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Family Law: Rhode Island Divorce Tips
Rhode Island Divorces: Divorcing with Dignity
By Christopher Pearsall
How do you want your Rhode Island Divorce to proceed? Yes, I'm serious.
Most Rhode Islanders in divorce situations don't even take the time to consider this question, let alone realize the amount of power they have to determine the course their divorce will take.
Whether you try to handle your own divorce or hire a divorce attorney to help you through your family law matter, YOU should be the driving force behind the course of your divorce.
Most divorcing persons fail to realize that the hiring of a family law attorney or the filing of a divorce personally is only the very first step in directing the course of your case.
Let's assume you hire an attorney to represent your legal interests in a divorce case. In this instance let's say that you wish to be amicable with your spouse. Your attorney prepares all the paperwork necessary to file for your divorce and tells you that you just need to come in to sign it. You go into the office and sign all the documents as your attorney assures you that all the documents are court forms with standard language. You sign the documents and the divorce is filed. You have assured your spouse that you plan to be fair in the divorce and not ask for anything unreasonable.
Your spouse gets served with the divorce papers and reads your divorce complaint. A few days later your spouse calls you on your cel phone. Your spouse screams "I can't believe you asked for sole custody of the kids in this divorce. That's not reasonable. So you don't think I can parent the kids? Okay, fine. All bets are off. I'm getting a divorce lawyer and I'm fighting you every step of the way."
You are a bit dumbfounded because you didn't get to say a word about the divorce before your spouse hangs up on you. Quickly you pull out your divorce complaint and read it. It does, in fact, contain wording that asks for sole custody of the minor children. You immediately call your attorney and ask why that language was included. You remind the attorney that you told the attorney you wanted joint custody of the children. The attorney tells you sole custody is a standard request for relief and it is his practice to ask for sole custody as a negotiating point to settle the divorce. The attorney tells you that he is sorry but he expected you not to sign the complaint if the language wasn't acceptable.
In this instance, if this truly were YOUR divorce, you would have surrendered your power to direct your divorce to your attorney simply because you didn't read the divorce complaint and make sure that it is truly what you were seeking and not simply a matter of how this particular attorney practices. By doing this your spouse is now furious and is no longer in a reasonable state of mind to simply sit down and talk and negotiate amicably. Your spouse will now retain an attorney and potentially surrender additional power to another attorney who enters the picture, costs more of the marital money, and may redirect the divorce in a manner that will destroy your whole family structure.
A Rhode Island Divorce can be conducted where both parties retain control of the primary decision making power regarding what is to be done in their divorce, remain calm, think practically and, in doing so, both parties retain their dignity.
NOTE: The postings on this website are NOT legal advice, DO NOT create an attorney/client relationship and are NOT a substitute for a detailed consultation with an attorney experienced in the state where you have your legal issue. This site is based on Rhode Island and is presented for the convenience of the internet public.
* The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law and has no procedure for recognition of specialty in any area of law.
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