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April 2011

Rhode Island Divorce Coaching Article: Are Spouses Entitled to Continued Health Insurance?

A RI HEALTH INSURANCE QUESTION FOR THE RHODE ISLAND DIVORCE COACH

 

QUESTION:  In a Rhode Island Divorce, if you are covered by your spouse's health insurance are you entitled to have that insurance continue?

 

ANSWER:  Excluding a Rhode Island divorce that involves possible military benefits that may be available then generally the answer is, No.  No spouse has a legal right or entitlement to have continued health insurance as a matter of any law applying to people generally in the State of Rhode Island.  Absent an agreement between the parties (preferrably in writing) or an Order of the Court establishing an entitlement or right of one spouse to have health insurance provided by the other spouse, there is no right or entitlement to have health insurance provided by the other spouse.


Authored By:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law

Rhode Island's Full-Time Divorce* Lawyer is Now
Rhode Island's Only Divorce and Family Law Coach
!!

Discover the Tremendous Benefits You Receive by 

Participating in Family Law Coaching Sessions!

Visit the RhodeIslandDivorceCoach.com

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

Experience the Difference!

Copyright 2000 to Present.  Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire
 Offering Rhode Island Rhode Island Divorce and Family Law Coaching for a New Millenium!

Note: If this article contains a case scenario with names, dates or amounts, any resemblance any connection to any person or situation now or previously existing is purely accidental, unintentional, and is merely a mistaken creation in the mind of the reader.

* The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all attorneys in the general practice of law.  The court does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any particular field of practice.

- - Recommended Websites - -

Pearsall.net | AttorneyPearsall.com | Rhode Island Divorce Tips | ChristopherPearsall.com | GuaranteedWealth.com | Rhode Island Divorce Attorney | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer | ChrisPearsall.com | LegalScholar.com | Pearsall-Law-Associates.comRhode Island Divorce Attorneys | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers | Rhode Island Divorce Coach  |  RI Divorce Coach | RI Divorce Lawyer on Twitter | Rhode Island Divorce Coach on Twitter | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer on Facebook.com| Attorney Chris Pearsall at LawGuru.com | Rhode Island Family Law Lawyer - RI Consumer Tips


Rhode Island Divorce Court - A RI Divorce commentary on the MobileMedia Article

From Mobledia News April 25, 2011 by Emily Anderson

Facebook is playing a role in divorce cases and custody battles, as users continue to underestimate their exposure online where the line between public and private are increasingly blurred.

Leading attorneys reportedly advise clients to refrain from making disparaging remarks about their soon-to-be-ex-spouse or any professional involved in divorce proceedings on Facebook because the postings could be used in court.

Legal blog Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers Articles recently noted even if a person doesn't think their ex-spouse is watching for comments that could be used as evidence a person is cheating, a bad parent or simply uncooperative, a Facebook "friend" could be watching for them.

An Indianapolis ABC news station recently interviewed a Marion County, Ind. judge, Cynthia Ayers, who told the station that social media is "playing a bigger and bigger role all the time" in custody and child protection cases.

"I saw a picture of a toddler in front of a coffee table with bags of marijuana, whiskey bottles and a big pile of money," said Janice Davidson, director of the Marion County Domestic Relations Counseling Bureau, to the station. "We called Child Protective Services and got them involved so they could make sure that child was protected."

In March, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 80 percent of divorce cases included social media posts, mostly from Facebook, as evidence in the past five years.

Taken in context with a host of examples of supposedly-private social media turning into damaging evidence, it’s clear that social media is increasingly just an extension of society, and that people continue to think they have more control over who sees their social content than they actually do.

It's not just in the courtroom where the supposed private revelations of social networking affect more public aspects of lives. Other recent cases illustrate how the culture is still trying to navigate the divide between the public and private aspects of social media.

Georgia school teacher Ashley Payne was asked to resign from her job two years ago after she posted a photo of herself drinking alcohol on vacation on her Facebook page -- despite the fact that there’s no law saying teachers can’t drink on vacation.

