Getting a Child Custody Agreement that Works

Cranston, Rhode Island, Child Custody Lawyer

Under Rhode Island family law, parents have a right to parenting time with their children with regularity, frequency and duration. How parenting time is allotted may be worked out in negotiations between the mother and father, or it may be decided by a family court judge if a child custody case goes to trial.

If your divorce will include issues of child custody, work with an attorney who has an in-depth knowledge of Rhode Island's child custody laws. Call me, Cranston child custody lawyer William Balkun, at 401-463-5106. I have 30 years of experience helping parents negotiate mutually agreeable parenting plans, as well as litigating complex or high-conflict child custody cases.

Negotiation or Trial

When parents can arrive at a child custody agreement through negotiation, they typically save considerable time and money. I work hard to help my clients arrive at an agreement, if at all possible. I'm not afraid to take a child custody case to trial, however, if that is necessary.

All parents have a role to play in their child's life, but poorly functioning parents should have a smaller role than well-functioning parents. When determining how well an individual can "parent," we look to specialized psychologists to do a forensic examination. The American Psychological Association has guidelines for child custody evaluations and I follow those guidelines when I advise my clients. I can help you access child custody experts should testimony be needed in a court case.

Rhode Island Child Support

Rhode Island child support guidelines establish a minimum level of support that a parent must pay. The actual amount you are ordered to pay (or could receive) could exceed the guidelines if it is warranted. A child support order may also include the shared cost of childcare, medical expenses, children's activity fees, and other child-related expenses.

Rhode Island operates with a shared income model. That means that the gross taxable incomes of both parents (custodial and non-custodial) are factored into the child support equation. If one parent is under-employed, the court will look at that parent's "earning potential" based on education and experience.

Child custody negotiations should be coordinated with alimony negotiations in cases where both types of support will be sought. Because alimony is taxable to the recipient and tax deductible to the payor, it may be beneficial for the payor to pay less child support but more alimony.

It's not uncommon to bring a child support order back to court if the child has additional needs, the parent suffers a loss of income, or the support-paying parent remarries and has other children. I can help you with the modification of an existing child support order.

Call a Cranston Child Custody Lawyer

Allow me to guide you through negotiations or through trial in your child custody or child support case. Contact The Law Office of William J. Balkun online 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.