RI Divorce often devolves into the Silly Season

I was recently watching a hearing in Rhode Island Family Court and thinking to myself either everyone in Divorce Court is a criminal, drug abuser, weirdo and / or maniac or Divorce is often just the silly season. When I got back to my office I googled the phrase “the Silly Season.” The definition of Silly Season is : “a period marked by frivolous, outlandish, or illogical activity or behavior” (Miriam Webster Online Dictionary)


Providence Family Court Divorce

The Silly Season in Providence Family Court

In a Rhode Island Divorce or Child Custody case everything can be twisted and blown out of proportion.Innocuous jokes and comments can be reconsidered as serious death threats.

Innocuous and humor and marital banter becomes death threat in Providence Family court

Husband and wife met with an insurance agent 5 years ago and take out a new life insurance policy and Husband jokingly states “okay now we can go Scuba diving.” Wife and husband enjoy a momentary laugh and no one every thinks about the comment again. Fast forward this to 10 years later and Wife testifies that Husband is abusive and she needs a restraining order. Wife cites the Life Insurance incident to get leverage. Wife testifies that after meeting with the Insurance agent her Husband threatened her life by stating that “I will kill you to get the Insurance money.”

An unseemly divorce hearing

Recently, I saw a unseemly divorce hearing in which wife is alleging that husband wrongfully offered money to his wife in exchange for sexual favors. Husband counter punched by alleging that wife wrongfully demanded payment for sexual favors during the marriage. Both sides are attempting to get leverage by making the other look bad.

In reality, the testimony appears to indicate that this was a joke between the wife and husband in which wife would say “it will cost you if you want ________ ( a sexual favor.) Sadly, these bedroom jokes, innuendos and antics should have never been part of the public record. This dirty laundry should not be aired in public.

When real life jokes turn into ugly accusations, everyone loses.

Both Husband and Wife seemed to be good law abiding normal individuals. When real life jokes turn into ugly accusations, everyone loses. However, divorce tends to bring out the worst in everyone and tends to devolve into the silly season. Many of these fabricated allegations have some scintilla of truth to them. By blowing out of proportion real events and comments the allegations are more difficult for the other party to refute.

Dad and Son are having a playful day at the park while mom is watching. The 4 year old is running away and dad playfully says “im gonna get you” as he makes funny sounds and starts chasing the small child. When dad gets to the small child he pulls the child up and holds him over his head. The child is laughing and having a good old time.

Nasty Custody feud

Fast forward this to a Nasty Custody feud three years later. Mom testifies that father is physically and emotionally abusive to the child and that the father was upset at the child and ran after him and aggressively shook the child causing the child to cry and hurting the child.

There are many legitimate allegations in Rhode Island Family Court that need to be litigated. However, as a result of all the fabricated and false allegations in RI Family Court, judges look at all allegations skeptically. Judges often look to additional witnesses or other corroborating evidence. Family Court judges look to reports of independent fact finders such as DCYF, the guardian ad litem or the family service investigation reports.

If you are in need of divorce in Rhode Island then contact a Rhode Island divorce lawyer. A RI divorce attorney  will help to protect your legal rights

More information


“The report also shows that marriages that end do not always end in divorce; many end in separation and do not go through the divorce process. Separated white women are much more likely (91 percent) to divorce after 3 years, compared with separated Hispanic women (77 percent) and separated black women (67 percent). Meanwhile, the probability of remarriage among divorced women was 54 percent in 5 years–58 percent for white women, 44 percent for Hispanic women, and 32 percent for black women. However, there was also a strong probability that 2nd marriages will end in separation or divorce (23 percent after 5 years and 39 percent after 10 years). The likelihood that divorced women will remarry has been declining since the 1950’s, when women who divorced had a 65 percent chance of remarrying. Data for 1995 show that women who divorced in the 1980’s only had a 50 percent chance of remarrying.” For Release: July 24, 2002 Contact: NCHS/CDC Public Affairs, (301) 458-4800 E-mail: paoquery@cdc.gov Cohabitation, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the United States. Series Report 23, Number 22. 103pp. (PHS) 98-1998. [PDF – 5.5 MB]   http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/02news/div_mar_cohab.htm