The Rules of War for Divorce

If “you people” cannot avoid an unseemly and nasty divorce war, that no one can win, then you must abide by the written and unwritten rules of divorce war. Rhode Island divorce lawyers know who “you people” are!  “You people” are people who use and abuse the Rhode Island Family Court system. See also: Part 1 of 2- What qualifies as a divorce war? Coming soon Part 3 : “A peace treaty: How to end an out of Control Divorce or Child Custody War”

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Written and unwritten rules of divorce war

I do not think a contentious divorce, visitation or child custody case in which the parties engage in discovery, disagreements, negotiations and numerous Providence Family Court hearings constitutes a divorce war!  A divorce war is something more, something much more.

After reading these 10 rules, there can be only one conclusion: AVOID A DIVORCE WAR AT ALL COSTS!

You abuse the judges, the police, daycare workers, dcyf, clerks and your Rhode Island family law lawyers for your irrational ‘agenda’. This “agenda” is not to prevail in your divorce cause of action. Your agenda is a scorched earth philosophy which begins and ends with destroying, ruining and annihilating your spouse or ex-spouse. Everyone wants you to GET LOSTIf you must engage in one, here are the rules:

The 10 rules of divorce war

  1. AVOID COLLATERAL DAMAGE- Don’t get ‘innocent’ civilians, who don’t care about your never-ending feud, embroiled in your meaningless and mean-spirited combat missions. Most of these people are trying to end the war or ignore it. The daycare provider does not want to see you throw a hussy fit or lob Molotov cocktails at each other in the “Kiddy Care” parking lot about who has visitation on that day. Keep “Innocents” such as teachers,  neighbors, spectators at soccer, football, or baseball games,  pediatricians, principals, court employees, fast food employees out of your nasty, dirty war.
  2.  KEEP THE CHILDREN OUT OF IT- Children are not pawns in your ongoing divorce war!  Children should not be leveraged to get a better financial settlement. Just let them have a childhood. Children are not couriers for your RI child support payments.  A child is not your messenger or negotiator for your visitation rights. DO not make negative or disparaging remarks about the other party in front of the child. This commentary is very damaging to children. Children who become immersed in RI Custody feuds or contentious divorces in Providence Family Court are more likely to have behavioral problems in school, be engaged in juvenile delinquency, become suicidal or abuse drugs and alcohol. *Parental Alienation is one of the worst things that a parent can do to a child.
  3.  NO HAND TO HAND COMBAT- Hand to hand combat could be hitting, pushing, chasing, screaming or car chases. This combat typically happens at the ‘scene of the battles’, typically the pickup and drop off of the minor child. These warring individuals, typically, recruit reinforcements or enablers to support their cause.  These enablers could be boyfriends, girlfriends or wacko mother in law.  These enablers often participate in this weekly or bi-weekly ‘events’. The parties do not care that the children witness these feuds. They have long stopped caring about how this is affecting their children. After all, this is A KNIFE FIGHT. Come one and come all!**
  4. DO NOT RESORT TO THE NUCLEAR OPTION The nuclear option will insure mutually assured destruction for both of you. There are many “going nuclear” tactics utilized in  Providence Family Court that I have witnessed. These outrageous tactics include telling a child that her stepmother who raised her was dead even though she was alive. Other tactics include, alleging false sexual molestation of a child or contacting immigration to have someone deported. I have seen people “lose” the family pictures or shave the child’s head. Some people make false allegations that the other parent hit or abused the other child. Others leave the State or Rhode Island and Providence Plantations with the child to deprive the other parent of a relationship with the child.
  5. AVOID PROPAGANDA- Fight your custody, visitation or divorce war in court and not on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. The crap that you post online could be viewed by your child or reported to your child. You cannot win the case by winning the hearts and minds of your posse and Facebook enablers. Your Facebook Friends (err enablers) will never tell you the truth or confront you in the error of your ways.
  6. DO NOT DISREGARD CODIFIED TREATIES- Follow the orders and laws of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations! If you insist on acting like a moron at least follow the court orders while you act like an idiot.
  7. HAVE A RATIONAL JUSTIFICATION FOR THE WAR AND A PLAN TO END IT. You will either run out of money to pay your RI Divorce lawyer, will fire one or more lawyers, or your child custody attorneys will run for the hills. In all likelihood, one or both of you will be representing yourself by the time this ends. Throughout the war, both will insist to the judge you want a trial on the merits. Neither of you have any clue on how to proceed at trial with an attorney. You have to figure out how the war will end. Most wars never end, they just temporarily cease military operations. Most of these Providence Family Court custody, visitation or divorce cases involving “wars” end unceremoniously with the parties running out of funds. In some cases both both parties are so beaten down that they lay down their arms temporarily without anyone winning the case.
  8. DO NOT ENGAGE IN A BATTLE OR A WAR UNLESS YOU ARE READY TO DEFEND A COUNTER ATTACK. There can be no limited tactical strikes without defending a massive ground war. Many people assume they can strike their spouse and their spouse will take it lying down. It is likely that your spouse will counter-punch setting off a series of never-ending skirmishes. Thus, the never-ending war. If you think that you can call his boss to get him fired or contact his paramours’ spouse to ruin their relationship or report him to the IRS without implications, then you are wrong. Your spouse will seek revenge and it won’t be pretty for you. If you cannot emotionally handle this revenge or the resulting war, then don’t attack first! There is an old adage-People in glass houses should not throw stones. When it comes to Rhode Island Family Court, I go one step farther and state “If you play near the fire you may get pushed in!”
  9.  DO NOT SEEK A TOTAL VICTORY-  There are no winners in this war. You will also suffer major injuries as a result of this.
  10.  PUT YOUR CHILD IN COUNSELING BEFORE THE WAR STARTS AND BE PREPARED TO RAISE A POTENTIALLY MENTALLY ILL CHILD Children who directly or indirectly witness these feuds are more likely to have mental health problems or have drug and violence issues when they become a teenager or adult.

*Parental Alienation is when one parent, typically the parent with physical custody, engages in a course of conduct which unjustifiably alienates or attempts to alienate a child against the other parent. Parental alienation is extremely harmful to children. Parental Alienation is not a syndrome.”

**“Dad reaches in to start to get the child. Mother starts to drive away and almost runs over the father’s foot. The child is crying and yelling “dadda dadda” The child’s toy falls into the parking lot.”


“As shown in Table 8, most separated women and men made the transition to divorce from first marriage within 5 years. Among women, about one-half were divorced from a first marriage within 1 year of separation, 79% within 3 years, and 86% of women within 5 years. Among men, 65% were divorced within 1 year, 81% within 3 years, and 87% within 5 years. There were significant differences in the probability of transitioning from separation to divorce from first marriage within 1 year by selected demographic characteristics. Within 1 year, the probability of making the transition from separation to divorce was 59% for white women, compared with 44% for U.S.-born Hispanic women, 40% for foreign-born Hispanic women, and 30% for black women. Sixty-nine percent of white men had made the transition from separation to divorce within 1 year, compared with 51% of foreign-born Hispanic men, 44% of U.S.-born Hispanic men, and 36% of black men. Women (58%) and men (66%) with more than a high school diploma were more likely to make the transition to divorce within 1 year compared with 37% of women and 54% of men without a high school diploma. ”  National Health Statistics Report, First Marriages in the United States: Data From the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth by Casey E. Copen, Ph.D.; Kimberly Daniels, Ph.D.; Jonathan Vespa, Ph.D.; and William D. Mosher, Ph.D., Division of Vital Statistics, Number 49 n March 22, 2012;2010 National Survey of Family Growth [PDF – 419 KB</a>