Legal Question in Family Law in Rhode Island

Can the custodian parent move to Connecticut state for a job, even if there is a court order saying that Rhode Island state is the legal state the children have to live in? Both patents live in Rhode Island.

Asked on 1/16/14, 11:54 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Christopher Pearsall Law Office of Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire

No. They are supposed to file a Petition for Relocation / To Move Out of State with the Minor Child(ren) in the Rhode Island family court if Rhode Island is stated in a court order as the Home State of the minor child(ren).

However, some parents do it just the same and file the petition afterward. Of course after the fact it is very hard to expect the court to order them back into the State of Rhode Island. So, if you suspect that the parent would leave with the children to another state it is best to be proactive and file an action in the family court with an Ex Parte Motion and supporting affidavit demonstrating why you believe the custodial parent will take the child(ren) to another state if the court doesn't issue an immediate Order prohibiting him or her from doing so, since to do so is likely to cause "irreparable harm" to the child(ren) based upon their strong psychological relationship and ties with Rhode Island, including the other parent, friends, extended family, church, extracurricular activities, etc. You would obviously be asking that an Emergency Order immediately issue until such time as the custodial parent files a motion for the relocation and the matter can be heard on it's merits.

This is not something that is easily done. You only get one shot at it and if you blow it you may find that if you are the non-custodial parent that suddenly your children are gone to another state despite your attempts to prevent it.

I strongly recommend seeking the assistance of an experienced family law lawyer.

Best of Luck to You!

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Answered on 1/16/14, 4:21 pm

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