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What Behaviors Can Be Used Against Parents in a Child Custody Hearing in Rhode Island?

— April 22, 2022

When a parent has criminal cases related to domestic violence, child neglect, or child abuse, they may not receive custody rights at all.

Providence, RI – Parents who have custody issues have to be careful to manage their reputation and avoid certain behaviors. It is a common practice for one parent who wants more custody time to bring up any negative actions from the other parent’s past that they can find. While this may seem vindictive, family court judges do have an obligation to serve the child’s best interests, and any information that can be relevant to the person’s ability to be a good parent in Providence or other cities may be considered. 

Social media

While this is a fairly new phenomenon from a legal standpoint, social media posts essentially become a type of public record that can be used as evidence. If a parent is demonstrating behaviors that would cause the judge to call their parenting abilities into question, they may receive less custody time or lose their custody rights altogether. Once someone becomes a parent, they should try to only post things on social media that would not damage their reputation if the posts ever emerged in court. Negative commentary about the other parent, the legal process, or the judge assigned to the custody case should be avoided as well.  

Drug and alcohol use and abuse

If a parent has any kind of documented issues with substance abuse, especially if this led to criminal charges or the need for counseling, this can cause a judge to look at the person unfavorably. When custody judges in Rhode Island look at their cases, documented substance abuse problems tend to be a large red flag that will question the parent’s ability to meet the best interests of their child. 

Prior instances of harming a child

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When a parent has criminal cases related to domestic violence, child neglect, or child abuse, they may not receive custody rights at all or only have limited visitation. This is done because the judge will want to protect the child from the parent who has documented problems with keeping their children safe. If the other parent has a clean record, it will usually be in the child’s best interest to stay with this person rather than a parent who may be dangerous. 

Violating a parenting plan

If a custody arrangement is in place, both parents need to be careful to follow it closely. A parent who withholds visitation from the other or finds other ways to violate the plan can get into serious trouble, including contempt of court. 

Help with child custody issues in Rhode Island is a web directory of legal professionals that is organized by practice area and location. Anyone who wants to talk to a lawyer can choose their state and area of concern to get more information. 

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