Recently I was approached by a client and his wife who had a truly uncontested divorce. At least it was uncontested on the surface and so far it looks good.
Issues arose however when the couple wanted me to work with the "kit" they had purchased online to do their Rhode Island Divorce.
The "kit" was what I as a practicing divorce attorney* would call a standard packet of documents. In fact, regrettably the couple had spent countless hours tailoring various documents and agreements to their own situation (as best they could) without the benefit of a qualified and licensed practitioner.
Now of course I understand the desire of any couple that is in agreement on major aspects of divorce to save money and want to put through their divorce without lawyers. . . who may tend to seem to complicate things and/or turn simple matters into adversarial battles. Yet in my humble opinion relying upon forms purchased on the internet is generally a bad way to go.
Some form companies simply don't put the effort that is needed into keeping up with the state's laws, the actual practicalities of divorce practice in Rhode Island and the judges. All three play a definitive roll in your divorce and how smoothly it will go and without an actual practitioner in the field to guide you, I highly doubt that any form company is going to take the time and care necessary to be informed on all these aspects in a timely fashion and then put them in a set of clear instructions for you.
To say the least I had to explain to the couple that it was better if they substantially discard their forms and retain me for a nominal amount for one of the parties to guide them through the process while they worked out their own agreement and I simply formalized it.
Discarding the Rhode Island Uncontested Divorce Kit did several important things for these people. It put them at ease that they had a Rhode Island Professional leading them through the process and it saved them time and energy worry whether they would get it right.
To those who can use a forms kit to take a Rhode Island Uncontested Divorce from beginning to end without hassle, anxiety, confusion and mistakes. . . I applaud you. To those who want it done right by a competent professional at an affordable price, I'll gladly place my skills and forms head to head with the legal form companies regarding a Rhode Island Divorce every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
But don't take it from me, I have clients who will gladly speak with you.
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.