A Rhode Island divorce lawyer drafted these Rhode Island post divorce and child Custody Law TIPS. These tips will help you avoid divorce mistakes. Many of these post divorce tips address issues concerning:
- child support modification,
- Providence Family Court divorce strategy,
- child support contempt,
- motions to modify visitation and
- child support termination and modification.
Post divorce motions to modify
The legal article gives important advice about payment of spousal support in the Ocean State and modification and termination of alimony. This domestic law post about divorce mistakes also contains helpful information concerning:
- modification of the final judgment of divorce based on a substantial change in circumstances related to the minor children
- contempt for failure to pay child support,
- spousal support (alimony),
- Failure to comply with the terms of the final judgment or property settlement agreement.
Divorce mistakes to avoid in Providence Family Court:
- Do not Post, tweet, pin, or scoop about your Rhode Island divorce, custody or family law case. These posts anger Providence Family Court judges who do not see them as helping to resolve the matter. These posts could be detrimental to the child who may view the post online. Win your divorce or custody case in the Courtroom, not on Facebook.
- Do not forget to file a motion to modify child support when you become unemployed or have a decrease in income. Child support in Rhode Island can only be modified retroactively to the date you file your motion and serve the other litigant with notice.
- Do not interrupt a RI Family Court Judge in Court.
- Do not dress inappropriately for a Providence Family Court hearing. Providence Family Court is not a beach, gym or nightclub. Remember: Perception is reality.
- If you are involved in a contested custody or visitation war, make sure you do not use illegal drugs such as marijuana. In a custodial matter, you are always subject to drug testing upon a moments notice.
- Never treat clerks, court personnel, sheriffs or court investigators inappropriately. Judges will be very angry about this as they will always try to protect their staff.
- Never make important rash divorce related decisions to get things over with when you are angry.
- Never directly or indirectly disparage the other parent when the minor children are present or can hear the communication. Never argue or fight with your spouse of the other parent while the children are present.
Rhode Island divorce attorney David Slepkow authored this extensive list of post-divorce tips for your review. Divorce in RI can be confusing and complex. Please read this divorce law article carefully.
RI post divorce tips
(1) In the event that there is a marital settlement agreement (msa) or property settlement agreement (psa) in your case, changes to the document need to be in writing. The document must be signed under the same formalities as the original property settlement agreement. This means that the parties signature must be notarized. If husband and wife never executed a property settlement agreement in the underlying divorce and the settlement is set forth in the final judgment of divorce, then official changes can only be made by filing a motion. The parties could also enter a consent order, modifying the original final judgment of divorce. If a motion needs to be filed for child related issues, a modification of the final judgment must be based on a substantial change of circumstances.
(2) It is imperative that you keep and maintain accurate records concerning any payment of spousal support (alimony in RI), child support, uninsured medical expenses and extracurricular costs that you have incurred or reimbursed.
Everything important should be in writing, post-divorce
(3) It is a very bad idea to attempt to modify your property settlement agreement with a verbal agreement. ALL changes to the written marital settlement agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties in front of a notary public. Divorce in RI is a serious matter and serious changes to a property settlement agreement should not be verbal.
(4) If you give your child spending money or buy clothes, sporting goods, sneakers or gifts for your child or children, these payments will be considered gifts and will not count as a credit towards your child support obligation. Child support in Rhode Island must be given directly or via wage garnishment to the custodial parent via cash or check.
(5) If the parent with physical custody of your child is receiving cash benefits (welfare) then consider stopping direct payments of child support! You must make the payment to Rhode Island and Providence Plantations as reimbursement of the cash assistance. In the event that the custodial parent of your children is on cash assistance and you present direct payments, then these funds will be tantamount to a gift. The State of Rhode Island (RI) will still pursue you for the child support payments in Providence Family Court, even though you are still tendering the child support to the custodial parent.
Receipts and detailed divorce records are key!
(6) If you are in a high conflict situation with the mother or father of your child then keep detailed records of visitation dates and times, activities and important events and communications pertaining to visitation and custodial rights.
(7) If you must pay your spousal support, child support or alimony in cash then you need to get a signed receipt of all payments. That receipt must clearly indicate what each payment was for.
