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February 2016 Archives

DE FACTO PARENT CLAIMS

Several months ago a man came into our office looking for help getting visitation with his two-year-old daughter. The catch - one week earlier, the child's mother revealed to him that he was not the child's biological father. The man was obviously distraught and wanted to know if there was anything he could do. Did he have any rights if he was not the biological father? The answer was yes. We filed a petition in the family court seeking custody, placement and visitation under the theory that while he may not be the biological father, he was the child's de facto father. Rhode Island law provides that even a parent who has no biological connection to a child, can establish his or her entitlement to parental rights if they have served as a "psychological" or "de facto" parent to that child. See RIGL §15-8-3; Pettinato v. Pettinato, 582 A. 2d 909 (R.I. 1990); Rubano v. DiCenzo, 759 A.2d 959 (R.I. 2000); and Resendes v. Brown, 966 A.2d 1249 (R.I. 2009).

HOW CAN I MODIFY CHILD SUPPORT?

In a previous blog entry, our Rhode Island family law attorneys discussed how parenting plans can be modified post-divorce. To further shed light on this complicated yet crucial legal issue, we would like to take the time now to discuss how child support payments in particular can be modified. Since this is a matter that concerns both your finances and the wellbeing of your child, it is important to know the ins and outs of the subject thoroughly.

HOW CAN I GET FULL CUSTODY?

When you are going through a divorce, you probably and understandably don't want to split much between yourself and your spouse, especially not how your children are raised and where they live. You need to realize that on the other side of the courtroom, your ex is thinking the exact same thing. When it comes to winning full custody of your children, you need to take careful and deliberate steps to prepare your case, making it as waterproof as possible.

HOW CAN I MODIFY A PARENTING PLAN?

If you have been through a divorce, you probably don't need to be reminded that life can be unpredictable at best. And yet you need to create a parenting plan at the time of your divorce that is meant to last for the rest of your lives, or as long as your shared child is considered a legal dependent. What are you to do if something comes up and your preexisting parenting plan is no longer a viable option for you? Can you get it modified later?

SEXUAL ABUSE SCANDAL AT ST. GEORGE'S SHEDS LIGHT ON RI LAWS

The historic St. George's School in Middletown is in the center of a sexual abuse scandal that is gaining nationwide attention. Alumni of the educational and religious institution have claimed that the school illegally choose not to report sexual abuse allegations across several decades. It would appear that a loophole in the law has allowed accused teachers and administrators to avoid all charges and investigations by resigning upon the creation of the allegations. With no record of the allegation outside the school, the accused person could go on to find another teaching career elsewhere without a hitch.

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TJC • ESQ

TJC • ESQ
76 Westminster Street, Suite 420
Providence, RI 02903

Phone: 401-400-4254
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