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April 2009

The Rhode Island Divorce Coach, Can I Really Help? PART 1

As I've shifted my divorce skills from the courtroom to teaching people about their divorce proceedings at a conference room table I've received this initial question fairly frequently.

"If I can't afford to hire a divorce lawyer to be in court with me, what can you really do as my "Divorce Coach" to help me?"

That's a fairly loaded question because I know that people who come to me are looking for assurances and sometimes even guarantees about what I do for them to make the family court's outcome better for them.

Let me tell you that it doesn't matter if I represent you in court or if I coach you so that you can represent yourself, I can't make you any guarantees about the outcome of your family law matter.  In fact, you should know that NO lawyer can make you any guarantee about their affect on a Rhode Island Divorce and family law matter.  If on the off chance you are thinking to yourself

"Bullshit Chris!  My attorney guaranteed me that I would get placement of the children, or that you would get more than 50% of the assets, or that you will get the marital home . . ."

Then here is what I suggest you do RIGHT NOT . . .  Get it in writing signed by the attorney!!!

Why do I say this?  Because I know you'll never get it in writing.  And, if by some strange miracle you should get it in writing and it is signed by the attorney, then I suggest you guard it like gold until the end of your divorce proceeding so that you can sue the attorney for malpractice if things don't happen to go exactly as your attorney promised.

Read these words very carefully.

"No Attorney can guarantee any result in a family law matter."  In my opinion, this is not only foolhardy but it is unethical to do.... PERIOD!  It's very simple to understand this.  Your lawyer is your advocate.  As your advocate, your lawyer will make and argue a position for you to the court and against your spouse or the spouse of your children.  However, your lawyer is NOT the decision maker in any family law proceeding.  A lawyer cannot be both an advocate and the decision maker for anyone in the same controversy.  If that happens, the Professional Conduct Committee should receive an immediate complaint from the opposing party. 

Your divorce or family law lawyer is not and should not be in any position to make you any guarantee(s) about the outcome of your family law issues because he or she is not the ultimate decision maker for your case.  It's that simple.

So what can I do for you as a Rhode Island Divorce Coach? 

It is perhaps best to think of what role a coach plays when it comes to a sporting event.  A coach teaches you about the game you are involved in, how to play it, what approach to take if you are presented with certain circumstances.  A coach also teaches you important fundamentals that are designed to keep you in the game so you have a chance to score a goal, a run, a touchdown, etc....

A coach teaches from his or her experience so that you address the challenges that you may be confronted with regarding the subject you are dealing with.  However, just like a coach in a sporting event there are a few things that a coach does not and cannot do for you.  First, a coach can't tell you what the outcome will be or guarantee how your challenge will end.  Second, a coach doesn't take on the challenge for you.  You enter the challenge just like a football player runs onto the field and then you put into practice what the coach taught you.

Now that you've been reminded what a coach does, let's address what you can actually do for yourself by coming to me for some coaching in your Rhode Island Divorce.

When you approach me to coach you it is for one of two reasons, either

1)  You don't have enough money to afford to engage an attorney to represent you in court, or

2)  You don't want to pay the money necessary to engage an attorney to represent you in court.

This tells me that you have come to terms with the idea that you are going to face the challenge of navigating your own divorce proceeding on your own.  This also tells me that you want to make sure you know enough to reach the end of the proceeding or that you are willing to learn enough to give you a reasonable chance at prevailing on one or more aspects of your divorce proceeding.

Return soon to learn about the significant benefits you receive as a Rhode Island Divorce Coaching Client!

Copyright 2009.  Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire
A New Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer for a New Millenium!

*The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all attorneys in the general practice of law. | | Rhode Island Divorce Tips | | | Rhode Island Divorce Attorney | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer | Chris Pearsall | Legal Scholar | Pearsall Law Associates | Rhode Island Divorce Attorneys | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers

Rhode Island Divorces for Pro Se Individuals - My "Don't Primer"!

Divorces can already seem overwhelming if you are one of the parties in the divorce.  They can seem even more monumental if you just don't have the money to afford a full-time Rhode Island divorce lawyer to prepare the documents for you.

I strongly advise that you seek coaching from a qualified Rhode Island divorce lawyer who is willing to provide you with consistent coaching throughout your divorce at a reasonable price so that you can at least represent yourself in an informed manner.

Alternatively, if you have to go through the divorce process by yourself, I have a suggestions that may be helpful.  To the extent that I may be a bit frank and offend a few people, my apologies, but there are many people who will benefit more from a frank statement of the facts of the way things are, than there are those who will learn by words that would be a bit more sugar-coated. 

With that said, her's is what I'll call my "Don't Primer",

  1. Don't sit on your hands!

    The single best thing you can do for yourself in a divorce is to get the information you need to get through it.  If you're going to sit on your hands and represent yourself, then you are probably going to be lucky enough to find yourself being humiliated in front of a courtroom full of people because you have no clue what you are doing and the judge is less than happy that you are now wasting the court's time.

