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WHY ARE THERE SO FEW DIVORCE TRIALS IN RHODE ISLAND?

Thousands of divorce cases are filed in Rhode Island every year. However, if you were to visit the Providence Family court and walk from courtroom to courtroom for an entire month, you will likely stumble upon no more than one or two divorce trials. Out of these few divorce trials, the likelihood that the trial will actually be completed with a judge's decision is minimal. But why is this the case?

RHODE ISLAND DIVORCE: HOW WILL MY BUSINESS BE VALUED?

One of the most complex and contentious matters during a Rhode Island divorce is the issue of property division. If you or your spouse owns a business, this process can become even more complex. Who will retain control of the business after the divorce? How much is the business worth? To answer these questions, the courts will consider the following factors:

NEW RHODE ISLAND LAW EXTENDS PERIOD FOR FINAL JUDGMENT IN DIVORCE

Yesterday, Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo signed a new bill into law extending the time during which a final judgment can be entered in a Rhode Island divorce. In Rhode Island, there is a mandatory three-month waiting period from the date of the nominal divorce hearing to the date that the final judgment of divorce can be entered. (This waiting period is shortened to 20 days when the court finds the parties have lived separate and apart for at least three years prior to the filing of the divorce).

ASSET DIVISION SEMINAR FOR CLE CREDITS TO BE TAUGHT BY ATTORNEY CONLON

Attorney Timothy J. Conlon of TJC ESQ will help present a seminar with the National Business Institute (NBI) on Wednesday, May, 11th 2016. The course, titled Divorce Law: Common Mistakes in Dividing Assets, will provide invaluable information for legal practitioners on the subject of assetand debt distribution during the divorce process. Attorney Conlon will speak on the tax consequences of divorce and reveal common areas where attorneys fail to equitably distribute their clients' assets.

DIVISION OF ASSETS IN RHODE ISLAND: SEPARATE VS. MARITAL PROPERTY

Divorce courts in Rhode Island rely on a system of equitable distribution when a couple is ending their marriage. Equitable might sound pretty good phonetically but it can actually spell trouble for you if you are not prepared to part ways with some of your prized possessions. Equitable means "fair" not necessarily "equal", and the court is going to decide what is and what isn't fair. You may firmly believe that your ex-spouse doesn't deserve the family automobile but unless you can convince the court otherwise, it could be theirs all the same.

DE FACTO PARENT CLAIMS

Several months ago a man came into our office looking for help getting visitation with his two-year-old daughter. The catch - one week earlier, the child's mother revealed to him that he was not the child's biological father. The man was obviously distraught and wanted to know if there was anything he could do. Did he have any rights if he was not the biological father? The answer was yes. We filed a petition in the family court seeking custody, placement and visitation under the theory that while he may not be the biological father, he was the child's de facto father. Rhode Island law provides that even a parent who has no biological connection to a child, can establish his or her entitlement to parental rights if they have served as a "psychological" or "de facto" parent to that child. See RIGL §15-8-3; Pettinato v. Pettinato, 582 A. 2d 909 (R.I. 1990); Rubano v. DiCenzo, 759 A.2d 959 (R.I. 2000); and Resendes v. Brown, 966 A.2d 1249 (R.I. 2009).

HOW CAN I GET FULL CUSTODY?

When you are going through a divorce, you probably and understandably don't want to split much between yourself and your spouse, especially not how your children are raised and where they live. You need to realize that on the other side of the courtroom, your ex is thinking the exact same thing. When it comes to winning full custody of your children, you need to take careful and deliberate steps to prepare your case, making it as waterproof as possible.

HOW CAN I MODIFY A PARENTING PLAN?

If you have been through a divorce, you probably don't need to be reminded that life can be unpredictable at best. And yet you need to create a parenting plan at the time of your divorce that is meant to last for the rest of your lives, or as long as your shared child is considered a legal dependent. What are you to do if something comes up and your preexisting parenting plan is no longer a viable option for you? Can you get it modified later?

AN EXAMINATION OF THE GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE IN RHODE ISLAND

Divorcing couples in every state are required to satisfy certain requirements in order to have their marriage dissolved by the courts. These requirements are known as "grounds for divorce" and vary from state to state. In Rhode Island, divorcing spouses must indicate the grounds on which they are pursuing a separation on their official divorce papers. Couples can separate on either no-fault grounds or due to the fault of one or both of the spouses.

NECESSARY DOCUMENTS DURING THE DIVORCE PROCESS

During a divorce, you will need to provide your attorney with several different documents. From tax returns to important receipts, these documents will be used to evaluate your financial situation for the purposes of determining the fair distribution of your assets between you and your spouse. Providing these documents voluntarily and thoroughly can be crucial to helping your attorney negotiate with your spouse and build your case in the event that your dispute should go to court. If you are in the beginning stages of a divorce, make sure you collect the following information to ensure that your attorney receives all that they need.

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TJC • ESQ

TJC · ESQ
76 Westminster Street, Suite 420
Providence, RI 02903

Phone: 401-400-4254
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