Callaghan & Callaghan – Attorneys – Rhode Island



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Wickford Village
North Kingstown, RI 02852

What are the best interests of a child? Rhode Island Child Custody

What are the best interests of a child according to the Rhode Island Family Court? Child custody issues in Rhode Island revolve around the answer to that question. And coming to that answer is not always as clear as a parent might like.

The controlling case in Rhode Island involving child custody matters explained that the best interests of the child includes a number of factors. In its decision, the Rhode Island Supreme Court stated that the best interest test is “amorphous”. And the Court stated that the implementation of that test remains in the sound discretion of the trial justice.

The Court then laid out the following factors for consideration:

1. The wishes of the child’s parent or parents regarding the child’s custody.

2. The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.

3. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child’s parent or parents, the child’s siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest.

4. The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community.

5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.

6. The stability of the child’s home environment.

7. The moral fitness of the child’s parents.

8. The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate a close and continuous parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent.

The Court also explained that a trial justice should consider all the relevant factors to determine a child’s best interests.

Child custody determinations are often complicated and emotionally charged. To get the best result, consult the experienced attorneys at Callaghan & Callaghan. To discuss any child custody, family law, or other legal issue, call Callaghan & Callaghan today at (401) 294-4555.