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Custody Woes

Ludacris, the actor who stars in The Fast and the Furious, one of the most successful film franchises in history, is in the midst of a very bitter custody battle involving a former fling. The rapper/movie star was awarded custody of their one year old child after his lawyers successfully argued that he would be able to provide the little girl a better home environment. The mother of the child has now gone public with her heartbreak stating, "Having him rip my baby from me feels like an act of willful violence that reoccurs every single day that I wake up and realize that she's not by my side."

Although this may sound very Hollywood, it’s an issue that happens every day in real life. Often, one parent is in a better financial situation and can afford a better attorney or provide a better life for the child, and they are awarded sole custody. The other parent is then left reeling, feeling abandoned and hurt.

In Rhode Island, parents can make decisions about whether to share joint custody or whether one parent should have sole custody with the other receiving visitation rights. If the parents can come to an agreement, the court will usually approve that agreement. If no decision is agreed upon, a judge will make the decision for the parties. At that point, the Rhode Island Family Court will then determine what is in “the best interest of the child"Among the factors the court will consider are the following:

1. The  wishes of both parents

2. The desires of the child

3. The child’s relationship with parents and other family members

4. The child's adjustment to the child's surroundings

5. Stability of all individuals involved 

6. The stability of the child's home environment

7. The moral fitness of the child's parents 8. Cooperation between the parents

Hiring the right attorney and being familiar with what your rights and the rights of your child are will get you the best results.