Family Court: Important TIPS from RI lawyer

A Rhode Island divorce lawyer provides free advice concerning RI family law. If you need a custody lawyer in RI, call RI divorce and child custody attorney, David Slepkow.  David has 22 years experience in Providence Family Court. David was voted a top three attorney in Rhode Island by the Providence Journal Reader’s choice poll.

Do not exaggerate in Family Court

Do not exaggerate or embellish your case at a hearing in front of a Rhode Island Family Court Justice or Magistrate. Credibility and Perception is of the utmost importance in Providence Family Court. If the judge does not perceive you as credible concerning certain allegations or representations, she may not perceive you as credible about everything in your divorce, visitation or RI custody case.

Family Court tips

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Perception is reality

Exaggeration and speaking in ‘black and white terms’ are major problem in Providence Family Court. Family court is  usually not black and white. It is all about shades of gray. Remember PERCEPTION IS REALITY in RI Family Court. The Kent County Family Court Magistrate or Justice does not know you. The Judge does not know your ex-spouse or ex-boyfriend or anything about the Family Court case until he hears the matter in Court. How the judge perceives you during the few moments of your custodial hearing will be a reality not a perception.

Restraining orders not for leverage

Do not get a restraining order unless you are really in fear of your spouse, ex-husband, ex-wife or significant other or were abused. Restraining orders are not to be utilized to get leverage in your RI child custody case. Rhode Island restraining orders and RI Complaints protection from abuse are serious matters. They may subject the alleged perpetrator to criminal sanction and potential jail time.

“Rhode Island Family Court Constables and Sheriffs, unfortunately, devote too  many resources  to unwarranted and unjustified temporary protection from abuse complaints. The police also devote too many resources enforcing unjust temporary protection from abuse orders.  These unjustified restraining orders clog the system and actually hurt legitimate victims” Denying some Rest. Orders & Sanctions best way to help Domestic Violence Victims 

Paternity in Rhode Island

You have the right to clear the courtroom in a Rhode Island paternity case under paternity law in RI. If privacy is important to you, then go for it. However, keep in mind, that if you request a private court hearing, your case may be put to the end of the child support and paternity calendar. Ask yourself if this is necessary? It is burdensome on the court and the clerks. Prior to your court hearing, the state attorney will ask you to sign a form waiving your right to confidentiality.

Ҥ 15-8-17. Hearings and records РConfidentiality.

“Notwithstanding any other law concerning public hearings and records, any hearing or trial held under this chapter shall be held in closed court without admittance of any person other than those necessary to the action of the proceeding. All papers and records, other than the final judgment pertaining to the action or proceeding, whether part of the permanent record of the court or elsewhere, are subject to inspection only upon consent of the court and all interested persons, or in exceptional cases only upon an order of the court for good cause shown.'”

I do not see my name on the court calendar in Court for my paternity case?

Paternity cases in Rhode Island are not on the public calendar list.  You should ask the states’ paternity lawyer or a clerk if you are in the right place.

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Sole Custody

Do not request sole custody of your child unless you have the facts to back up this custodial request. In order to obtain sole custody, you need to establish:

  • a serious drug or alcohol problem,
  • a serious criminal history
  • history of serious domestic violence,
  • little to no relationship between a parent and child
  • or a tempestuous war between you and the other parent.

Sole custody has really become a relic of the past and should only be implemented in the most extreme circumstances in my opinion. Both a father and mother should be involved in decisions concerning their child except under extreme circumstances.” Should sole custody be abolished in Rhode Island? 

No piling on

  • If you opponent is on the ropes with the judge based on their own nefarious misrepresentations or incorrect actions, keep your mouth shut. In other words, do not pile on! Smirking or piling on when your opponent is self-destructing or on the ropes is bad form and tends to switch the judge’s attention to your conduct.  In other words, if your winning- keep your mouth shut.
  • Do not interrupt the other RI divorce lawyer unless it is absolutely necessary.  These interruptions tend to irk and annoy the trial judge. I must admit that there are certain occasions when an interruption may be necessary. However, be savvy about this.
  • Do not throw your Rhode Island divorce lawyer or the opposing counsel in front of the bus at your RI family Court hearing.

Experienced Rhode Island divorce lawyer, David Slepkow (401-437-1100) provides some random thoughts and advice concerning Divorce and child custody causes of action in Providence Family Court.