Occasionally, I see divorce clients who interview attorneys looking to get the advice they want to hear rather than an explanation of the realities of Rhode Island Family Court. These people will hire the RI divorce attorney who tells them what they want to hear. Some of these potential clients wrongly equate a higher hourly legal fee with better legal representation.
RI Family Court Tip #1
Be careful of lawyers who spin an overly optimistic prediction of the outcome of your divorce and also seek a very high retainer. Are these attorneys using a bait and switch scheme in which they are enabling you to get a big fee?
RI Custody Tip:
Assume you are ALWAYS being taped by your ex. In reality many parents are videotaping or recording conversations and interactions in order to get evidence. If you assume you are always on the record you will never do anything stupid to hurt your custody case. I have seen numerous Rhode Island Child Custody cases severely influenced because of secretly recorded telephone calls. I have seen some litigants recording from their iphone which is in their pocket or bag. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/child-custody
Keep your new Boyfriend out of it!
Divorce, Family Law and Custody cases are difficult enough without new girlfriends or boyfriends being inserted into the picture. This only adds gas to the existing fire. The dispute is between you and your ex spouse or ex girlfriend and the third parties should not be part of the feud.
Writing Letters to Judges
Do not do this! If you have a problem with what is going on in your case, do not write a letter to the judge. Clients writing such letters angers attorneys. You need to speak with your Family lawyer about the issues rather then communicating with the judge. Judges are precluded from reading these letters under the ethics rules because they constitute ex-parte prohibited communication.
Posting a picture on Facebook doing something that is expensive while you claim you have no money
I have seen numerous examples of parents who owe child support posting pictures of their Caribbean vacation while they claim they cannot afford to pay their child support arrears. This type of conduct / stupidity may lead to fast track to the ACI. This is similar to wearing a Rolex to Domestic Court when you are not paying your $60 a week support/ alimony order. If you are found in willful contempt for failure to pay child support in Rhode Island, the judge may send you to jail.
“Child custody and guardianship are legal terms which are used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent and his or her child, such as the right of the parent to make decisions for the child, and the parent’s duty to care for the child.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_custody
Information provided by Providence Family Court Attorney David Slepkow 401-437-100