Child Support

Child Support & Custody Services

sad child with divorced parents
The actions parents take during their divorce can make the difference between a good adjustment and a hard adjustment to the change. No parent intends to hurt their child and yet many parents do when they bring their wants, needs, expectations and disappointments into their parenting.

For more than 15 years, Warwick child custody attorney Paul J. Ferns has been helping parents arrive at workable child custody agreements as part of their divorce, or for unmarried parents who want a court order to protect their parental rights.

Some couples find child custody to be the most difficult issue they will deal with in separation and divorce. Mr. Ferns works hard to keep tensions low and cooperation high. His calm and courteous manner and respect for the needs of each member of your family is a benefit many clients have valued.

Where Should Your Child Live, With Whom and at What Time?

These are the key questions to address in your child custody agreement and parenting plan.

Ideally you and the child's other parent will be able to arrive at a decision together about sole, joint or 50/50 shared custody. Mr. Ferns can help you think through how you will handle all of your child's day-to-day activities and important family engagements. It's also important to take a realistic look at your work life and other commitments to understand how that will impact your child's life and stability – for better or worse.

If you cannot arrive at an agreement and you need the court to decide, the court will ask that a neutral child custody evaluator meet with each parent and with the child/ren to make an assessment. The family law judge will look at a number of factors in order to arrive at a decision, including (but not limited to):
  • The parenting abilities of each parent
  • The physical and mental health of each parent
  • The relationship the child has with each parent
  • Any special needs the child may have and how each parent meets or does not meet those needs
  • The stability of the home environment
  • The child's social network – school, friends, extended family, activities – and how the parents intend to maintain that
  • The preference of the child, if the child is older

Child Support That's Fair For You, the Other Parent and Your Child

Rhode Island has strict guidelines governing the amount of child support that a parent will be expected to pay. We can explain how the guidelines will apply in your case – if you will be receiving or paying support.

Recognize that child support may not pay for all of a child's expenses so you and the other parent may also want to discuss who will pay for college, who will cover medical insurance, who will pay for summer camp, etc. Spell this out in advance so problems don't arise later.

Having Trouble Paying Child Support

If you are having trouble paying your child support don't just stop making payments. You risk severe penalties if you do. Talk to Attorney Ferns about ways you can legally avoid paying child support or how to take your case back to family court to have your child support reduced.

As an experienced child custody lawyer, 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 Warwick child support lawyer Paul J. Ferns: 401-732-1110 or fill out our contact form today.