  2. Don't expect anyone to hand you the information you need to handle your divorce!

    There is no single book or set of instructions to tell you exactly what to do every step of the way. If it were that simple, there would be no need for divorce lawyers.  So let's be clear . . . don't expect someone to lay this stuff at your feet and spoon feed it to you as if you were entitled to it.  If you want to do this yourself it is going to take some work!  Expecting it to be handed to you is just the same as expecting it to be easy . . . and it isn't . . . so don't expect it to be.

  3. If you can afford a divorce lawyer, don't think that just because you're a "do-it-yourself" type person that you don't need a lawyer. 

    I don't care how confident you may be that you can handle your divorce yourself simply because you have a Masters in Business Administration or because you are a Certified Public Accountant.  If you gave me 15 minutes I could give you 10 scenarios that you wouldn't have a clue how to handle in a Rhode Island divorce situation.  If you can afford a divorce lawyer then get the help of one.  In the end, you don't call a priest to fix a leaky pipe and you don't call an MBA or a CPA for a divorce.

  4. Be realistic about what you can handle. Don't think you can learn it all! 

    There is only so much you can learn about divorce in order to handle your divorce proceeding.  Divorce law and procedure are not stagnant.  They do not occur in a vaccum.  The law is always changing, new cases are constantly being ruled upon that affect the state laws, and new administrative orders may exist that change the way divorces are handled.  Many of these things could slip by even the most diligent legal practitioner, so do not think that you can be or are as good as a lawyer who has been practicing in the family court for years.  Take time to learn the fundamentals.  There is something to be said for sports greats who attribute their fame to mastering the fundamentals, the same can hold true for law and Rhode Island divorce law is no exception.

  5. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it yourself! 

    The only exception I make to this rule is . . . unless it's an experienced divorce lawyer who knows you are dealing with a complex issue that even a seasoned practitioner would be challenged by.  If you're going to attempt your own divorce, you need to be confident and well-learned, but not cocky.  There are things that you won't be able to handle on your own and you need to be able to respect the fact that there are some things that you may need an experienced divorce lawyer or Rhode Island divorce coach to help you through.  Should you get to that point you may say to yourself, but I can't afford to have a lawyer . . . but the question may be serious enough or worth enough in assets or debt that you may need to ask yourself the reverse question . . . can you truly afford to be without a divorce lawyer?

Authored By:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law

Call (401) 632-6976 to Schedule Your Rhode Island Divorce Coaching Session!

Rhode Island's Premiere Divorce Lawyer is Now
Rhode Island's Low-Cost Divorce Coach

Copyright 2009.  Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire
A New Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer for a New Millenium!

*The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all attorneys in the general practice of law. | | Rhode Island Divorce Tips | | | Rhode Island Divorce Attorney | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer | Chris Pearsall | Legal Scholar | Pearsall Law Associates | Rhode Island Divorce Attorneys | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers

Testimonial #1 for Divorce Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall

Chris made all the difference.

By the time I found Chris, the court was convinced that I was a drug addict and an abusive parent because of all the lies my ex-husband and his attorney had told the court. 

My son was literally taken from me.  It was my worst nightmare.  I wasn't even allowed to see my son for seven months.  I thought I was going to go crazy.  My son means everything to me.

Then I found Chris.  The result speaks for itself.

Today I have sole physical placement and sole legal custody of my son.  Chris even obtained the court's permission for me and my son to leave Rhode Island and go to live in New Hampshire.

My ex-husband is now only allowed supervised visitation at the courthouse due to all the drug tests he has failed.  My ex-husband doesn't even try to exercise visitation anymore because he'd have to continue to undergo random drug testing and he's too afraid he'll be arrested for his continued drug use.  In the end, the court found out who the real drug user and abuser was.

Words can't express my gratitude.  Thank you Chris for getting my son back for me.

Alana  (Belmont, New Hampshire)

Dear Alana,

  Thank you for your kind testimonial.  I truly enjoyed the Thank You Card that Dylan sent to me.  I was very happy to be there when we brought the Court's Order to your ex-husband's house to see the excitement on your son's face as he was reunited with you.  Some of us hope that we can make a difference.  I'm so glad I could help Dylan to get back where he belonged. . . . with his mom.

My best to you and Dylan Always,


Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Brings Divorce Coaching to Rhode Island!

Divorce has taken on a new life in Rhode Island and Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Christopher Pearsall is leading the charge.  As a divorce lawyer appearing daily before the Rhode Island family courts on a daily basis, Chris saw an all too familiar scenario.

Divorce and family law cases occur daily with people who represent themselves.  Why do they do it?  They simply don't have the money necessary to hire a family law lawyer to represent them before the Rhode Island Family Courts. 

This ends up being a circular problem in Rhode Island divorce courts both for the litigants and the court. 

Let me explain. 

You have the legal right to represent yourself before the Rhode Island Family Courts.  The Rhode Island Family Courts and their administrators have the right and the duty to manage the cases that come before the Rhode Island Family Courts in order to keep the court cases moving along as efficiently as possible.

