Q: I have physical custody of my 5yr old son in RI. Father who lives in Mass also wants physical custody. Can he do that?
He said my son said he doesnt want to live with me. I admit, I am not the fun parent but I have taken care of my son these last 5 yrs with out any help from his father and his father sees him whenever. Sometimes as much as 3 weeks will pass with out him seeing his father. He thinks I have ruined our son because my son has admitted to watching rap videos on youtube and thinks that my mom is unfit to watch him because she lets him watch television by himself. The list goes on of things that I do or my mother does that he doesnt like but my son is loved and taken care of by me with my mothers help as I have a demanding work schedule. What should I do? Do I get a lawyer and ask for child support and require a visitation schedule or can he really take my son from me? Do I fight it myself? (because his case is foundless) I also think he is coaching my son to say things.
A: I think you have to be careful in these situations because you can get dragged into court in MA if you don't act first in Rhode Island. You can still get dragged into court in MA if you file in Rhode Island, but if you can establish to a judge in Rhode Island that your son is living here then the RI judge will not let the case get taken to MA.
It's risky to not have an order governing placement, etc., because then both parents have the legal right to retain the child until and unless a court makes a determination. It makes sense to get the determination from a Rhode Island court as soon as possible.
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