Interstate Custody Jurisdiction Issues in Rhode Island Family Court Often, when one parent of a child moves out of state and the other remains in state, issues of jurisdiction arise when parents need to use the court system to resolve disputes. These jurisdiction questions increase in importance if the child or children move out of…

The Family Courts in Rhode Island consider certain factors set out in R.I.G.L. 15-5-16.1 which specifically deals with this question. The factors are as follows: (1) The length of the marriage; (2) The conduct of the parties during the marriage; (3) The contribution of each of the parties during the marriage in the acquisition, preservation,…

Rhode Island has a “track” system for divorces, meaning that a divorce is either on the “Nominal Track” or the “Contested Track.” The party filing the divorce first may choose either track from the beginning. If they choose the nominal track, they will be given an initial (and hopefully last) hearing date that will be…

This pivotal case is the centerpiece in any litigation regarding relocation of children out of the State of Rhode Island.  The case came about when a judge implemented a trial Justice denied a petition to allow the removal of the child from the jurisdiction on the basis that there was “no compelling reason to do.” The…

The Rhode Island Family Courts base custody and possession decisions on the “best interest of the child.” The pivotal case Pettinato v. Pettinato, 582 A.2d 909 (R.I. 1990) states that certain factors must be weighed in the best interests of the child analysis when relevant. These factors include: 1. The wishes of the child’s parent…

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