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August 2009

Coaching Tip from the RI Divorce Coach - Stock Inherited by One Spouse

Dear Rhode Island Divorce Coach,

I inherited some stock from my brother who died while my husband and I were in the process of our divorce in Rhode Island.  Are these stocks mine or will the court make us split them?  Any help you could give during this difficult divorce issue would be helpful.  Thanks.   Pam

Dear Pam:

Thank you for allowing me to share this fairly common issue with my Rhode Island Divorce Tips readers by changing your name and the name of your spouse and a few other things to protect your anonymity.  I'll give the short answer here but I addressed it in more detail at

The article link is below:

The general rules are noted below but it is best to read the entire article at the link above.  As always, it is advisable that you consult with the licensed and experienced professional who can advise you after a complete review of all the facts and circumstances surrounding your Rhode Island divorce or family law matter.  Articles do not take the place of advice provided by a qualified professional who is informed about your specific case since even one small detail can affect the answer to your legal issue.

General Rule:  Items inherited solely by either party are not part of the marital estate and are the property of the individual who inherited them and are not subject to division by the Rhode Island Family Court.  

General Exception:  If the person who inherited an item commingles (mixes) that item in with marital property that IS subject to division, then the court may find that the inherited item has lost its "inherited character" and has become a marital asset of both parties which is subject to the court's power of division.

Warm Regards,
Christopher A. Pearsall
The Rhode Island Divorce Coach *

Authored By:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law

Rhode Island's Full-Time Divorce* Lawyer is Now
Rhode Island's Only Full-Time Divorce Coach

Call (401) 632-6976 Now
Schedule Your Rhode Island Divorce* or Family Law* Coaching Session Now!

Copyright 2009.  Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire
A New Rhode Island Divorce Lawyering Practice -  Family Law Coaching for a New Millenium!

* Rhode Island licenses all attorneys in the general practice of law.

- - Recommended Websites - -

You Don't Have to Go it Alone! Get Some Professional Child Support Coaching!

I'm Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer* Christopher Pearsall and once again I'm paving new ground here in Rhode Island. 

Like most divorce lawyers here in Rhode Island I started my practice with a brick and mortar law office for my practice.  It had the usual amenities,  a sufficient law library, a nice office for myself, two other associates and ample space for a legal secretary.  It had a roomy conference room and I charged rates to match my skills and my experience. It was in every respect a traditional law practice.

Unlike most attorneys who practice divorce and family law here in Rhode Island, I became somewhat of a maverick.  I had ideals about he legal system that proved to be naive and impractical.  I learned too many lessons the hard way.  Child Support was a dynamic that most attorneys I ran into simply rattled off like it wasn't a big deal and didn't involve any thought.  Some divorce and family lawyers continue to do that today.

In fact, today, some divorce and family law attorneys in Rhode Island are more than willing to run the child support calculations by you so fast that you are simply expected to accept their computations as "gospel" and that there is no variation from what they present to you.  When this happens, many people who represent themselves (called "Pro Se") are victimized by these self-serving practitioners who are not willing to take the time to insure that the opposing party who represents himself or herself truly understand what the calculations mean and whether they are correct.

Personally, as a Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer I have seen this far to often and it infuriates me.  It borders on unethical behavior to say little of a lawyers sense of morality and fair play envisioned by our forefathers.  Consider each coaching lesson my effort to help those of you who represent yourselves to do so in a more competent manner, to know your rights, and to prevent you as the Pro Se litigant from being taken advantage of by anyone.

Child Support is a culmination of factors that should be considered.  In its simplest form, child support is calculated by adding the gross incomes of the parents of the child or children with the non-placement parent typically paying his percentage of his or her income to the combined income of both parents and then applying that percentage to an amount that a Child Support Task Force has determined is an appropriate an amount the child or children are entitled to based upon the gross income of both parents. when applied to the number of children to be supported as provided by a standard Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines Calculation Chart.

Typically then it could be simplified like this.

The father makes $60,000 per year gross income.

The mother makes $40,000 per year gross income.

Together they make $100,000 in combined income per year with the father making 60% of the total income and the mother making 40% of that total income.  

Since the Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines are based upon a monthly  income amount, we would take $100,000 and simply divide it by 12 months to get the combined gross monthly income figure for both parents which is $8,333.33 per month.

