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. website
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.
Statistics and Useful Info:
The estimated number of divorces granted in December 1997 was 104,000 compared with 94,000 divorces granted in December a year earlier. The divorce rate per 1,000 population for December increased from 4.2 in 1996 to 4.5 in 1997. The cumulative number of divorces granted in 1997 was 1,163,000, 1 percent more than the number for 1996 (1,150,000). The divorce rate per 1,000 population for 1997 was the same as the rate for 1996 (4.3), the lowest divorce rate in over two decades (3). The divorce rate per 1,000 married women 15 years of age and over was 19.8 in 1997, 2 percent higher than the rate for 1996, (19.5) which was the lowest rate since 1974.” Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths for 1997 Provisional Data From the CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION/National Center for Health Statistic
“Marriage and divorce are both common experiences. In Western cultures, more than 90 percent of people marry by age 50. Healthy marriages are good for couples’ mental and physical health. They are also good for children; growing up in a happy home protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems. However, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.” American Psychological Association, Marriage and Divorce