Articles Posted in Child Custody

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Generally, parents are able to take their children anywhere they want to. However, there are important exceptions to this rule. One common situation is if you share custody of your child with someone else. Another time where you are not allowed to take your child out of the state is if they are in custody of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). One Rhode Island couple found this out the hard way after being arrested in Florida when they took their child there, even though she was in DCYF custody.

Child Snatching Charges

Rhode Island DCYF removed the couple’s infant child from their custody a few days before this incident occurred. The child was placed with a relative, and a family court order prohibited the couple from unsupervised contact with the child.

However, in defiance of the court order the couple went to the house and took their child. They told the relative that they would return the child soon but instead they took her to Florida. They were arrested in Florida, and their infant daughter and other child were returned to DCYF custody. The couple faces child-snatching charges.

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In a recent decision, the Rhode Island Supreme Court denied a mother’s relocation request. The couple was divorced, and the mother wanted to move with the couple’s four children to Australia. However, the children’s father was staying in Rhode Island. If you are a divorced parent who wants to relocate with your children, or your ex is trying to relocate with the children and you do not want them to move, you should contact a skilled Rhode Island Family Court attorney to help you make your case to the judge.

Facts of the Case

The mother is a citizen of Australia and a legal permanent resident in the United States. The father is a citizen of the United States, and the children have dual citizenship. The parties were married in Australia, but currently live in Rhode Island. After the divorce, the children lived with the mother, but the father had frequent visitation.

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The opioid epidemic is a problem all over the country. Here in Rhode Island, some grandparents are seeking custody of their grandchildren after the parents have become addicted to drugs. However, navigating the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) as a grandparent can be difficult, and some grandparents have gone as far as to call the process “hell.” While dealing with these issues is stressful even under the best of circumstances, an experienced Rhode Island grandparents’ rights attorney can help you through the process.

Which Rights Do Grandparents Have?

Generally, parents are in charge of all of the decision making regarding their children, including whether their grandparents are allowed to see them. However, there are some circumstances in which the court may grant visitation to grandparents even over the objection of the parents.

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Divorces are famous for bringing out the worst in people. Now, with rapid growth and innovation in technology, ex-spouses sometimes use these new products in ways that can hurt them in family court. In an attempt to gather evidence, people going through a divorce or considering one are using apps and programs to track each other and get recordings and other evidence to potentially use in court. However, many of these tactics are illegal, and even the ones that are not may hurt your case in family court.  An experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney can help you with your case and make sure that you have safeguards in place so that your former spouse cannot gather any information without your knowledge. They can also help you stay within the law and refrain from doing anything that will damage your position.

What is Legal?

Divorce lawyers in Rhode Island have noticed that many of their clients are putting tracking devices in each other’s cars or using apps like the “find my iphone” app to keep tabs on each other. The ubiquity and relative inexpensiveness of these devices has made it much more common for divorcing partners to find out information about each other. Parents are also putting devices like cameras or location tracking on their kids when the children are with the other parent. While the separated individuals may think these tactics will give them evidence that will help them in court, that’s often not the case, and it’s easy to run afoul of the law.

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In 1990, the Rhode Island Supreme Court considered for the first time the rights of parents whose legal presumption of paternity is later challenged during a divorce proceeding. The court held that the mother was equitably estopped from using genetic blood testing to disestablish a child’s paternity in connection with a divorce proceeding.

Petitioner and respondent began dating in the fall of 1984. Petitioner gave birth to their first child in 1986. She testified that she told respondent immediately after giving birth that the child was the child of another man. Respondent contradicted this testimony.

The parties married in December 1986. Respondent testified that he married respondent because he thought it was the right thing to do. The parties remained at his parents’ home until respondent moved out in 1987. After leaving respondent, petitioner gave birth to to their second child.

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In March 2012, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) was apprised of an alleged incident of domestic violence that occurred in Massachusetts between a minor and his father. This ultimately led to the termination of his parental rights under Rhode Island family law.

Originally, DCYF was informed that the father attempted to quell his 10-month-old child’s crying by pinching, slapping, and throwing the child against a wall, which the mother claimed rendered the child unconscious. This past winter, the Rhode Island Supreme Court held that the Family Court had correctly terminated the father’s parental rights.

On March 7, 2012, a petition for dependency and abuse was filed ex parte against the parents in Rhode Island, where they both reside, and the father was charged in Massachusetts with felony crimes arising from the alleged assault. A no-contact order was issued on March 14, 2012 and entered on April 26, 2012, which prohibited the father from having any contact with the minor. On September 27, 2013, the father was convicted of reckless endangerment of a child and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Massachusetts by a jury.

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Experienced Divorce Attorneys in Rhode Island

When you and your spouse decide to divorce, prepare to be heavily scrutinized by your spouse, your children, and a judge. If you are battling for custody of your children, prepare for your words, recreational choices, spending habits, social media, and even interactions with family to be analyzed in court. While it may be uniquely challenging to keep your cool and avoid all appearances of reprehensibility during a divorce, your future as a father depends on it.

At Bolideau Capalbo, LLC, we are committed to helping you retain your rights as a father. While we roll up our sleeves and get to work helping you fairly determine custody of your children, avoid these classic mistakes that dads tend to make during divorce:

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Summer break means school is out for children, and that means a perfect opportunity to escape for a vacation, head away for a weekend, or even to celebrate one of the numerous holidays that come up on our calendar each June, July, and August. However, it also means that you may need to adjust your schedule to accommodate even on days that don’t fall in one of these categories. If you and the other parent of your children are divorced, this means you will likely need to make temporary adjustments to your visitation schedules in order to accommodate both summer plans and the added responsibility of looking after the kids while they’re not in school.

Here are some tips for creating a summer visitation schedule that is fair to both parents and keeps summer enjoyable for the kids.

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