In the Rhode Island Divorce system you may often find that attorneys for one or the other of the parties in a placement or visitation matter may ask the court that one or both of the parties participate in an investigation by the Family Court Investigative Unit (FCIU).
This request could be for any number of reasons such as to check the home of each party to make sure it is suitable either for placement or for visitation. Or it may be to check on the suitability of the parent to have placement of the child or unsupervised visitation with the child.
The investigation may involve interviewing each parent, visiting each residence, speaking with friends, neighbors and family who are nearby or close to either parent to determine the nature of the situation the child may be thrust into when either party has physical custody of the child.
Investigators may often resort to obtaining releases and getting school records and speaking with school guidance counselors to get an educational picture of the child's well-being. Though rare, an investigator may require access to the child's medical records, particularly if there is a mental health counselor for the child.
Investigators will also interview the child or children and endeavor to see the interaction between the child and each parent and provide their observations regarding the veracity of the child and the parent.
The purpose of an investigation by the FCIU is to bring back to the attorneys for the parties and to the court a report of what steps were taken and the factual information the investigator obtained from his or her investigation. In this way the parties and the court have third-party and hopefully unbiased factual information that may be help all concerned to reach a resolution of the matters before the court for the well-being of the child(ren) and the parties.
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