Imagine you're Joe or Jane Citizen and that you want to represent yourself before the Rhode Island Family court.   You file a roughly worded Motion for Change of Placement to try to get placement of your daughter.  You figure out just enough to get by the court's filing formalities so you get the feeling you're half way there.

Then comes the sometimes disappointing, often humiliating blow. 

What is it?  It's the court date. 

It takes you less than ten minutes to figure out that representing yourself like this was a big mistake. 


The family court judges in Rhode Island are under a lot of pressure to keep their cases moving and they have considerable discretion in handling those cases.  Frankly speaking, whether you are a person representing yourself, or a lawyer who doesn't know what he or she is doing, realistically the court isn't going to be too patient with you simple because you don't know how to exercise your rights or to represent your client. 

Some litigants who represent themselves, called "Pro Se" (pronounced, "pro say") and attorneys who have little clue how to practice in the Rhode Island family courts may find themselves chastised, rebuked or even humiliated by the judge for slowing down his or her calendar for the day.  The feelings on both sides of this predictament are understandable but hardly complimentary.  Some judges may even be try to force you to obtain a lawyer when you've done your best and it's just that you don't have the money.

The end result?  You're treated like a second class citizen because you simply can't afford a competent lawyer to represent your interests.  The same is true for new lawyers or lawyers unfamiliar with the family court process, but the lawyer's difficulty may be in explaining to the client why he or she is paying you if the judge is essentially saying you have no idea what you are doing.  How do you keep a client when the judge virtually comes out and calls you incompetent?  It's an interesting predictament. 

Meanwhile, you are still in the position of having to represent yourself because you just don't have the money.  The consequences could be anything from having your case continued time and time again, to having it dismissed entirely because you are told to put on your case and you don't know what to do, what protocol to follow, what procedural rules apply or what standard the judge must apply in making a decision under the law.

Over the years I've been a pro se litigant representing myself, a new lawyer chastised for something a judge considered improper, and a seasoned lawyer who learned what the judges are looking for and trying to avoid wasting the court's time.

As Rhode Island's most affordable full-time Rhode island Divorce lawyer I have been very proud to offer services to those people that most lawyers turned away because of their lack of substantial upfront funds.

I have been able to help only a small percentage of people in Rhode Island that I have wanted to help with their divorce and family law issues.


Mostly because as low as I've been able to reduce my overhead and pass along savings to clients, it hasn't been enough.  Peopl who don't have the money to hire even a low-cost lawyer need help in Rhode Island.

So the doors are closing to my divorce courtroom practice to open up a new and more exciting business that I plan to use to help both the Rhode Island Family Courts and those people who are looking to represent themselves.

Welcome to Rhode island Divorce Coaching, a service provided to teach Pro Se individuals how best to present their case to the court, what is the best approach to take, what important principles of law are involved and how to properly address the court so that your case has the best chance of being taking seriously and processed expeditiously.

It is my goal that these services with be a benefit to Rhode Islanders and New Divorce Practitioners by providing them with the fundamentals at a low cost by having a mentor to help them while reducing the court's perception of the Pro Se litigant as an individual who is uninformed and is going to frustrate the process as a whole.

If you can't afford a lawyer, a little divorce and family law coaching may be just what the doctor ordered.  It's affordable and it's designed to help you represent yourself and potentially reduce the court's anxiety as well as your own.

As Rhode Island's pioneer of Divorce Coaching you may find yourself skeptical.  A divorce coaching session lasts 1 hour and costs only $100 which is less than half of what attorneys of similar experience and skills get on an hourly basis. 

If you have a divorce or family law issue and you are thinking about representing yourself and you would ultimately like to get heard, you may want to get on the phone and call me.

No other lawyer in Rhode Island is offering this service so if you believe it may be beneficial to you or a friend or family member, bookmark this page now.  Divorce coaching is the next waive of the future for Rhode Island Divorce clients and I've brought it to Rhode Island early.  As its founder and pioneer I am happy to say that I already have several very satisfied clients.

As new as Divorce Coaching is, I have already been able  to coach several people who achieved results that I believe were better than the results  most likely could have obtained for them myself.

Get tremendously valuable coaching from a highly qualified professional Rhode Island Divorce lawyer at 65% less than the value of these services from lawyers with similar experience and skill.

All I ask is that you don't call me asking for free legal advice. We all need to do our part in this world but we all need to make a living too.  If your divorce or family law issue doesn't mean enough to you to come up with $100 for my time, skill and experience, then how can you expect me to take your issue seriously when its not worth you coming up with $100 for good solid legal help that usually costs $225.

Testimonials are coming soon.

Welcome to Rhode Island Divorce Coaching!

Authored By:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law

Call (401) 632-6976 to Schedule Your Rhode Island Divorce Coaching Session!

Rhode Island's Premiere Legal Divorce Coach / Low-Cost Divorce Coaching!!

Copyright 2009.  Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire
A New Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer for a New Millenium!

*The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all attorneys in the general practice of law. | | Rhode Island Divorce Tips | | | Rhode Island Divorce Attorney | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer | Chris Pearsall | Legal Scholar | Pearsall Law Associates | Rhode Island Divorce Attorneys | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers