Rhode Island Child Custody
Rhode Island’s domestic laws are found in Title 15 of the state statutes. Within this section the state has included the laws about child custody. Parents should take the time to become familiar with these laws–especially as they make a Rhode Island custody agreement.
Right to Visitation
Title 15-5-16 and 19 the state protects and explains each parent’s right to have time with the child. To begin with, each parent has equal opportunity to be granted custody of the children. Once a custodial parent has been chosen, the other parent has a legal right to visitation time with the child. A Rhode Island visitation schedule should be made to ensure that each parent has adequate visitation time with the children.
Authority of Court to Make Custody Decisions
Title 15-5-19 also gives the Rhode Island courts the authority to make custody decisions. This is especially applicable when parents are not able to agree on custody. The state encourages parents to work together to make a Rhode Island parenting plan that fits the needs of the child. However, if the parents are not able to agree, the court will establish a plan and a custody schedule. All decisions about custody are made with the best interest of the child in mind.
Once a Rhode Island custody schedule and parenting plan have been accepted by the court, it becomes a court order. This means that the parents are required by law to follow the schedule. If either parent does not comply with the schedule, s/he can be held in contempt of court. This is especially enforced when the custodial parent denies visitation to the other parent.