It's unfortunate if your Rhode Island Divorce goes to trial. This probably means that you've made attempts at settlement, perhaps attended a few motion hearings and pre-trials and still didn't reach a resolution.
Now the tendency is to want to start the trial, get on the stand and then just tell your story in whatever way you want to tell it so that the Judge can see your side of things in this Rhode Island divorce and that you will hopefully get a "fair shake".
Can you try to do that in your Rhode Island Divorce proceeding?
However, you can also take a shotgun and shoot yourself in the foot but that's not really advisable.
If you have a Rhode Island lawyer who is versed in divorce and family law and has been through Rhode Island divorce matters on multiple occasions, then trust him or her to know what is in your best interests.
The client on the witness stand often does not know that if they try to tell their story and the opposing counsel objects, moves to strike the testimony and gets it stricken that what they have just said . . . is not evidence and other than the judge hearing something that he or she is not supposed to consider in the trial . . . . it is substantially worthless.
In truth, the client with a mindset that he or she can get on the witness stand and just tell everything under the sun about his or her case without being stopped, without it being stricken, and without questions being asked by his or her counsel might just as well try to act "Pro Se" because they are likely to disregard their attorneys' advice, do exactly what they want to do on the witness stand, and sabotage their own case that the attorney has planned out to present in the most favorable fashion.
In a Rhode Island divorce proceeding everything you or a witness has to say is not evidence. There are rules for evidence which include foundations, personal knowledge, and general assurances of veracity.
If you are a person who wants to tell your story of what happened in your divorce AND you are going to tell it your way regardless of the questions your attorney asks you, then you might as well shoot yourself in the foot and fire your attorney before the trial and go it on your own.
Attorneys do not go through all their schooling for nothing and a divorce trial is subject to rules of procedure and rules of evidence in Rhode Island.
So, all things being equal, if you are not going to listen to your attorney and tell your story your own way rather than answering the questions you are asked, then all you are going to do is completely confuse your attorney, most likely come out with a poor result, and then blame the attorney for your insistence on doing things your way. If this is going to be the result, save yourself some money and save your attorney the aggravation of trying to get you a successful result when you are most likely hurting your own case.
If you have an attorney, then you should trust him or her to know what to do and to lead you through the trial. You should listen to the questions being asked direct your attention to the answers to those questions and move on. It's like the hare and the tortoise slow and steady wins the race.
All My Best to You on Your Journey Through The RI Family Court,
Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall a.k.a. "The Rhode Island Divorce Coach"™