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June 2011

Talking to a Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer? Is the Lawyer making Common Sense?

A Rhode Island lawyer giving you some divorce advice is great, unless of course the lawyer is wrong.

Keep your common sense on the front burner when you talk with any lawyer and think about what he or she may be saying to you.

Here's a simple post-divorce example from a Rhode Island call I received. 

This nice Rhode Island lady had called a few lawyers seeking legal advice before I was able to call her back.  When I called she was very downhearted and said that it was okay.  She had spoken to another Rhode Island lawyer and discovered she didn't have a case.

I asked her how long she spoke to the lawyer.  It was less than ten minutes yet the lawyer had told her she didn't have a case.

I told the woman that I don't give free legal advice over the phone, but I would be willing to listen for a few minutes if she wanted to run it by me.

She told me again what she remembered.  Then I asked her if she had the Final Judgment of Divorce and whether she would humor me and read the health insurance provision to me.  Instead, she told me that there wasn't one in the Final Judgment.  I asked her if it mentioned a Property Settlement Agreement or a Marital Settlement Agreement.  She told me that it did but that she didn't know what it was and certainly didn't know where it was or if she was ever received a copy.

I asked her how the attorney knew she didn't have a case regarding health insurance if the attorney didn't know what the exact language in the agreement was.  She was silent and realized the problem.  If the lawyer didn't have the agreement and didn't know what it said, then the lawyer just assumed that things were exactly as she remembered it.  In otherwords, because she was guessing, he was relying on her guess.

I suggested she get her Rhode Island Property Settlement Agreement/Marital Settlement Agreement so that she had the exact language that her ex-husband had agreed to because there was no way to know with any accuracy or not whether she had a case.

I told the woman that she still may not have a case, but it all depended upon the language in her divorce agreement.  Without a copy of the agreement nobody could no for sure whether she had a case or not.  I apologized that my colleague overlooked the necessity of the agreement and suggested that she obtain her divorce settlement agreement and give me a call back.

In this case, this nice lady was distressed that she didn't have a case.  However, from the subject matter of the issue of health insurance, it was most likely a time sensitive matter and it was good that I had called her back.  Had I not called, the woman might have needlessly been without health insurance coverage that she may be entitled to under the divorce settlement agreement.

When you are speaking with a lawyer about anything, remember that a good lawyer is exacting gets pertinent documents if they relate to the subject at issue.  Our memories are virtually never as good as the actual wording in a document that controls the subject.  Even one word that is different in the document from your memory can make a huge difference.

Don't be intimidated when talking to a Rhode Island divorce lawyer or an attorney on any subject.  Listen carefully and keep your thinking cap on.  Sometimes common sense alone will stop you from taking legal advice that has no basis.

Hopefully with a look at the woman's Property Settlement Agreement and a little coaching this nice lady will have what she needs to preserve her health insurance. Once she gets the document and calls me back my goal will be to find a way to help her keep her health insurance. 

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 Child Support - Do I have to pay RI Child Support for the last 9 years?

Question: I just got served child support paperwork for a child I haven't seen in 10 years. I paid about $50/week between 2001 and 2002 and then she just up and moved without letting me know. I had no idea where she went and she left no forwarding address. Can she legally ask me for back child support when she left town? I will pay child support going forward (a paternity test will be established first), but I don't think I should pay 10 years worth from the past when she took him away from me.

Reply: If you had an existing child support order through the Rhode Island Family Court you had an obligation to keep paying it. There is virtually always a way to find the mother and the child if you do some investigation. In the very least you should have paid it to the Rhode Island Family Court Child Support Enforcement Department so you would not be in contempt of the court's order to pay continuing support for your child. 

If there was, in fact, a child support Order from the Rhode Island Family Court in effect then your child support debt would accumulate interest at a rate of 12%. If you did not have a child support Order issued by the Rhode Island Family Court then the mother of the child is only legally entitled to ask for the court to award her child support retroactive to the date she filed the Motion to Adjudge You In Contempt or to otherwise require you to pay your Rhode Island Child Support Order from the date her Motion for Payment of Child Support was filed. The retroactive part of the Court's award, with or without the 12% interest per annum is in the discretion of the judge. Ultimately the obligation to insure you pay court ordered child support is on you and not the mother of the child. 

It does not matter if the mother took off with the child or not. Your Rhode Island visitation rights and your obligation to pay child support for the support of your child are completely separate and distinct. A parent does not pay money for child support in order to have the right to see their child. Also, the money for child support is to support the child, it does not entitle you to see your child. In other words, child support payments and visitation are completely separate. 

