If you are a man going through a Rhode Island Divorce, are thinking about filing for Divorce in Rhode Island or if you are a man whose spouse thinks you are cheating on her, there is one set of laws you need to be aware of. . . those regarding the Protection from Abuse, namely the Rhode Island Domestic Violence Laws.
Some men go into a Rhode Island Divorce situation with their eyes wide open and knowing what their spouse is capable of. There are other men, however, perhaps even a majority of men within the Rhode Island Divorce process who are totally clueless when it comes to their spouse and what a scorned woman might do with a little help from a lawyer who doesn't give a hoot about morality or simply has a different and even perhaps warped view of it. Unfortunately, they are out there and there are far too many of them.
One example should be all it takes to convince any man to be on his or her guard. Naturally, names and circumstances have been changed to protect anonymity. This is, however, a scenario that I have run into in my last 18 years in the legal field.
Charlene and Bob are married and have a minor daughter, Brittany. Bob meets an old college sweetheart, Courtney, and has coffee with her at a local coffee shop. Bob isn't concerned about this meeting because it is just coffee and he is just reminiscing with an old friend. Bob does nothing sexually or otherwise to lead Courtney on. They simply just have a nice chat. Bob has already been unhappy with his marriage for the past 6 years and as fate would have it he discovers that Courtney is still single and that she has wondered about him all these years.
Bob feels bad and tries to make things work with Charlene because his mind strays to how nice things might be with Courtney as opposed to being so unhappy with Charlene. Bob decides to try to make things better in his marriage. Unfortunately, a friend of Charlene's mentions to her that she saw Bob on a "date" with a woman he heard was Bob's "old flame". That sets things off for Charlene and she confronts Bob and accuses him of cheating on her. Bob denies it, tries to speak with her, she hurls a few profanities at Bob and he storms out for the evening.
The next week doesn't go too well and Bob decides to lighten up his week by having coffee again with Courtney after an evening fight with his wife. Certainly not the best thing to do, but Bob doesn't believe he has done anything wrong and needs a friend to talk to. This time when Bob gets home Charlene is waiting for him in the house. She accuses him of cheating and begins striking him repeatedly in the house. Brittany sees this and runs to her room to avoid the fight. Bob makes his way outside to get away before things get out of control.
Charlene suspects that there is evidence of his infidelity in the truck and she begins screaming at Bob, pushes him out of the doorway of his truck and frantically throws papers and such in the air while screaming at the top of her lungs. Bob just wants to get out of there because she is out of control and he's getting scared because he's never seen her like this. Bob does the best he can to restrain his wife and pull her from his truck so he can get in and drive away. All the while, Charlene is kicking and screaming.
Somehow Charlene is not realizing that her little Rhode Island family is headed for a Rhode Island Judge, a Rhode Island Court and a Rhode Island divorce proceeding. Yet I doubt at this point that anything was just going through Charlene's head except rage and emotion.
Anyway, Bob pulls her from the car and she continues to kick and scream. She grabs Bob's shirt and rips the sleeve, kicks him, yells to Brittany to call the police and then takes her long fingernails and gouges Bob in the face. Bob tries to get his keys from her and get in his truck to leave. Charlene continues to kick and hit him while getting in between him and the door.
Bob is forced to pull her out of the door of the truck and push her away from it so he can get in. When Bob pushes her away, she stumbles and falls to the ground. Charlene starts to get up but then notices that the neighbors have just come out and are watching her and her daughter is at the window also watching her.
Charlene feigns that she has been terribly hurt and falls back to the ground instead of getting up and rolls around holding her head and her face.
A nearby neighbor runs to his shed and gets a large old-fashioned croquet mallet from his garage and starts running at Bob. Bob gets in his truck and tries to pull away while the man with the croquet mallet is striking his truck, clearly having no idea what has happened. Police sirens can be heard in the distance but the neighbor is still pounding on his truck with the mallet.
Bob is scared to death because of the way his wife has reacted and because the neighbor has now tried to intervene in a matter that he clearly has no idea what has happened. Bob drives away and calls an attorney for advice. Meanwhile, the neighbor told what little he saw and Charlene has concocted a story about being struck on the head by Bob. The police take photos of Charlene which show scratches to her face and a welt on her forehead that were not there when he drove away. Bob later finds out from his daughter that the mother struck herself with a stone from the driveway just before the police showed up but she didn't want to "tell" on her mother.
The end result is saddening and maddening. Bob is arrested for domestic violence and a no-contact order is issued. Charlene's lawyer gets Bob ordered out of the house. Charlene calls Bob and leaves an urgent message that their daughter is in trouble and says that he needs to call her back immediately. When Bob calls back, Charlene has the police on the other end of the line who informs Bob that he had better turn himself in at the local police station because he is under arrest for violating the no-contact order. Bob is arrested again. Bob now has two criminal charges. One for domestic abuse and the other for violation of the no-contact order, neither of which have any basis at all because it's all been concocted and set up by Charlene. Bob is forced to pay all the household bills plus try to survive on his own. When he goes to retrieve his clothes he is again alleged to have assaulted Charlene but there are no marks, no witnesses and Bob is confused because all he did was pick up his clothes left at the curb in a garbage bag. The police do not pursue it this time. Bob has already filed for divorce at this point and there is no chance of reconciliation. Sadly, Bob discovers that the few clothes he was given by Charlene are mixed with dog feces.
Bob stays with his sister for a bit but Charlene causes some problems for his sister so his sister asks him to leave. Bob, with nowhere to go, has coffee again with Charlene who offers to take him in if he can help pay for the household expenses. Bob accepts and in the divorce proceeding Charlene's attorney rants and raves about all the domestic violence and Bob's contempt for the court's order of no contact. It's all a sham but the judge has bought into the scene just like the neighbor and the police. With criminal charges pending and Charlene's word against Bob's word. There is little Bob can do because he never expected that Charlene was the kind of person capable of such humiliating tactics.
By the end of the divorce proceeding, Bob gave up most of the assets. He had been worn down by the criminal charges which resulted in a criminal record and all the false accusations that he could not directly prove were false except by his testimony and no one was believing him except his own lawyer.
It was an outrage of justice and something that we hope wouldn't occur in a civilized society. Divorce is the legal separation of two parties in a controlled setting so that things are equitable. Yet the breakdown of the relationships and the emotional "metal" so to speak of the parties involved are often what bring things to a head.
Whether you have a Rhode Island Divorce pending or contemplated, or if you just have a woman who is angry at you, beware! No matter what anyone tells you, the Domestic Abuse Laws favor women in large part because many judges harbor the notion that men are... well ... men! But mostly that a real man really must be pushed pretty hard to have (as the legal standard requires) a reasonable believe if imminent danger of serious bodily harm.
In the end, it is best for any man . . . and in my humble opinion . . . every man to consider that a woman who is upset at divorce, the prospect that her husband may be cheating on her or that she feels wronged in some way (regardless of whether there is any truth or factual basis for that feeling) that a woman scorned . . . regardless of what you may believe her demeanor to be. . . can be.. and often is . . . a dangerous weapon or a loose cannon.
Having seen several men's lives destroyed and left in ruin by an angry woman who simply manipulated circumstances for her own benefit, it is best to be aware of the domestic relations laws, be aware that your significant other may be capable of ANYTHING when angered enough and that you had better know EXACTLY what to do immediately if such a situation arises or your life may be forever destroyed.