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Child Custody 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 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.

AN EXAMINATION OF THE GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE IN RHODE ISLAND

Divorcing couples in every state are required to satisfy certain requirements in order to have their marriage dissolved by the courts. These requirements are known as "grounds for divorce" and vary from state to state. In Rhode Island, divorcing spouses must indicate the grounds on which they are pursuing a separation on their official divorce papers. Couples can separate on either no-fault grounds or due to the fault of one or both of the spouses.

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TJC • ESQ

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

Phone: 401-400-4254
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