Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers - Be Careful that a Lawyer doesn't Tell You Exactly What you Want to Hear!
A Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer is Moving from the Courtroom to the Conference Room!

A Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Shifts to Divorce Coaching for those Headed for Rhode Island Family Court

Divorce Coaching is quickly becoming the hot topic in several western states.  It has yet to hit Rhode Island lawyers or Rhode Island legal counselors with its full force yet, but this Rhode Island divorce lawyer has taken it to heart and is making major shift from the courtroom to the conference room both for himself and for many people who may have to "go it alone" in the Rhode Island Family Court System.

With a little research into law, particularly divorce law, you would quickly find that divorce lawyers are one of the highest stressed professions in America.  Now if you don't care about stress, premature grey, and increased risk of heart attack and other maladies then the profession might be the best place for you.

However, for caring individuals who hear the trials and tribulations of people who are at each other's throats every day with heart-wrenching stories that may be angering or heartbreaking, it may not be the best long-term life-fulfilling profession to be in.  Some people just need help in the courtroom "fighting the good fight" for themselves so to speak.

Many Rhode Islanders and others that will appear before the Rhode Island Family Courts either for a divorce or other family law process are in need of positive, economical legal help.  This is where Rhode Island Divorce Coaching by an experienced Rhode Island divorce lawyer comes in handy

If you've been lawyer shopping for a lawyer who will just do a little bit on your case, you will quickly find that most Rhode Island lawyers will not take peicemeal work on a divorce or family law case. 

What does that mean?

If you approach an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney, and you ask him (or her) to just draft an Ex Parte Motion for Relief, Supporting Affidavit and Proposed Order and do nothing else on your case, the attorney is unlikely to do so.

Why wouldn't experienced Rhode Island Divorce Attorneys do that?

For the most part, an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney will not offer to undertake you as a client for such a limited purpose because the attorney is exposed to liability for the document(s) drafted and the advice given yet his or her compensation may be very limited for such a specific task.

Liability comes with every word an attorney utters and every document attorneys draft.  If a divorce attorney undertakes a case from beginning to end, then the attorney can limit his or her own exposure by following his or her own distinct thought process as to how a matter should be handled and direct the matter in such a way that the drafting of an Ex Parte Motion for Relief, Supporting Affidavit and Proposed Order make complete sense under the circumstances for beginning to end. 

Therefore, the Rhode Island divorce attorney has a reasonable amount of control over his or her liability because of his or her professional thought process and his or her consistent method of presentation throughout the entire matter.

However, it would be relatively easy for an attorney to draft documents requested by a "piecemeal client" and as a result of the client's poor or inappropriate use, misuse, or misunderstood use of the documents drafted by the Rhode Island divorce attorney, that the "piecemeal client" might make a claim against the attorney for legal malpractice.

Piecemeal projects therefore generally are beneficial to "piecemeal clients" but provide less income for the experienced practitioner and also create a larger chance of a malpractice claim by having a larger number of clients with "piecemeal projects" who have the opportunity to misunderstand the attorney and potentially make a claim against the attorney for malpractice.  Therefore, piecemeal projects may work out great for the client, but they offer less income and more legal exposure for the lawyer when he or she could take on cases where he or she represents clients from the beginning of the proceeding to its conclusion and have a singular client with limited opportunity for liability claims.

As an experienced Rhode Island divorce practitioner, I opt to provided these "piecemeal services" to various clients after consultation if they meet criteria that I have determined by the end of a consultation.  In this way, clients get valuable legal services at less cost and receive only those services that they need at any given time.  I am also able to reasonably mitigate or determine the potential for liability exposure by careful analysis while speaking with the client during an affordable low-cost consultation.

Now enter the world of Rhode Island Divorce Coaching!  It is a new and vastly different manner of practicing that many lawyers are not likely to undertake for the very same reasons as I described when a client may come to the experienced Rhode Island Divorce Attorney to have him or her draft only specific documents in the course of any divorce or family law proceeding.

It may be a challenge for first-time "Divorce Coaching Clients" to grasp the concept of Divorce Coaching.  It is best described as hiring an experienced Rhode Island Divorce lawyer to be your mentor through piecemeal segments of your Rhode Island divorce or family law proceeding, except that it is done in sessions (much like a mental health counselor might use) and the client is the actual drafter of the documents.  In this case, the Rhode Island Divorce Coach is very much like an after school tutor, who is present to help you through aspects that you have tried to understand in the Rhode Island divorce or family law process but may require fine tuning or re-drafting if something wasn't understood.

