Newport Child Custody, Visitation and Child Support Lawyer

Issues involving children are often among the most contentious involved in a divorce. At the Family Law Center, we help clients create workable child custody, visitation and child support arrangements that are in the best interest of the children.

If you are considering divorce, we understand that the welfare of your children is a primary concern. Family law attorney Amey F. Cardullo has the experience, sensitivity and skill to protect your children's interests and achieve your goals. To arrange an initial consultation, please contact our office today.

Children and Divorce in Rhode Island

While your marriage may be ending, you and your former spouse will always be parents to your children. We can help you negotiate, mediate or, if necessary, litigate all legal issues related to children and divorce, including child custody, parenting time and child support.

Child Custody

Legally, child custody means determining where the children will live and who has a right to make decisions about their upbringing. There are two types of custody: legal custody and placement, also called physical custody.

  • Joint legal custody means both parents share important decisions about the child's upbringing, such as education, medical care and religious upbringing.
  • Sole legal custody means one parent makes all decisions about the child's welfare and upbringing without consulting the other parent. Parents who have sole legal custody also have sole physical custody.
  • Physical placement (physical custody) is the home where the child or children live most of the time. The parent who does not have physical placement is typically awarded reasonable parenting time or visitation.
  • Shared physical placement (shared physical custody) means that the children spend half their time with one parent and half with the other.
  • Split physical placement (split physical custody)means that one or more children live with one parent and at last one child lives with the other parent.

We help clients develop creative parenting plans that put the children's interests first, but also work for the parents. In some families, children spend one week with mom and one week with dad. In other families, children stay with mom on Mondays and Tuesdays, and with dad on Wednesdays, Thursdays and alternate weekends. The court allows you to create any reasonable arrangement that works for your family.

Visitation or Parenting Time

When parents share legal custody and one parent has primary physical placement, the other parent has a right to reasonable parenting time. There is no presumed model that is imposed by the court. A plan for visitation is worked out between the two parties. It could range from one night a week and every other weekend to spending summers and school holidays with the non-custodial parent.

Whatever plan you develop, we often recommend that the parenting plan be specific about when and where the children will be picked up or dropped off. This proactive measure can reduce potential sources of future conflict.

Child Support

Child support is determined by a formula based on the income of both parties. Like all formulas, the result is only as accurate as the numbers that are fed into it.

Amey F. Cardullo is extremely familiar with Rhode Island child support law. As a member of the Child Support Guideline Taskforce Committee, Ms. Cardullo was responsible for drafting the Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines. She knows how to calculate the federal tax credit for daycare expenses, what costs are considered reasonable for health care coverage and other fine points of the law that can make an important difference in the amount of child support you pay or receive.

In addition to representing parents who are dissolving their marriage, wealso establish, modify and enforce court-ordered child custody, visitation and child support agreements for parents who were never married.

To discuss your legal needs, please call the Family Law Center at (401) 849-9950 or contact us online. We offer an initial consultation to discuss your circumstances and explain how we can help.

Our divorce lawyers represent clients in Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth, Bristol, Jamestown and throughout Rhode Island.

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