Articles Posted in Family Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the decree of the family court as it pertained to Mother. The decree found that Mother failed to provide Daughter with a minimum degree of care or guardianship, that Child was without proper parental care and supervision, that Mother inflicted or allowed to be inflicted upon Daughter physical injury, and that Mother created or allowed to be created a substantial risk of physical injury to Daughter. Specifically, the Supreme Court held that the evidence presented was insufficient to permit a reasonable inference to be drawn that Mother abused and negligent Child. View "In re Adrina T." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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Sandra Armand and Gorvey Armand filed two adoption petitions so that Gorvey might become the legal father of Kai Jackson’s two sons, Kyeshon and Jarell. Jackson refused to consent to the adoptions. Thereafter, Petitioners moved to terminate Jackson’s parental rights with respect to the two boys. After a trial, the trial justice found, by clear and convincing evidence, that Jackson was unfit as a parent and that it would be in the best interests of Kyeshon and Jarell to terminate Jackson’s parental rights so that Gorvey, the boys’ stepfather, might adopt them. The trial justice then entered a decree terminating Jackson’s parental rights. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial justice did not err in terminating the parental rights of Jackson to his sons. View "In re Kyeshon J." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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After a trial, the family court justice concluded that Respondent abused and neglected his minor daughters. The family court justice entered a decree committing the children to the care, custody, and control of the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). The Supreme Court denied and dismissed Respondent’s appeal and affirmed the family court’s decree committing the girls to the care, custody and control of DCYF, holding (1) the family court justice did not abuse her discretion in her challenged evidentiary rulings; (2) the family court justice did not overlook or misconceive material evidence in making her decision; and (3) DCYF met its burden of proof with respect to establishing that the girls were abused and neglected. View "In re Emilee K." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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Defendant Richard Beverley Corbin, III (Bev) appealed a Family Court order on two post-final-judgment motions filed by plaintiff, Anne duPont Corbin. Defendant contended that the trial justice erred when she determined that the post-employment compensation that he received from his employer was marital property and therefore her award of 50 percent of it to Anne was also made in error. Alternatively, defendant argued that if the Supreme Court affirmed the trial justice’s findings with regard to the post-employment compensation, then the fee that he paid to an attorney for negotiating that compensation should be considered marital debt, of which Anne should pay half. Additionally, defendant argued that the trial justice erred when she awarded counsel fees to Anne for her prosecution of a motion to modify child support, after she made a specific finding that defendant did not adequately notify Anne when he regained employment. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Family Court. View "Corbin v. Corbin" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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In March 2012, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) received a tip of an alleged incident of domestic violence that occurred in Massachusetts between respondent John S. and Malachii’s mother, which also involved Malachii. DCYF was informed that respondent attempted to quell his ten-month-old child’s crying by pinching, slapping, and throwing the child against a wall, which the mother claimed rendered the child unconscious. A petition for dependency and abuse was filed ex parte against both parents in Rhode Island, where Malachii resided, and respondent was charged in Massachusetts with felony crimes arising from the alleged assault. A no-contact order was issued prohibiting respondent from having any contact with Malachii. Respondent was convicted in Massachusetts by jury of reckless endangerment of a child and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He was sentenced to serve three to five years in prison, followed by a two-and-one-half-year probationary term. A second no-contact order was issued in Massachusetts after respondent’s conviction. Shortly thereafter, DCYF filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of respondent and Malachii’s mother. This case came before the Supreme Court on appeal of respondent when his parental rights were indeed terminated. Finding no error in the Family Court’s judgment terminating parental rights, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "In re Malachii O." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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Child came under the care of the State after an alleged alcohol relapse by Mother. At that time, Father was incarcerated. The Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) filed a petition alleging that Child was neglected. As to Father, the trial justice found by clear and convincing evidence that Father was unable to care for Child due to his confinement and that Father neglected Child by failing to provide Child with a minimum degree of care, supervision or guardianship and without proper parental care and supervision. The family court then ordered Child committed to the custody of DCYF. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that legally competent evidence existed to support the trial justice’s finding that Child had been neglected by Father. View "In re Kurt H." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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In 2004, Livia was born to Marissa Levesque and Anthony Bucci. In 2013, Levesque and Derek Gray filed a petition for termination of Bucci’s parental rights and for the adoption of Livia by Gray. After a trial, the trial justice (1) terminated Bucci’s parental rights, deeming Bucci unfit based on abandonment grounds; and (2) granted Gray’s petition for adoption, finding it in Livia’s best interests. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial justice’s determination that Bucci abandoned Livia rested on sufficient factual findings and credibility determinations, which were supported by legally competent evidence. View "In re Livia B.L." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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Husband filed a complaint for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Wife counterclaimed for sole custody of the parties’ two minor children, alimony, child support, and equitable distribution of the marital assets. After a trial, the trial justice dissolved the parties’ marriage, awarded the parties joint custody of their children, granted Wife physical placement of both children, ordered Husband to pay child support, and partitioned the marital assets. The Supreme Court (1) vacated the decree in regard to the issue of child support, holding that the trial justice failed to consider the child-support guidelines when determining the amount of child support; and (2) affirmed the final decree in all other respects. Remanded. View "Vieira v. Hussein-Vieira" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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After two separate trials, the family court entered decrees finding dependency as to Respondent’s sons, King and Saint, determining that the children were actually suffering or likely to suffer physical and/or emotional harm and that it was in the children’s best interest to be placed out-of-home. Both children were committed to the care, custody, and control of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. Respondent appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed the decrees of the family court, holding that the trial justice’s findings of dependency as to both King and Saint were supported by clear and convincing evidence. View "In re King J." on Justia Law

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The family court issued a decision granting the State’s petition to terminate Father’s parental rights to his two daughters. The family court justice finding by clear and convincing evidence that Father was an unfit parent, that the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) had fulfilled its obligation to make reasonable efforts to reunify Father with his daughters, that Father failed to cooperate with the services offered by DCYF, and that it would be in the best interests of the children that they be adopted by their foster parents. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the family court justice’s findings were supported by legal and competent evidence. View "In re Briann A.T." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law