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Would We Need To Use A Guardian Ad Litem Or Custody Evaluator?


In Rhode Island, custody evaluators are not used, but guardians ad litem are frequently used. In a custody battle, a guardian ad litem will usually be appointed and serve as a third-party attorney. This attorney will conduct a thorough investigation that may involve talking with the child, interviewing the parents, visiting the parties’ home, speaking with clinicians and physicians, determining who has been the primary caretaker and more responsive to the children, talking to the child’s teachers, and meeting with other family members. Based on their investigation, they will make recommendations to the court regarding what they believe is in the best interests of the child. If one party seeks relocation out of state, the same type of guardian can be hired to determine whether that relocation would be in the child’s best interests.

Would My Child Ever Need To Appear In Court?

If abuse toward a child has been alleged, then that child might have to go to court. If a child is old and mature enough to have a reasonable say in where they would like to live and they want to discuss their preference privately with the court, then a judge will usually accommodate that. While many parents are horrified by the idea that their child will have to go to court, it is important to know that the judges in Rhode Island care very deeply for children and their best interests and go out of their way to ensure the experience is as comfortable as possible. These meetings are often scheduled during lunch breaks so that there aren’t many people in the courtroom, and the meetings themselves are held in the comfort and privacy of the judge’s chambers.

How Does Rhode Island Handle The Division Of Assets And Debts In A Divorce?

There are certain factors that a court is supposed to consider when deciding how to divide the assets and debts in a divorce. In the vast majority of cases, parties who marry in the state of Rhode Island without a prenuptial agreement will be dividing on a 50-50 basis all of the assets and debts that were accumulated during the marriage.

If the parties were smart enough to have a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage (or even a postnuptial agreement), then they might not have to divide their assets and debts on a 50-50 basis. When extreme cruelty, abuse or multiple affairs are involved, there might not be a 50-50 division. However, Rhode Island courts are not very concerned or impressed with infidelity, as it happens so frequently. In the past, infidelity would sometimes lead to a 70-30 split, but over the past decade or so, very few cases involving infidelity have led to anything beyond a 60-40 or 45-55 split.

For more information on guardian ad litem in a Rhode Island divorce, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 401-589-5599 today.

Our senior attorney, Veronica Assalone, is proficient in Spanish, French, German, Italian and American Sign Language. Our office assistant speaks Spanish.