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Keeping a child in the family home after a Rhode Island divorce


Sometimes, during a divorce, it is best for parents in Rhode Island to avoid making drastic changes to their lifestyle, for the sake of their children who may already be facing insecurities about their future. In some situations, a custodial parent may petition the court for a "deferred sale of home order," in order to preserve his or her current living arrangements.


What is a deferred sale of home order? In Rhode Island, it is an issuance by the court that will halt the sale of the home, where the custodial parent and child reside. This gives the custodial parent the right to possess and use exclusively the home for a temporary period.

When determining whether to grant such an order, the court in Rhode Island will consider a number of factors. First, the court will want to ascertain whether it is financially possible for the home mortgage, along with homeowners insurance and property taxes, to be paid during the time of the deferment. The income of the parent that will be physically residing in the home during the time of the deferment will be ascertained, as will the amounts of any child support or alimony that parent receives. The court is interested in ensuring that the home will not be foreclosed upon and in preserving each parent's home equity. The court will also take into account whether a deferment will serve the child's best interests.

The court in Rhode Island retains the discretion to either modify or terminate a deferred sale of home order. In addition, if the parent residing in the home enters into a new marriage, or if that parent's financial circumstances increase, this gives rise to a rebuttable presumption that the court order for deferment is no longer needed.

A deferred sale of home order is one way that a custodial parent can continue residing in the family home after a divorce. This could be very important for the well-being of the child, as well as that of the custodial parent. Divorce brings enough changes to a child's life, without that child having to adjust to a new residence too soon.

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Law Office of Steven J. Hirsch, Esq

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