Title 15
Domestic Relations

Chapter 5
Divorce and Separation

R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-5-24.4

§ 15-5-24.4. Sibling visitation rights.

(a) The family court, upon miscellaneous petition of a brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or on behalf of any of those persons by his or her legal guardian, for visitation rights for the petitioner’s sibling, half-sibling or stepsibling and upon notice to both parents of the child and notice to the child, and after a hearing on the petition, may grant reasonable rights of visitation of the sibling to the petitioner. The court, in order to grant reasonable rights of visitation, must find and set forth in writing the following findings of fact:

(1) That it is in the best interests of the child that the petitioner is granted visitation rights with the child;

(2) That the petitioner is a fit and proper person to have visitation rights with the child;

(3) That the petitioner has repeatedly attempted to visit his or her sibling, half-sibling or stepsibling during the thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date the petition was filed and was not allowed to visit the child during the thirty (30) day period as a direct result of the actions of either, or both, parents of the child;

(4) There is no other way that the petitioner is able to visit his or her sibling, half-sibling or stepsibling without court intervention; and

(5) That the petitioner, by clear and convincing evidence, has successfully rebutted the presumption that the parent’s decision to refuse the petitioner’s visitation with the child was reasonable.

(b) The court may issue all necessary orders relative to the visitation rights granted to the petitioner. Once the petitioner has been granted reasonable visitation rights, notice of any petition seeking a change in custody or visitation shall be served on the petitioner.

History of Section.
P.L. 1996, ch. 186, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 190, § 1; P.L. 2012, ch. 200, § 1.