house, what do I do to protect them?
Q: I have a child custody agreement that is not being followed by the other party, how do I get the courts to enforce it?
Q: I am considering an out of state move, but have a shared custody agreement in Rhode Island, what are my options?
Q: My child’s other parent keeps threatening to take them away, can they do that? What are my rights?
Q: What are different types of custody?
A: The main types of custody are Legal and Physical or, a variation on one or the other.
- Legal: Legal Custody means that you are responsible for important decisions in your child’s life. These examples include, where they go to school, what religious instruction they receive, whether they need academic tutoring or psychological counseling, and when they go to the doctor. The majority of states usually rule for both parents to have legal custody and work together on these important decisions.
- Physical: Physical custody means where the child lives. In many cases, this is joint between the parents. But it can be sole.
- In either of the cases above, they can be either sole, meaning one parent or joint as in both parents.
Q: Can a father keep the child away from the mother?
A: In either scenario, the usual answer is no. There are exceptions though in the case where the child could be in emotional or physical danger.