Grandparent and Sibling Visitation Rights Rhode Island Guidelines

Grandparent and Sibling Visitation Rights Guidelines in Rhode Island

Grandparent Visitation Rights

In Rhode Island (RI), specific statutes govern claims by a Grandparent to visitation rights. It is the goal of Rhode Island courts to act in the best interests of the child. In addition, the RI court must find that the Grandparent is a “fit and proper person” to have contact with the child.  If one parent has been denied visitation rights, his or her parents (the child’s Grandparents) can seek visitation rights. A Grandparent can also seek redress if both parents are obstructing current visitation rights with the grandchild.  Moreover, the Grandparent must offer “clear and convincing evidence” to rebut the presumption that the parent’s decision to refuse the Grandparent visitation was reasonable.

Grandparents’ Petition for Visitation

In RI, in order for a Grandparent to file a petition for visitation rights with their grandchild, notice must be served on both parents of the child and the child.   In order to grant the petitioner reasonable rights of visitation, the Court must find and set forth in writing the following findings of fact:

  • That it is in the best interest of the grandchild that the petitioner is granted visitation rights with the grandchild;
  • That the petitioner is a fit and proper person to have visitation rights with the grandchild;
  • That the petitioner has repeatedly attempted to visit his or her grandchild during the thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date the petition was filed and was not allowed to visit the grandchild during the thirty (30) day period as a direct result of the actions of either, or both, parents of the grandchild;
  • That there is no other way the petitioner is able to visit his or her grandchild without court intervention; and
  • That the petitioner, by clear and convincing evidence, has successfully rebutted the presumption that the parent’s decision to refuse the Grandparent visitation with the grandchild was reasonable.

After a hearing on the petition, the Court may grant reasonable rights of visitation of the grandchild to the petitioner. The Court understands that a grandparent-grandchild relationship is important for both the child and the Grandparent.

 Sibling Visitation Rights

Just as Grandparents can do, Siblings may also file a petition for visitation rights with a minor brother(s), and/or step-brother(s), and/or sister(s), and/or step-sister(s). Notice must be served on both parents of the minor and the minor.

In order to grant a Sibling reasonable rights of visitation, the Court must find and set forth in writing the following findings of fact:

  • That it is in the best interest of the minor that a Sibling(s) be granted visitation rights with the minor;
  • That the Sibling(s) is a fit and proper person to have visitation rights with the minor;
  • That the Sibling(s) was not allowed to visit the minor during the thirty (30) day period immediately preceding the date the petition was filed as a direct result of the actions of either, or both, parents or guardians of the minor;
  • That there is no other way the Sibling(s) is able to visit the minor without court intervention; and
  • That the Sibling(s), by clear and convincing evidence, has successfully rebutted the presumption that the parental decision to refuse the visitation with the minor was reasonable.

Once a petition has been granted, notice of any petition seeking a change in custody or visitation shall be served on the petitioner. After a hearing on the petition, the Court may grant reasonable rights of visitation of the minor to a Sibling and the court may also issue all necessary orders relative to the granted visitation rights.

Note:  The foregoing information is provided as general family law guidelines in Rhode Island and should not be considered as legal advice specific to your case.  After reviewing the above material, you will be presented with the opportunity to submit more details specific to your case directly to About The Children.

Submitted on 9-16-13

Linda O’Marie, Paralegal

Advertisements
Tagged with:
Posted in Rhode Island Guidelines

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Popular Topics

Click to follow your blog and receive helpful parenting & court prep posts by email.

Join 11,182 other followers