Relocate a Child? You Must Bring Your Case to Rhode Island Family Court


If you want to relocate with your child and the move will take you to another town or another state, you will have to go back to Rhode Island family court to get an order from a judge. When making the case for your move, you don't have to prove that you have a good reason to move, you must prove that it is in the best interest of your child.

The judge doesn't have to use his or her discretion to make this decision. Based on past cases, particularly Dupre v Dupre (child relocation), the courts have identified several specific factors that a judge must consider when making a child custody or relocation decision.

For more than 15 years, attorney Paul J. Ferns has been helping clients put their best foot forward in court in child custody and child relocation cases. Get legal help you can rely on. Contact Warwick child custody lawyer Paul J. Ferns or call 401-714-5526 to schedule a free initial consultation.

What is In the Best Interest of Your Child?

The Dupre v Dupre case identified eight factors, including:

  • Relationships: How good is the relationship between the child and each parent, and the child and other family members and friends? How will these relationships be affected by a move? Particularly, how will the child's relationship with the non-relocating parent be affected? Can the parents afford frequent visits? Can suitable visitation arrangements be made?
  • The child's needs: Will the relocation improve the child's quality of life – educationally, physically, emotionally?
  • The child's preferences? Depending upon his/her age and maturity, the judge will give more or less weight to a child's preferences.
  • Reason for the move: The judge will want to ensure that the parent seeking to relocate is not doing so in order to interfere with the other parent's visitation rights or as a retaliatory action against the other parent. That the parent who is seeking relocation of a child is doing so to damage or interfere with the other parent's relationship with the child
  • Reasons to object to the move: Why is a parent objecting to the move? Is it in retaliation against the other parent?
  • Other factors the parent may think is important

Treating Both Parents Fairly with Visitation

The family law judge will pay particular attention to the time the non-moving parent will be able to spend with the children. The judge will try to create a calendar that maximizes visitation time. Parents will need to consider the cost of extra travel.

If you think it is unfair to relocate your child, you can try to fight it in court. It is possible to win such a case. Mr. Ferns has helped hundreds of families figure out a new way to live. You can count on him for honest, sound legal advice. Contact the Warwick family law office of Paul J. Ferns: 401-714-5526.

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