A Fathers' Rights in Rhode Island Child Custody Cases

Cranston Fathers' Rights Attorney

Although it may not seem like it to fathers with a child custody case winding its way through the courts, the law in Rhode Island is progressive when it comes to fathers' rights.

State law says that fathers have an absolute right to parenting time with their children if they are a fit parent. Furthermore, fathers have a right to be with their children with regularity, frequency and duration.

That right is related to but distinct from the obligation to pay child support . Even if you are behind on child support payments, you can see your children. (Some mothers are unaware of this and try to unlawfully deny a father his visitation rights.)

If your child's mother is putting roadblocks in the way of your visitation with your child, or if you are seeking primary physical custody in a child custody case, call me. I'm Cranston child custody attorney William Balkun. I have extensive experience child custody and divorce cases in courts throughout the state. I work with fathers from all walks of life, including active-duty military fathers.

Primary Physical Custody or Visitation

Rhode Island family law does not assume that a mother should have primary physical custody. The decision of where and with whom a child will live is based on a number of factors having to do with:

  • The strength of the parent-child relationship
  • The ability of the parent to care for the child physically and emotionally
  • The physical environment the parent can provide in terms of safety and stability, good schools and housing
  • The continuity the parent can provide with how the child lived before the parents split up. Will the child stay in the same schools, have the same friends, and do the same activities?

In all of these areas, a father may be as good or even a better choice as custodial parent. Proving the father is as good a parent may require the use of psychological experts and custody evaluators. I can help you access these people.

Modifying a Child Custody or Child Support Order

It is common to take child support cases back to court when there are changes in parental income, the child's needs or the custody arrangement. For example, if your child is no longer in daycare, you should not be paying extra for that care. If you have your child more hours a week than you did before, you may qualify for a reduction in child support. I can help you seek a modification of your child support order.

When a child custody agreement is no longer working, it's better – and safer - to take it back to court than to try to negotiate a work-around with the other parent. If the two of you agree on how the custody agreement should be changed, this can be relatively simple and not terribly costly, but it will require going back to court. Having the court formalize the agreement protects you should the other parent later claim that you have violated a court order.

If there are serious problems – especially concerns of abuse or neglect - your only recourse may be to fight it out in court. I am a skilled litigator with 30 years of trial experience. I have extensive experience locating or cross-examining expert witnesses, including medical doctors, educational psychologists, mental health professionals, domestic violence investigators and law enforcement officials. I will be a strong advocate in court.

Schedule a Consultation with a RI Child Support Lawyer

Contact The Law Office of William J. Balkun online [link to contact] or call 401-463-5106.



I represent clients throughout Rhode Island including Cranston, Warwick, Providence, East Providence, Johnston, Smithfield, Lincoln, Barrington, East Greenwich, Cumberland, North Providence, North Kingstown, Warren, West Greenwich, North Smithfield, Scituate, Pawtucket, West Warwick, Woonsocket, Glocester, and Tiverton.