Family Court Tip: If You’re Winning- SHUT UP!

This article contains a very important family court tip for pro-se litigants in Providence Family Court. Pro-se* litigants often make fundamental mistakes in Providence Family Court. These mistakes include not understanding how to address the Providence Family Court judge. Also, self-represented parties fail to understand proper arguments and improper arguments in Rhode Island Family Court

One of the biggest mistakes Pro- Se litigants make is not shutting up or quitting while they are ahead!

RI Family Court lawyer David Slepkow

Rhode Island child custody attorney, David Slepkow

All family court litigants should retain a RI family law attorneyLast week, I was watching a post-divorce, custody and visitation hearing in Providence Family Court. The judge was chastising the father of the child for not allowing the mother certain visitation rights. (The dad had temporary physical placement / custody as a result of mother’s drug and alcohol abuse. Father had previously filed an ex-parte** emergency motion for temporary placement of the children. The children were placed with him on a temporary basis.)

Fathers arguments were unjustified and heavy handed.

The Providence domestic judge was focused on his conduct. The justice believed that he was not acting in the best interest of the minor children. The judge did not like the fact that he was not facilitation and encouraging the children’s relationship with the mother, among other things.

Father was ‘on the ropes’ so to speak and the judge was pestering him with questions. The judge was unhappy with his conduct. Issues involved phone calls and communications between mother and the children as well as mom’s progress with substance abuse treatment. Another issue in dispute was supervised visitation.

It was time for mother to sit back and enjoy the scenery

She had the upper hand at that moment in time. Dad was damaging his own case without any assistance or commentary from mother!  However, mother

RI domestic violence attorneys

RI divorce lawyers, Kent County Family Court

interrupted the Judge and decided she wanted to get in her two cents while the judge was speaking. Mother wanted to get in the knockout punch, so to speak, while the judge had dad on the ropes! This angered the judge who had to tell her to keep quite while he was talking. This also shifted the judge’s attention to her history of alcohol abuse.

If your opponent in Rhode Island Family Court is making a fool of himself, on the ropes or making dumb arguments and the judge is making your case then – SHUT UP!

Let your ex-husband or ex-boyfriend / ex-girlfriend ruin her own case with her own words or testimony. In other words, if your winning, be quiet! This is especially the case if you are not snow white or have your own set of skeletons in your closet. In the case discussed above, mom had her own issues with alcohol.

* “pro se” means a party is acting as their own attorney

** “ex- parte” means without notice to the opposing counsel and without them present to tell their side