(For your convenience, I have prepared this list of “Post Divorce Do’s and Don’ts”. Some may be applicable to your case and many will not be applicable. Please take a few minutes to read this. This information applies to Rhode Island law only. If you have any questions, please call Attorney David Slepkow at (401) 437-1100.)
Post Divorce DO LIST
- Keep accurate records of child support, alimony, or other property settlement payment(s). In the event that there is a dispute as to whether or not you have made payments, accurate records are important for proof of payment.
- If you have a property settlement agreement in your case, any changes to the property settlement agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. Call me before making changes to the property settlement agreement.
- In the event that you do not have a property settlement agreement and there is only a final judgment in your case, changes can only be made by application to the RI Family Court for a modification of the final judgment based a substantial change of circumstances. Call if it is necessary to make any modification to the final judgment.
- If visitation of your children is in dispute, keep accurate records of your visitations, documenting dates, times, activities and/or confrontations with your ex-spouse.
- Do not pay child support directly to your ex-spouse if your ex-spouse is on welfare! You must make the payment to the State of Rhode Island. In the event that your ex-spouse is on welfare and you make payments directly to her/him, then these payments will be considered a gift. The State of Rhode Island will still pursue you for the child support payments, despite the fact that your made the payments to your ex-spouse. This may mean that you will have to make a double payment.
- Do not modify the property settlement agreement by an oral agreement. ALL changes to a property settlement agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties.
- Do not make payments of alimony or child support post divorce without a signed receipt from your ex-spouse.
- If you make payments directly to your child or buy anything for your child, these payments will be considered gifts to your child and will not be a credit toward child support. Therefore, if you want these types of payments to be considered child support, they must be given directly to your ex-spouse as child support.
- If there is a restraining order in your case, do not contact your ex-spouse without the restraining order being dismissed. Even if your ex-spouse initiates the communication or invites you over, you could still be arrested for violating the restraining order. Any type of communication is a violation of the restraining order including e-mails, letters, faxes or voice mail messages. Do not rely on your ex-spouse’s insistence that the restraining order has been dismissed. You need to verify with the Clerk of the Family Court that the restraining order has been dismissed.
Important Information-post divorce
- Child Support– post divorce
- Child support does not automatically terminate when your child reaches eighteen (18) years of age. Child support will automatically accrue until your child turns nineteen (19) years of age 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 me to file a Motion to increase your child support payments.
- If you are the parent without physical placement of your child and your income decreases or your ex-spouse’s income significantly increases, then you should contact me to file a Motion to lower your child support obligation.