In some cases, those accused of Facebook naughtiness have successfully fought back. Dawnmarie Souza, a medic fired last year after she posted disparaging remarks about her employer, later won a settlement from the company from the National Labor Relations Board.

********** End of Article from Mobiledia.com ***************

Commentary

There's no doubt that social media is playing a larger part in family court these days.  In 1 out of every 4 cases I address, I have found that Facebook has become the device by which a spouse learns either of a spouse's infidelity or dissatisfaction with his or her home life.  Is it necessarily the cause of divorce or disharmony in the family unit?  In my opinion, no.  However, it is certainly a primary factor in the discovery of more information that might not otherwise be known.

Yet the law and the Rules of Evidence have yet to catch up with this social media trend.  Various past and current cases in Rhode Island Family Court as well as articles on a national level demonstrate that Facebook and other forms of social media are is also too great a source for abuse and/or misunderstanding both in the family courts and outside them.

It is all too easy for an attorney as a staunch advocate for his or her family law client to advocate for an interpretation of a Facebook picture and/or online exchange with others to take on a meaning the writer never intended.  In communications, context is key and the state of mind of the writer is most important when coupled with that context.  

Though it is said that "a picture is worth a thousand words", a picture taken or a text message made in a reactionary moment of anger in what has otherwise been a good marriage, could simply be a person venting.  Many clinical psychologists agree that many people, especially women, vent verbally in emotional settings in order to let off some steam and move past an angering moment.  Such an action does not, however, reflect a person's entire mindset in a marital relationship any more than one inappropriate picture posted by a child on Facebook while mom or dad is at work is a true indication that a parent lacks the capacity to supervise the child and therefore is a bad parent.

Though social medial it is becoming more prevalent as a means of uncovering what may or may not be the real demeanor or motive of a person in a divorce or family law case is also subject to abuse and misinterpretation both in and out of the courtroom, by attorneys, spouses and children.

Ultimately, social media is something that the law must eventually adapt to and/or evolve with to some degree.

For now, there is no doubt that social media will continue to expand.  What people must be most conscious of is that when using the internet, expanding forms of social media, and even email, you should not expect that what you type is actually private.


Authored By:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law

Rhode Island's Full-Time Divorce* Lawyer is Now
Rhode Island's Only Divorce and Family Law Coach
!!

Discover the Tremendous Benefits You Receive by 

Participating in Family Law Coaching Sessions!

Visit the RhodeIslandDivorceCoach.com

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

Experience the Difference!

Copyright 2000 to Present.  Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire
 Offering Rhode Island Rhode Island Divorce and Family Law Coaching for a New Millenium!

Note: If this article contains a case scenario with names, dates or amounts, any resemblance any connection to any person or situation now or previously existing is purely accidental, unintentional, and is merely a mistaken creation in the mind of the reader.

* The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all attorneys in the general practice of law.  The court does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any particular field of practice.

- - Recommended Websites - -

Pearsall.net | AttorneyPearsall.com | Rhode Island Divorce Tips | ChristopherPearsall.com | GuaranteedWealth.com | Rhode Island Divorce Attorney | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer | ChrisPearsall.com | LegalScholar.com | Pearsall-Law-Associates.comRhode Island Divorce Attorneys | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers | Rhode Island Divorce Coach  |  RI Divorce Coach | RI Divorce Lawyer on Twitter | Rhode Island Divorce Coach on Twitter | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer on Facebook.com| Attorney Chris Pearsall at LawGuru.com | Rhode Island Family Law Lawyer - RI Consumer Tips


The True Divorce Victims - An Easter Wakeup Call from Bob Kerr and one Child's Story!

Bob Kerr: Here’s a girl who needs the adults to listen to her

01:00 AM EDT on Sunday, April 24, 2011

She is pretty and smart and wants to be a veterinarian. But she thinks about being a photographer, too, or an artist. And sometimes she wonders if she could combine all her interests into one very full future.

