The 5 Basics of Your Day in RI family Court

A Rhode Island divorce lawyer explains the basics of “your day in Providence Family Court.”

1. )   Expect to wait around before your case will be heard. Judges and RI Family Court magistrates  have many cases on the  domestic daily calendar and you need to be patient. Usually the quicker you resolve the motions or pending arguments or disputes, the quicker you will get out of Providence Family Court. Judges take settled matters as a priority. A settled matter is a “formal” matter that will be heard nearly immediately Judges prioritize settled matters to try to encourage litigants to resolve their family Court Disputes. Contested  family law matters requiring a testimonial hearing are typically heard last on the calendar. If you want to fight, be prepared to wait around.

2.) Never refuse mediation! Judges have too many cases on their calendar. If you refuse mediation then the Family Court Judge will believe you are part of the problem not part of the solution. Just because you try mediation does not mean that you have to compromise any of your positions or even settle the case. Divorce Court Judges want solutions not trouble makers. Surprisingly, mediation is a very effective tool in resolving divorce, custody and child support matters. Often, litigants will tell everyone who will listen that RI divorce mediation will not work and it is a waste of time. There is very little downside in trying a Rhode island child custody or visitation mediation.

3) It is the exception not the norm that a child custody, child support or divorce issue is resolved in one Rhode Island Family Court Hearing. In many cases, more documentation or information is needed or there is a need for a Providence Family Court investigation or mediation.

4.) Dress appropriately for court. Perception is reality! Do not over dress. If you overdress, it may seem like a pathetic attempt to gain an advantage. Providence Family Court is not a sporting event not is it the beach. This means do not wear shorts, tank tops or t shirts to your family court hearing in Kent County Family court.

5) Be friendly to the clerks, sheriffs and Court Staff. Trust me, the clerks talk with the judges about litigants in the coffee room in the back hallways . If the Judge believes you are rude or disrepectful to his  staff, he will have a negative perception of you. This may influence the Judge’s decisions in your domestic relations  or divorce case.

http://www.courts.state.nh.us/district/protocols/abuseneglect/abusenegprotocol.htm

http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/suffprobmain.html

http://www.nationalfamilycourtwatchproject.org/

http://www.slepkowlaw.com/divorce.htm