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.
Rhode Island Child Custody Laws and Traveling with Children
There may also be restrictions on when and where you can see your children even if they are not in DCYF custody. In Rhode Island there are two kinds of custody, physical and legal. Physical custody involves who the child lives with. Legal custody determines who gets to make major decisions for the child involving such matters as medical care, religion, and education.
What happens if one parent wants to take the children out of state for a vacation? It will depend on the situation. Many custody orders will require that one parent notify the other if they are taking the child a certain distance away from home. Even if it doesn’t, typically the court will look favorably on parents who keep the other parent updated on any planned vacations. The main issue comes if the other parent opposes the trip. In those cases it will depend on the parent’s reasoning and the custody situation. For example, a parent who has a good reason and is very involved in their children’s lives will usually be given more deference than a parent who is just trying to be obstinate.
It is important that if you share custody you make sure that you do not accidentally run afoul of the custody agreement. However, just because one parent opposes a trip doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. A skilled Rhode Island child custody attorney can assist you to petition the court for a change of custody either permanently or temporarily for a specific reason, like a trip. They can also help you to understand whether a proposed action is allowed under your current agreement.
Contact One of Our Experienced Rhode Island Family Law Attorneys Today!
If you have questions or concerns about your current custody situation, you should contact a skilled Rhode Island child custody attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Bilodeau Capalbo, LLC can help you to understand your rights and obligations with your current custody situation or help you to petition the court to change your custody arrangement. Call (401) 300-4055 or use the form on this website to set up your free consultation today!
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