But she is only 11, and on Wednesday she had to negotiate with her father to spend two more days with her mother. She is a child of divorce, and she finds her choices, the really important ones, are seldom hers to make.

She is the person least heard and yet most affected by the endless court battles, the petty skirmishes, the failure or refusal of Family Court to say “enough.”

A few months ago, she put it all down in a letter to the court. It’s a “Dear Judge” letter, and the first line gives you an idea of how some kids in Rhode Island have their childhoods messed up by a system that doesn’t work.

“Dear Judge: When the police came to escort me into my dad’s car, I was talking to the policeman and he said he wanted me to write you a letter so here it is.”

She’s 11 years old and she’s getting advice from a cop, a cop caught in that strange territory where no cop wants to go. This time, it was a visit with one parent that went longer than the custody agreement allowed. So the police were called. It really does get that dumb, petty and hurtful. She ran around to the back of her mother’s house to try to avoid the unavoidable.

Once, she and her sister were in a Stop & Shop and saw their mother and weren’t allowed to run over and give her a hug.

And consider this from a District Court judge who has seen and heard a lot about this girl and her sister:

“I am satisfied that these children have been subjected to inquiries so many times that what they say can no longer be accepted at face value. They have been interrogated by teachers. They have been interrogated by parents, by a stepparent, by DCYF workers, by police people. It’s just dreadful what’s happened to them.”

They are casualties. They have lost so much to the mad competition of divorce and the endless grind of Family Court. They are not the kids they might have been. Being carefree is not easy when the adults keep slamming away and the police show up.

And it continues, as Family Court cases do. This girl has lived with divorce for 9 of her 11 years. It’s really all she’s ever known. Being driven to a police station parking lot in South County so she can be transferred from one parent to the other is just part of growing up

“It’s tough to plan stuff, to know where I’m going to be,” she says.

“I want to go with my mom, but I don’t really have a choice.”

We talked at Brewed Awakenings in South County Commons. She had orange juice. She told me she really, really likes Justin Bieber. She has shirts, posters. Asthma keeps her from playing soccer as she’d like to, but she plays tag with friends. She likes to dance. She isn’t too crazy about video games.

When her grandmother died, she created a website for mourning the loss.

She’s good to talk to. At 11, she seems to understand too well that she’s caught in the middle and that parents, judges, social workers, therapists and the occasional police officer will have far too much to say about where she goes and who she sees.

Divorce runs widely among the kids she knows. They compare notes.

“A lot of my friends have parents who are divorced,” she says. “Some of them get along. The stepparents are nice. They kind of get to choose.”

Her sister stays with her father and stepmother. She moves back and forth, although she says she wants to stay with her mother. That might give her some small sense of stability, but stability does not seem part of the plan. In her “Dear Judge” letter, she says she doesn’t think it’s fair that she can’t go to the place where life makes the most sense.

I have talked to kids before who have endured this unfair, unreasonable, cruel assault on their childhoods. And it is impossible to assess the full damage or know how severely parents have poisoned the family well.

But this girl knows. She can talk about it. And everybody involved — couples in divorce and all the people who work in that gold mine of billable hours called Family Court — should listen to her. They should hear from the most important person in the whole crazy mess. They should learn of the harm they cause by not resolving things, by letting cases go on and on while kids accept more and more mad, crazy stuff into their lives.

Come on, no 11-year-old should have to be escorted by a police officer because her parents can’t agree on the exact minute to move her from one version of home to the other.

That’s nuts. And it’s one more bad sign that young lives will continue to get screwed up by a process that can’t seem to settle much of anything.

bkerr@projo.com

"From The Providence Journal on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011"

 

Comment by Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall

Thank you Bob for a wakeup call to those in the legal process who are not looking out for these young victims of divorce.  

For those of my brethren who disregard children as collateral damage in the legal system, I hope this article causes you to "think twice" about the consequences of your actions to the children each time you take an action (billable or not) in a divorce involving children.

