Rhode Island Divorce Tip: Permanent Alimony
Rhode Island Divorce Tips: Interrogatories

Rhode Island Divorce Tip: Divorce Expectations!

Not every attorney is right for every person.  And sometimes, there is no attorney that can satisfy a client.  Simply hiring a divorce and/or family law attorney experienced in Rhode Island Divorce and Family Law does not mean that you have chosen the right attorney for you.

When choosing YOUR divorce or family law attorney you should to consider your own needs and expectations.  You also should consider whether or not your needs and expectations are achievable. 

Here's a quick example of obstacles that can make the client's expectations unrealistic.

A client engages me to represent her in her divorce.  She wants the divorce filed and served quickly.  She also wants it settled quickly and economically. I don't give her any guarantees because a settlement is dependent upon too many factors, yet I assure  her that I will do everything within my power to meet her expectations.

The client gets the questionaire back to me and a I draw up the papers right away.  The husband's lawyer calls and says he wants to accept service for this client but he'll be away for a week or so on vacation.  When the attorney returns the husband's attorney is served.  In about a week the husband's attorney answers the divorce complaint and serves the wife with extensive Interrogatories (questions to be answered under oath) and Requests for the Production of Documents which are likewise extensive.

The client wants the matter settled quickly and doesn't want to answer the Interrogatories  so I call the husband's attorney.  He doesn't want to discuss settlement at this early stage without more information. He wants the answers to the Interrogatories and Request for Production of Documents responded to first.
The husband's attorney also files a motion to be heard in a few weeks.

My client is unhappy because this will delay the divorce and cost her more money.  The client instructs me to be more aggressive.  I object to the Interrogatories and call the opposing attorney to see what his client wants to settle the matter.  The opposing attorney will not negotiate.....PERIOD.

My client is upset.

A week or so later I get a letter that my client has retained new counsel.


I was not the right attorney for this client and realize that perhaps no attorney will fit the bill.

The client had unrealistic expectations under the circumstances.

No attorney can control another party or another party's attorney.  It simply isn't reasonable to expect your attorney to settle a case immediately when the other side will not budget.  Likewise it isn't within the attorney's control to keep the case economical when third parties that are outside the attorney's control take actions and make filings which by necessity increase the cost.

A person entering the divorce arena should be prepared for best and worst case scenarios and be able to adapt to the changing environment of their court case.  Persons who are unable or are unwilling to do this generally either hop from lawyer to lawyer or end up with a result that is much less than they expected and then resort to blaming the lawyer for not achieving unreasonable expectations.


Authored by:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire
571 Pontiac Avenue
Cranston, RI  02910
Phone:  (401) 354-2369

NOTE:  The postings on this website are NOT legal advice, DO NOT create an attorney/client relationship and are NOT a substitute for a detailed consultation with an attorney experienced in the state where you have your legal issue.  This site is presented for the convenience of the internet public.

* The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law and has no procedure for recognition of specialty in any area of law.