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Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer: Orders to Heed - Part 1

One tip your Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer may overlook is advising you in advance of filing a complaint for divorce is explaining to you the Rhode Island Family Court's Automatic Orders.

Automatic Orders - What are they?

Automatic Orders are just that, Orders of the Court carrying the full authority of law that apply to every divorce case filed in the Rhode Island Family Courts. The Automatic Orders are contained in an official form called, not surprisingly, Automatic Orders, that must be served upon the Defendant with the Plaintiff's Rhode Island Divorce Complaint, Summons and other accompanying documents that depend upon the factual circumstances of your specific case.

Who is bound by the Automatic Orders in a Rhode Island Divorce case?

Both the plaintiff and defendant (thus, both spouses) in a Rhode Island Divorce are bound by the Rhode Island Family Court's Automatic Orders.

What is the purpose of the Automatic Orders in a Rhode Island Divorce case?

There is no specifically stated purpose for the Automatic Orders of the Rhode Island Family court that anyone could direct you to and Rhode Island attorneys practicing in the area of divorce and family law may differ slightly about the phrasing of the purpose of the Automatic Orders, yet I believe the general principle can be summed up as "status quo".

The Automatic Orders substantially prohibit any significant changes in financial circumstances by either party, at least to the extent that such changes are in the party's control.  For example, neither party may change beneficiaries on life insurance policies or transfer or encumber property that is owned either individually or jointly.

The consistent statement and argument that I have heard used most both by Rhode Island divorce and family law attorneys is that the purpose of the court's Automatic Orders is generally to preserve the status quo between the parties.

Ultimately, the court doesn't want the parties playing games with the finances or items such as insurances, etc... that may adversely affect the other spouse during the divorce proceeding and therefore, unless the Automatic Orders are specifically modified by a motion presented to, and granted by the family court, the best rule of thumb is to continue managing all financial, asset and debt matters as it had been the parties' practice to do during the course of the marriage.