A Rhode Island divorce attorney can make the divorce process sound simple or complicated. Whether the attorney makes it sound simple or complicated may depend upon whether the attorney has a particular goal in mind or whether he or she simply is addressing a person with a different level of education who does not want to be spoken down to and therefore is comfortable with the more technical jargon or legalese used in the legal profession.
For my part, I believe that it wastes the clients and the attorney's time by complicating the process merely to justify the fee that is usually requested after the process is explained. The process of divorce itself is simple.
Here it is with all the technical jargon stripped from it.
A) You prepare the Divorce Packet which consists of these completed documents:
1) 2 Summons
2) 1 Divorce Complaint and 1 Copy (after it has been signed and witnessed).
3) 2 Nominal or Uncontested Track Notice Forms
4) 2 Automatic Orders
5) 1 Family Court Counseling Forms
6) 2 Children of the Marriage Forms
6) 1 Report of Divorce
7) 1 Notice of the Parental Video Requirement (if there are minor children of the marriage)
8) 1 Certified Copy of your Marriage Certificate on file with the Bureau of Vital Statistics
B) You file all these documents with the Family Court Clerk's Office in the county in which you reside or in which your spouse resides together with a check for $100 for the filing fee. In Providence County you may have to wait a day or two before they completely file your divorce because of the immense volume of domestic matters they handle.
C) Once filed you get back various certified documents rom the court which need to be served upon your spouse.
D) You contact the sheriff's department or a constable ("process server") where your spouse lives and have them serve the certified documents upon your spouse. The process server will report that he or she has or has not served your spouse on the back of the original summons. Usually your spouse has been served.
E) You mail the Summons that has the Process Server's Notice of Successful service on the back to the court where you filed your divorce action making sure to note the "Nominal Date" that appears on the Summons.
F) You try to reach an agreement with your spouse regarding all aspects of your divorce, including placement of children, visitation, division of assets, division of debt, health insurance, child support, alimony and all other things relating to your marriage.
G) You appear at the court on the Nominal Date. If you have an agreement, or if your spouse does not show up and is defaulted, then you place on the record a short hearing . . . called a Nominal which requires you to place on the record those things that are required by law to establish jurisdiction, a marriage, a breakdown of the marriage, inability to reconcile, alimony or waivers of alimony and the items needed for a proper waiver of alimony and any elements of your agreement with your spouse that you want the court to include in any court order.
H) Within thirty (30) days after your Nominal Hearing you submit to the Court an Interlocutory Decision Pending Entry of the Final Judgment which outlines the courts findings of fact and decisions as set forth by the judge immediately following the Nominal Hearing and specifically states that all the orders of the court are effective but that the parties are not divorced until the entry of Final Judgment of Divorce is signed by the court.
I) On the ninety-second (92nd) day . . .
To Read the Full Article by Rhode Island Divorce Attorney Chris Pearsall click here.
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