For the sake of our Rhode Island Child Support Calculations let's assume that there are no deductions that either mother or father may deduct from his or her gross income.  Let us also assume there is only one child.

You would then take out your Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines Chart and look up the column for how much support one child is entitled to when the parents make a gross monthly income of $8,333.33.

If you were to look at the RI Child Support Guidelines you would find that according to the Child Support Chart, one child is entitled to $1,1,24 in support from his or her parents each month when the parents make $8,333 working together. 

Let's assume that the father is the non-placement parent and that as a result he will be paying child support.  The father's child support would be 60% of the total amount the child is entitled to receive for support each month (the $1,124) which calculates out to $674.40 in child support to be paid by the father on a monthly basis.

To determine the father's weekly child support amount you would divide the $674.40 by 4.33 weeks in a month which will give you the monthly child support payment.  This would be a child support payment of  which results in a weekly payment of $155.75.

Keep in mind, this is the most BASIC formula for calculating child support.  Factors often will vary depending upon types of deductions available, other children from a prior or subsequent marriage, the number of children, the payment of insurances for the benefit of the child, the nature of the child or children (handicapped, substantially ill, etc..), any prior child support orders, the nature of the parent's income and its provability such as self-employment income versus employer paid compensation and in some instances a new spouse's income, among other things. 

Hopefully, you get the gist of things from the prior paragraphs.  Child support can involve a multitude of variable factors on a case by case basis.  It's not as cut and dry as many people would have you believe.  Many aspects of child support are arguable on a case by case basis.  Are you sure you know all the things you should argue to get the best deal?

There are a substantial variety of considerations that can and sometimes SHOULD be made for a correct computation both for the benefit of the parents as well as for the children involved.

Information is your best ally in these situations.  It is very easy for you to be taken advantage of and to misunderstand these calculations if you do not calculate them on a daily basis as divorce attorneys do year after year then it is it easy for Pro Se individuals to needlessly be taken advantage of.

While I could never outline every variation of circumstance that could occur to everyone, it is my sincere hope that if you do not take me up on my coaching services that you at least review the various articles I have published regarding child support in the hope that you will be more informed about how child support is calculated and the factors that go into the process.

There is certainly no guarantee that my informational articles will help guide you in your situation, you may find them of use to better be aware of the dangers and the process generally.

Do you need to get a better grasp on your child support case and your best arguments?

Call me for a coaching session now and target your Child Support Arguments so they are specific to your case and let's make sure you are aware of your legal rights and options!

Authored By:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law

Rhode Island's Full-Time Divorce* Lawyer is Now
Rhode Island's Only Full-Time Divorce Coach

Call (401) 632-6976 Now
Schedule Your Rhode Island Divorce* or Family Law* Coaching Session Now!

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

* Rhode Island licenses all attorneys in the general practice of law.

- - Recommended Websites - -

Rhode Island Divorce Coaching - Knowing Your Rights and Saving Yourself Money Just Makes Sense!

If you have never heard of Rhode Island Divorce Coaching that's completely understandable.

I'm the founder of this new innovation in Rhode Island family law practice and I tell you that I doubt I've been more excited about any other professional development in my entire career. 

Why am I excited? 

After more than two decades in the legal field and considerable thought about how I can more effectively help people as a divorce and family law lawyer, I have no doubt that I have found my way to making a difference in the world that has been too long in coming.

Rhode Island Divorce Coaching is a term that is well-suited to this new concept in domestic law practice.  I specifically designed this method of practice to save Rhode Island Family Court participants both time and money.  

Aren't these are two things just about everyone could use more of these days? 


This new divorce and family law practice concept is also designed to help assist the Rhode Island family court system to handle its daily court calendars  by preventing the delay and bottlenecking caused by individuals who attempt to represent themselves (pro se) and are unfamiliar with the family court process by educating those people.

I learned long ago that for any idea is to be successful, there must be a "need" and a "solution that meets that need."


 The need for Rhode Island Divorce Coaching is based upon three (3) fundamental factors.

1)  The Rhode Island Family Courts have a limited number of judges who struggle to handle an overflowing number of cases on a daily basis.  