There is no doubt that we need to do more.  One child lost in a divorce who might have been saved . . . is simply one child too many.    


Is Rhode Island Divorce Coaching the same as Rhode Island Divorce Mediation?

Rhode Island Divorce Coaching is a new concept but it is not to be confused with RI Divorce Mediation.

Rhode Island Divorce Mediators provide an atmosphere and services that facilitate the parties in a divorce to be able to reach an agreement for use in a divorce.  The agreement is typically called a Marital Settlement Agreement or Property Settlement Agreement.

In a Rhode Island Divorce one of the most crucial aspects of reaching a successful conclusion is arriving at some type of settlement agreement with your spouse. If you and your spouse are able to reach a settlement agreement then that is perhaps the greatest hurdle you will face in the RI Divorce process.

Rhode Island Divorce Mediators focus their efforts almost invariably on the settlement aspect of the RI Divorce Process though each divorce mediator may do so in a slightly different way.

Rhode Island Divorce Coaching is designed to assist you through the divorce process.  It is helpful both in an a contested and in an uncontested Rhode Island Divorces.  The statistically the greatest successes in Rhode Island Divorce Coaching have occurred in uncontested divorce proceedings when the parties are intent upon resolving their divorce matter and the spouses are capable of peaceful communication between one another to reach an agreement about how their marriage should be resolved at the divorce hearing in each of its aspects.  In this way Rhode Island Divorce Coaching is the most economical process for resolution of a Rhode Island Divorce.

Rhode Island Divorce Coaching is not equivalent to Rhode Divorce Mediation, nor does it simulate it in any way.  In Rhode Island Divorce Mediation the goal is to reach, in the least, a Memorandum of Understanding, which to some degree memorializes what the spouses agree to regarding the major aspects of their RI Divorce Agreement (i.e. their Marital Settlement Agreement or Property Settlement Agreement).

Rhode Island Divorce Mediators have both spouses as their clients and act as a facilitator of the settlement process by using their skills in reaching an agreement between the spouses by mediating an agreement that works for each spouse to resolve the divorce.

As a Rhode Island Divorce Coach I have one client.  It is the person who comes to me for coaching and legal advice.  The objective of the RI Divorce Coaching is usually (1) to obtain legal advice and counsel regarding their legal rights in the stated situation, and/or (2) receive coaching about the pros and cons of various legal and non-legal options and issues involved, and/or (3) direction regarding how the legal procedure works based upon the stage of the RI divorce process the person has encountered, and/or (4) coaching about what might be the best approach to take in the divorce based upon the facts and/or law present at the time the Rhode Island Divorce Coaching is provided.

As a Rhode Island Divorce Coach I sometimes sit with both spouses in a divorce to reach a Marital Settlement Agreement.  However, I do so with the clear understanding that I do, in fact, represent one party's interests and have only one party as my client.  The other spouse present typically acts on their own without an attorney though that spouse certainly has the opportunity to engage an attorney to be present and represent him or her during the entire divorce process or simply to participate in a limited capacity during any settlement discussions.

Rhode Island Divorce Coaching in amicable divorces works most effectively when trust and communication still remains between the parties such that the husband and wife in the divorce both know that even if a lawyer is involved for one of the parties, that lawyer works at the request of the husband or wife (whoever may be the attorney's client) and that if the divorce lawyer is told by the spouse/client to follow his or her directions rather than what the divorce lawyer may indicate is the best option, then it is the lawyer's obligation to follow the reasonable directions of his client provided it is not illegal, in violation of the divorce lawyer's ethical obligations, or otherwise creates an insurmountable conflict of interest.

In a very general way the easiest way to understand Rhode Island Divorce Mediation is that the focus is on the agreement in the divorce to be reach by the spouses, both of whom are clients of the RI Mediatior.  In Rhode Island Divorce Coaching the focus is on the entire process of divorce from the filing, to the agreement, and through the entry of the Final Judgment of Divorce depending upon the client's specific needs, however the Rhode Island Divorce Coach has only one of the two spouses as a client.


