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Grounds for Supervised Visitation in Rhode Island

Divorce is difficult for all persons involved, but it can be especially hard on children. In Rhode Island, child custody is determined according to the best interests of the child. Additionally, state law specifies that in most circumstances the court must provide reasonable visitation rights to the noncustodial parent, except when there is cause as to why that right shouldn’t be granted.

When making custody decisions, the court’s number one priority is the safety and well-being of the child. Therefore, in certain instances, the court may determine that supervised visitation rights are necessary to protect the child’s best interests.

There are many reasons why a court might choose to restrict the visitation rights of a parent, including:

  • There is evidence of past or present domestic violence. In this case, supervised visitation may be necessary to protect the child and the abused parent from further harm.
  • There is evidence of physical or sexual abuse of the child by a parent. The parent may be denied the right of visitation altogether. However, when the parent takes rehabilitative action, supervised visitation may be appropriate.
  • There is the risk of abduction or removal of the child.
  • One parent has a history of substance abuse.
  • One parent has a history of causing physical harm or bodily injury to another person.

During supervised visits, the child is allowed to spend time with the noncustodial parent while in the presence of a neutral third party. The neutral third party may be an individual that both parents select (if the court permits) or a professional supervised visitation monitor. Supervised visits allow the child to maintain a relationship with both parents in a safe environment.

If you are considering filing for divorce or are presently going through a divorce, consult with our experienced Rhode Island child custody lawyers to help you determine what actions you can take to best protect the well-being of your child.