Title 15
Domestic Relations

Chapter 14.1
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-14.1-2

§ 15-14.1-2. Definitions.

As used in this chapter the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings unless the context shall indicate another or different meaning or intent:

(1) “Abandoned” means left without provision for reasonable and necessary care or supervision;

(2) “Child” means an individual who has not attained eighteen (18) years of age;

(3) “Child custody determination” means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a permanent, temporary, initial, and modification order. The term does not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual;

(4) “Child custody proceeding” means a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, or visitation with respect to a child is an issue. The term includes a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence, in which the issue may appear. The term does not include a proceeding involving juvenile delinquency, contractual emancipation, or enforcement under this chapter;

(5) “Commencement” means the filing of the first pleading in a proceeding;

(6) “Court” means the family court of the State of Rhode Island unless another meaning is so indicated;

(7) “Home state” means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six (6) consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding. In the case of a child less than six (6) months of age, the term means the state in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period;

(8) “Initial determination” means the first child custody determination concerning a particular child;

(9) “Issuing court” means the court that makes a child custody determination for which enforcement is sought under this chapter;

(10) “Issuing state” means the state in which a child custody determination is made;

(11) “Modification” means a child custody determination that changes, replaces, supercedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, whether or not it is made by the court that made the previous determination;

(12) “Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, public corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity;

(13) “Person acting as a parent” means a person, other than a parent, who:

(i) Has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of six (6) consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within one year immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding; and

(ii) Has been awarded legal custody by a court or claims a right to legal custody under the law of this state.

(14) “Physical custody” means the physical care and supervision of a child;

(15) “State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States;

(16) “Tribe” means an Indian tribe or band, or Alaskan Native village, which is recognized by federal law or formally acknowledged by a state;

(17) “Warrant” means an order issued by a court authorizing law enforcement officers to take physical custody of a child.

History of Section.
P.L. 2003, ch. 307, § 2; P.L. 2003, ch. 322, § 2; P.L. 2021, ch. 77, § 13, effective June 23, 2021; P.L. 2021, ch. 78, § 13, effective June 23, 2021.