Authored By:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law

Rhode Island's Full-Time Divorce* Lawyer is Now
Rhode Island's Only Divorce and Family Law Coach
!!

Discover the Tremendous Benefits You Receive by 

Participating in Family Law Coaching Sessions!

Visit the RhodeIslandDivorceCoach.com

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

Experience the Difference!

Copyright 2000 to Present.  Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire
 Offering Rhode Island Rhode Island Divorce and Family Law Coaching for a New Millenium!

Note: If this article contains a case scenario with names, dates or amounts, any resemblance any connection to any person or situation now or previously existing is purely accidental, unintentional, and is merely a mistaken creation in the mind of the reader.

* The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all attorneys in the general practice of law.  The court does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any particular field of practice.

- - Recommended Websites - -

Pearsall.net | AttorneyPearsall.com | Rhode Island Divorce Tips | ChristopherPearsall.com | GuaranteedWealth.com | Rhode Island Divorce Attorney | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer | ChrisPearsall.com | LegalScholar.com | Pearsall-Law-Associates.comRhode Island Divorce Attorneys | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers | Rhode Island Divorce Coach  |  RI Divorce Coach | RI Divorce Lawyer on Twitter | Rhode Island Divorce Coach on Twitter | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer on Facebook.com| Attorney Chris Pearsall at LawGuru.com | Rhode Island Family Law Lawyer - RI Consumer Tips


Rhode Island Divorce Coach - Am I Bound to my Divorce Lawyer's Decision?

Question:

During my divorce my Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer entered into an agreement with my spouse's attorney in a stipulation without my approval.  Is the court going to hold me to what my lawyer agreed to?  He didn't have my permission.

 

Answer:

Usually, "Yes."  When you hire a divorce lawyer, that lawyer represents you and acts as your agent.  It's very similar to a power of attorney.  If your lawyer bound you to something, you are going to be held to it by the court and by the other party.  If your attorney did it without your approvable, it may be because the attorney misunderstood some instructions you provided to him or her.  Or, the lawyer may have reasonably thought that it was a decision that is or was well within his or her discretion.  

Remember that when you hire a divorce lawyer you hire him or her for the expertise in the area of divorce and family law.  Your lawyer does have discretion in making various decisions that are in your best interests.  Otherwise, it would be pointless to hire an attorney for his or her expertise yet expect that the lawyer can't make any decisions at all without your say so.  That would nullify the whole reason why the lawyer was hired. 


Authored By:

Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law

Rhode Island's Full-Time Divorce* Lawyer is Now
Rhode Island's Only Divorce and Family Law Coach
!!

Discover the Tremendous Benefits You Receive by 

Participating in Family Law Coaching Sessions!

Visit the RhodeIslandDivorceCoach.com

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

Experience the Difference!

Copyright 2000 to Present.  Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire
 Offering Rhode Island Rhode Island Divorce and Family Law Coaching for a New Millenium!

Note: If this article contains a case scenario with names, dates or amounts, any resemblance any connection to any person or situation now or previously existing is purely accidental, unintentional, and is merely a mistaken creation in the mind of the reader.

* The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all attorneys in the general practice of law.  The court does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any particular field of practice.

- - Recommended Websites - -

Pearsall.net | AttorneyPearsall.com | Rhode Island Divorce Tips | ChristopherPearsall.com | GuaranteedWealth.com | Rhode Island Divorce Attorney | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer | ChrisPearsall.com | LegalScholar.com | Pearsall-Law-Associates.comRhode Island Divorce Attorneys | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers | Rhode Island Divorce Coach  |  RI Divorce Coach | RI Divorce Lawyer on Twitter | Rhode Island Divorce Coach on Twitter | Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer on Facebook.com| Attorney Chris Pearsall at LawGuru.com | Rhode Island Family Law Lawyer - RI Consumer Tips