(8) If there is a restraining order, order protection from abuse or criminal no contact order between you and your ex-girlfriend, girlfriend, wife, ex-wife or ex friend with benefits, do not contact the alleged victim without the restraining order or abuse order being dismissed. You need to verify with the Clerk of the Providence Family Court that the restraining order has in fact been dismissed. You need to see a copy of the actual dismissal.
(9) Even if the purported victim invites you over or contacts you on Facebook, instant message or cell phone, you could still be arrested for violating the abuse restraining order. Any type of communication including skype, letters, instant message and /or tweet can be a violation of the restraining order
Crucial Info: divorce in RI
If your circumstances change dramatically and alimony is modifiable, look into filing a motion to modify alimony, immediately. This is applicable only if the spousal support is modifiable. In the event the marital settlement agreement is incorporated into the final judgment and spousal support is non modifiable then such spousal support / alimony is non modifiable. If there is no property settlement agreement in your RI divorce cause of action and the court made an award of alimony, then the spousal maintenance is probably modifiable upon a substantial change in circumstances. A substantial change of circumstances could be a substantial loss of income, loss of employment or a severe disability etc
Child Support in Rhode Island post-divorce
Child support in Rhode Island does not terminate automatically upon a child attaining the age of eighteen. Child support will automatically accrue unless a Motion to Terminate Child Support is filed. If you are the parent with physical placement of your child/children and your income significantly decreases or your ex-spouse’s income significantly increases, then you should contact a lawyer to file a Motion to increase your child support payments. If you are parent without physical custody of your children and your income decreases significantly or your ex-spouse’s income significantly increases, then you should contact a Rhode Island child support attorney to file a Motion to lower your child support order. If you cannot pay your RI child support because of a change in circumstances you need to file a motion to modify child support immediately otherwise you can be subjected to a contempt proceeding for failure to pay child support.
Winning in a divorce court is not always about defeating your former spouse, but rather achieving the best possible outcome for yourself and your family. Here are some tips for clients going through a divorce to help them navigate the process effectively:
- Hire an Experienced Attorney:
- Seek the guidance of a skilled family law attorney who specializes in divorce cases. They can provide invaluable legal advice and represent your interests in court.
- Understand Your Finances:
- Gather all financial documents, including bank statements, tax returns, property records, and debt statements. Being informed about your financial situation is crucial for equitable asset division.
- Communicate Clearly:
- Maintain open and constructive communication with your attorney. Discuss your goals, concerns, and expectations, and be honest about your circumstances.
- Prioritize Children’s Best Interests:
- If you have children, focus on their well-being and prioritize their best interests. Develop a parenting plan that promotes their emotional and physical stability.
- Be Prepared for Mediation:
- Many divorces are settled through mediation rather than a court trial. Be prepared to negotiate and compromise on issues like child custody, alimony, and property division.
- Keep Emotions in Check:
- Divorce can be emotionally charged, but try to keep emotions in check during court proceedings. Emotional outbursts can negatively impact your case.
- Follow Court Orders:
- Always adhere to court orders and agreements made during the divorce process. Failure to do so can lead to legal consequences.
- Document Everything:
- Keep records of all communications with your ex-spouse, especially if they relate to custody, visitation, or financial matters. This documentation can be valuable in court.
- Be Flexible:
- Be open to compromise and flexible in your negotiations. Rigidity can lead to prolonged court battles and increased legal fees.
- Seek Support:
- Divorce can be emotionally taxing. Consider seeking the support of a therapist or counselor to help you cope with the stress and emotional challenges.
- Stay Informed:
- Stay informed about your rights and responsibilities during the divorce process. Knowledge is empowering and helps you make informed decisions.
- Avoid Social Media Drama:
- Be cautious about what you post on social media, as your online activity can be used as evidence in court. Avoid posting anything that may harm your case.
- Plan for the Future:
- Create a post-divorce plan that includes financial, housing, and parenting arrangements. Having a clear vision for your future can help you make better decisions during the divorce.
- Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution:
- Explore alternative dispute resolution methods like collaborative divorce or arbitration, which can be less adversarial than traditional court proceedings.
- Stay Patient:
- Divorce cases can be lengthy and challenging. Stay patient and focused on your long-term goals.
Remember that “winning” in a divorce court doesn’t necessarily mean getting everything you want. It often involves reaching a fair and equitable resolution that allows both parties to move forward with their lives. Consult with your attorney to determine the best strategy for your specific situation.