An example will best illustrate how I as a Rhode Island Divorce Coach I am prepared to help my clients in a conference room rather than in the courtroom.


Michael has just been served with divorce papers by his wife but he cannot afford an attorney to represent him from beginning to end and he doesn't even have enough money to have me draft the documents for him.  Why?   Michael has been out of work for some time.  However, Michael knows he wants to answer the divorce complaint and make a counterclaim but he doesn't know how to go about it. 

Michael checks the domestic relations laws for Rhode Island, tries to find the family court procedural rules at his local library and then attempts to draft an answer to his wife's divorce and a counterclaim for divorce as well.  In his own research, Michael reads that if he doesn't ask for something in his counterclaim then he may lose his right to ask for it in the future so he is concerned.  He is not sure how detailed he needs to be.

Michael wants to schedule up an initial divorce coaching consultation with me.  He tells me that he needs help answering the divorce papers he was served with.  Michael also explains that he has already attempted to draft the document himself but he would like to have a professional take a look at it and tell him if he has done a reasonable job or if it needs to be done differently.

I agree to schedule Michael's divorce coaching consultation session. Michael shows up on time and brings with him all the documents he was served with by the Rhode Island Constable as well as the document he drafted to file with the Rhode Island Family Court.

During the divorce coaching session, I review the documents Michael was served with and his answer and counterclaim.  Michael has the right idea but has done some things which may injure the case he wants to present.  I suggest to Michael how he could re-draft his answer and how to prepare a counterclaim that better reflects the objectives he is trying to reach using some of the information he already has.  Michael takes detailed notes, thanks me profusely and leaves to prepare revised documents.

So what is the difference between an attorney who is willing to draft "piecemeal documents" and the attorney who is willing to provide divorce coaching ?

An attorney who agrees to prepare documents on a piecemeal basis actually drafts the documents.  In a divorce coaching scenario, the Rhode Island divorce coach helps a person who has already endeavored to help himself or herself.   The divorce coach gives the coached person more direction as to what he or she is doing and ways in which the coached person may want to proceed or to re-draft the document(s).  However the divorce coach does not draft any document(s).  The person who has the case before the family court and who is being coached is the one who actually prepares the documents.

The divorce coach is much like a paid experienced tutor helping a person with afterschool work.  The paid tutor provides his or her experience to the person who has tried or is trying to do the initial work but may need a little extra help to get the right answer to the problem. 

Ultimately, the coached person pays less money but receives direction from the divorce coach through his or her expertise.  It is then up to the coached person to proceed.  The coached person may chose to use or not use the information provided by the coach and is free to forget, or even discard the information he or she has received from the divorce coach.  The manner of proceeding and its content are entirely in the hands of the divorce coaching client, not the coach.

Rhode Island divorce coaching is a new and innovative approach to legal services in Rhode Island.  It provides a service for those who do not have the funds to engage an attorney yet need a little bit of legal help to get through things they don't have a complete grasp on.  It costs less for the client because the divorce coach does not have to go to court and does not have to draft the documents, and the client receives only as much coaching as he or she either wants or can afford.

A person who does nothing to help himself or herself before seeking out the help of a divorce coach is, generally speaking, not a good candidate for divorce coaching.

If you've heard the saying, "The Lord helps those who help themselves.", you may better understand the concept.  The same is true for divorce coaching.  You need to help yourself first.   Don't expect to go to a divorce coach without having tried things yourself.  Remember, as a Rhode Island Divorce Coach I am here to save you money and help you move ahead from the efforts you have already tried to make on your own, . . . a divorce coach does not do everything for you and is not a substitute either for engaging an attorney to represent you from beginning to end in your divorce, nor is it a substitute for an experienced divorce lawyer who will prepare documents for you on a piecemeal basis!  If you want that, you're looking to hire a Rhode Island divorce attorney for your entire divorce or to engage a divorce lawyer to draft specific documents in your family law proceeding.  This is much different from divorce coaching.

Divorce coaching may also involve approaches, strategies, procedures and other ideas for your divorce or family law proceeding that the Rhode Island Divorce Coach shares with you when and where appropriate.

It's time to bring new innovations to Rhode Island.  Welcome to Rhode Island Divorce Coaching!

Authored By:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law

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