If there was no Rhode Island Child Support Order ever entered that says you have to pay a certain amount of child support each week, month, or whatever the period may be etc . . . then the mother of the child may only ask the judge to award her Rhode Island child support retroactive to the date her motion was filed and that should be specifically requested in her Motion if she is requesting retroactive child support when no Child Support Order was ever established by the Court. If there was an actual Child Support Order in place and you have not paid child support in 10 years then you should get a lawyer. If a judge were to find you in contempt of an existing Child Support Order it is always possible that you could be sentenced to the Adult Correctional Institution for failure to abide by the court's order among other things. 

Unfortunately, whether the woman left with your child or not, if there is Rhode Island Child Support in place then it is your job to protect yourself by, in the least, paying the child support that was ordered to the Rhode Island Child Support Enforcement Division of the Rhode Island Family Court. 

If you need further assistance and/or advice, I offer legal advice and coaching sessions relating to each person's specific facts and situation for an affordable rate. Whatever you decide to do, 

I wish you the very best in this difficult situation no matter what you decide to do.


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.com | Rhode 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.comAttorney Chris Pearsall at LawGuru.com | Rhode Island Family Law Lawyer - RI Consumer Tips

 


The Rhode Island Divorce Coach explains Divorce Coaching in a Nutshell!

The Rhode Island Divorce Coaching Program™ was created based on three fundamental principles:

1)  Not Everyone has the financial ability to hire an experienced Rhode Island divorce lawyer in a divorce case.

2)  People Always Need Competent Legal Guidance but not necessarily Legal Representation in a Divorce Case.

3)  People need an affordable alternative to retaining an attorney to represent them in a divorce.

The Rhode Island Divorce Coaching Program™ is exclusive to my divorce law practice and was designed specifically to help people in divorce situations without breaking their wallet.

For most divorce cases it takes only 5-one hour sessions meeting with Attorney Christopher Pearsall from understanding the legal process and filing your divorce through the execution of your Final Judgment of Divorce which completes your divorce process.  

At only $135.00 per coaching session with sessions spread out over the duration of your divorce, you go at your own pace and even have time to save up the money in between sessions.  Whether you pay by check, money order or cash or even put your sessions on a credit card to give you even more time to pay the sessions off over time, clients have found that this to be perhaps the most affordable and helpful solution to completing their divorce in a timely fashion which also allows them to understand what is going on each step of the way.  From beginning to end you know exactly what is happening without being overwhelmed by taking my "Bite at a Time Approach"® to uncontested divorces.

For those who face more challenging situations the program can be customized to meet your needs at a cost that is still more afforable than typical representation.

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 Divorce and 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!

At only $135 for a Full One-Hour Coaching Session isn't your issue worth it?

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


Texas-based paralegal illegally offering law services

Texas-based paralegal illegally offering law services
01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, June 1, 2011

 

By Tracy Breton
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — The state Supreme Court has determined that a Texas-based paralegal service that advertised on the Internet to drum up business has engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in Rhode Island.

David Curtin, the court’s chief disciplinary counsel, said Low Cost Paralegal Services, whose last known address was in San Antonio, Texas, and its owner, Dominique M. Salazar, also known as Michelle Salazar, were advertising low-cost legal services on craigslist and other Internet sites.

Curtin said Salazar is not an attorney and although she had an e-mail address of attorney2be2012, “I don’t think she ever was in law school.”

Curtin said Salazar was trying to solicit business in Rhode Island by offering “a complete divorce for a $400 flat fee” and other legal services in the areas of adoption, child custody matters, name changes, living wills, wills, power of attorney and deeds.

“We don’t know whether anyone in Rhode Island used her services, but they were certainly offering their services in Rhode Island,” Curtin said Tuesday. He said this was an example of a “nonlawyer document-preparation service” trying to mask itself as a legitimate provider of low-cost legal services.

Curtin referred the matter in April 2010 to the court’s Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, which conducted an investigational hearing late last year.

[Re-Published only in part from Projo.com as a matter of public interest.]

To read the entire article go to 

http://www.projo.com/news/content/PARALEGAL_SERVICES_ORDER_06-01-11_4QOD8RH_v11.311d406.html

Projo.com Staff Writer Tracy Brenton's Email: tbreton@projo.com

*Note: Neither Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall, RhodeIslandDivorceTips.com, nor the Rhode Island Divorce & Coaching Institute claim any rights, title, or interest whatsoever in and/or to the contents of this article which is the property of The Providence Journal and/or Tracy Brenton.  The article has been republished here in part to assist in making the public aware of the illegal practices that may take place my non-lawyers in the areas of Rhode Island divorce and family law.  Please see the link above for the complete article published by The Providence Journal.

Consistent with Rhode Island law and the Professional Rules of Ethical Conduct the practice of assisting any person in a Rhode Island divorce and family law matter in completing paperwork, providing legal advice or otherwise should only be undertaken by a lawyer in good standing before the Rhode Island Supreme Court who is licensed to practice law in the State of Rhode Island and is reasonably experienced in the areas of Rhode Island divorce and family law.