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Rhode Island Child Custody and Support Guidelines


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Rhode Island Child Custody and Support Guidelines:

Failing an agreement between the parents as to the custody of the children, determination will be based on the best interest of the child. In regulating the custody of the children, the court shall provide for the reasonable right of visitation by the natural parent not having custody of the children except upon the showing of cause as to why the right should not be granted. The court shall mandate compliance with its orders by both the custodial parent and the children.

In the event of noncompliance, the non-custodial parent may file a motion for contempt in family court. Upon a finding by the court that its order for visitation has not been complied with, the court shall exercise its discretion in providing a remedy, and define the non-custodial parent's visitation in detail. However, if a second finding of noncompliance by the court is made, the court shall consider this to be grounds for a change of custody to the non-custodial parent. [Based on Rhode Island Domestic Relations Law - Title 15 , Section 15-5-19]

Child Support:

Rhode Islands bases it's child support on the Income Shares Model. If, after calculating support based upon court established guidelines, the court finds the order would be inequitable to the child or either parent, the court shall order either or both parents pay an amount reasonable or necessary for the child's support after considering all relevant factors including, but not limited to:

  • The financial resources of the child.
  • The financial resources of the custodial parent.
  • The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved.
  • The physical and emotional condition of the child and his or her educational needs.
  • The financial resources and needs of the non-custodial parent.

The court may, if in its discretion it deems it necessary or advisable, order child support and education costs for children attending high school at the time of their eighteenth birthday and for ninety days after graduation, but in no case beyond their nineteenth birthday. In addition, the court may order child support to continue, in the case of a child with a severe physical or mental impairment, until the twenty-first birthday of the child.

Any order for child support issued by the family court shall contain a provision requiring either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child to obtain health insurance coverage for the child when coverage is available to the parent or parents through their employment without cost or at a reasonable cost. [Based on Rhode Island Domestic Relations Law - Title 15 , Sections 15-5-16.2 and 15-5-24]

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