2)  People who represent themselves typically do not know Rhode Island family law or procedure and take up extended court time trying to represent themselves because they don't know what they are doing.  This bogs down the flow of court cases and hurts the entire system through inefficiency.

3)  Lastly, not everyone can afford to hire an attorney to represent him or her in family court.


 These three factors create the substantial need for a solution that, 

(1) Minimizes the strain placed upon the already overburdened Rhode Island Family Courts,

(2) Prevents people who represent themselves from bogging down the court system through lack of knowledge,

(3)  Affords those who cannot afford to hire a "Rhode Island courtroom attorney" the opportunity to become informed about their legal rights and learn how they might best proceed to help themselves and the courts.


Rhode Island Divorce Coaching provides the solution to this ever-growing need by offering a service never offered by Rhode Island Family Law Lawyers.

The concept of "coaching" is far from new.  Almost every sports team has one or more coaches.  These coaches are generally people who have already "played the game" and by their education, knowledge or personal experience have gained skills about the game that makes their coaching advice worthy of being followed by the athlete's they teach and train.  

Athletes like to win at different levels.  Some athletes want to be the best athlete in high school to get a scholarship.   Some athletes want to be the best at college football to have a chance to get drafted by the NFL.  Other athletes want to reach the Olympics.  To achieve these things athletes would hire experienced and even professional coaches depending upon their level of commitment and particularly what they can afford.

For any game to run smoothly, the player's need to know the fundamentals, the player's need to avoid running over referees or fighting with umpires, and the player's need to learn the rules and strategies of their game. . . all from their coach.  It is only by increasing their knowledge, skill and experience by applying advice they receive from their coach that players do better and the game runs smoothly.

Certainly, matters before the Rhode Island Family Courts are not games.  The outcome of every case has impact on the lives of everyone involved in the case.  Yet the principles that apply to a game situation can be reasonably applied to family court matters by way of analogy.

As an experienced Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer, I have had the opportunity to appear in the family courts for many years, handling motions, conferences and trials, etc. . . I saw the need.  People who represented themselves needed affordable access to the fundamentals of family court education and legal advice.  Today I'm filling that need as a Rhode Island Divorce and Family Law Coach.


As a coach, I educate and teach my clients how the specific legal game they are in is played.  I teach the client about his or her legal rights.  As a client I coach you how to prepare court forms, necessary procedures, and possible strategies you will want to consider.


This shifts my role as the player in the game itself, to being the coach for the person who represents himself or herself before the court because there isn't enough money to pay a $2,500 retainer upfront and $250 per hour.

Instead, a person hires me for a single coaching session or for as many sessions as the client needs me.  There is no upfront retainer.  My Rhode Island Divorce Coaching concept eliminates the immediate financial drain on the client.  Additionally, because divorce coaching eliminates my need to go to court for the client, the cost to the client is tremendously reduced.  The person pays for my session time when we meet and that is it.  The person is my client and our sessions are confidential and covered by the attorney-client privilege.  The client then schedules one or more sessions for additional coaching if and when he or she needs further assistance, all at the client's discretion.

By coaching the client, I educate him or her so that it lessens any strain on the court system when the client goes to court because the client is now more informed and has the information necessary to address the matter in a proper and efficient manner.  This helps the client to make sure that his or her case does not bog down the court's calendar because he or she is better prepared to address the case before the court.

By shifting from a Rhode Island Family court practice in the courtroom to a Rhode Island Divorce Coaching practice in the conference room, I provide the ability for more more people to gain affordable access to their legal rights and how they should proceed.  The shift to Divorce Coaching helps the client and assists the Rhode Island Family Courts by educating people who simply can't afford to hire an attorney to represent themselves in court.

Though it may sound cliche', I became a lawyer to help people.  The only ingredient this new shift  required on my part was a small tradeoff.  Today I have substantially less income in exchange for substantially more time with my wife, my daughter and my grandchildren.  All in all, it's a win-win-win proposition for the client, the court and for me!

You can be part of this winning new family law practice concept and it would be my privilege to help you.

Authored By:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law

Rhode Island's Full-Time Divorce Lawyer is Now
Rhode Island's Only Full-Time Divorce Coach

Call (401) 632-6976 Now
Schedule Your Rhode Island Divorce or Family Law Coaching Session!

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

* Rhode Island licenses all attorneys in the general practice of law.

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