This is part 2 of 5 of a comprehensive series of articles authored by RI divorce lawyer, David Slepkow. This article is entitled Rhode Island divorce from A-Z. David Slepkow is an experienced Providence divorce attorney. He has 20 plus years of experience in Providence Family Court. In this article, David discusses Emergency motions, complaints for abuse and other issues.
Should I file an emergency motion?
If there is an URGENT emergency, then a VERIFIED emergency motion may be filed with the complaint for divorce. This motion must either be verified under oath or be accompanied by an affidavit.
The RI divorce attorney will bring the emergency motion to the appropriate judge and ask for an ex-parte order. “Ex parte” means “/ˌɛks ˈpɑrtiː/ is a Latin legal term meaning “from (by or for) one party”. An ex parte decision is one decided by a judge without requiring all of the parties to the controversy to be present.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_parte
The Judge will only consider the affidavit and documentation before the judge
These ex-parte emergency motions usually pertain to urgent issues concerning abuse of minor children, child custody, dissipation or hiding marital property, domestic violence, or a plethora of other potential wrongs.
Complaint Protection from Abuse in Rhode Island
A Complaint Protection from Abuse, otherwise known as an “A” (abuse) case, is very different from an emergency motion in a divorce. If there is domestic abuse/ violence involved, then you may consider a separate action called a complaint protection for abuse. In order to file an abuse complaint, you must be in imminent fear of physical harm or have been abused or threatened with abuse. Other grounds for an abuse case are stalking / cyber stalking or harassment.
Make sure you discuss the benefits and pitfalls of pursuing a domestic restraining order with you RI Divorce lawyer! A complaint protection from abuse is not a criminal case in itself. However, violation of a restraining order emanating from an abuse case is a crime.
Emergency motion seeking an emergency order
If an emergency motion is granted and emergency orders enter then a hearing will be set within 30 days. At that hearing, the judge will either terminate the temporary order or will continue it while the divorce action proceeds through the Rhode Island Family Court system. At that hearing, husband or wife has an opportunity for a testimonial hearing on the merits in front of a Providence Family Court Judge or the General Magistrate. At that hearing, the Family Court will determine whether the emergency order will continue in full force and effect while the divorce case proceeds to a potential trial or settlement. Violation of an emergency order is not a crime. A violation of an emergency order subjects the violator to contempt penalties and contempt proceedings.
Nominal or Contested Track?
When a RI divorce is filed in Family Court, the case is put onto one of two tracks, the “nominal track” or the “contested track”. The Plaintiff in their initial divorce filing is entitled to determine the track. The vast majority of RI divorces are designated on the nominal divorce track. An initial designation as a “nominal divorce” does not necessarily mean that the case will be an uncontested matter. How Clients Can Effectively Speak to Their Family Court Lawyer! https://rhodeislanddivorcelawyerarticles.com/client-consultation-tip/
Answer to RI Divorce Complaint
The defendant must file an answer to the divorce within 20 days of service and absolutely no later than the nominal court date or any motion date. If the Defendant does not answer the case he is subject to being defaulted. A default is when the defendant does not answer the case on a timely basis and the Plaintiff will usually get all of the relief that he or she requests.