Previous month:
September 2011
Next month:
November 2011

October 2011

Rhode Island Divorce Coaching Tip - Divorce in RI Could Go As Far as Criminal Acts!

Whether you like it or not Rhode Island Divorces with bitter spouses are no longer simple anymore.  They have risen to the level of cyber terrorism yet the law has yet to catch up with it in the area of Rhode Island Family Law.  Only criminal law seems to have reached the area of computer crime and infiltration of private information.  Here is only one example of what computer hackers are capable of.

IMF becomes latest known target of major cyber attack

WASHINGTON/BOSTON | Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:25am EDT

(Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund, the intergovernmental group that oversees the global financial system and brings together 187 member nations, has become the latest known target of a significant cyber attack.

A cybersecurity expert who has worked for both the Washington-headquartered IMF and the World Bank, its sister institution, said the intruders' goal had been to install software that would give a nation-state a "digital insider presence" on the IMF network.

Such a presence could yield a trove of non-public economic data used by the Fund to promote exchange rate stability, support balanced international trade and provide resources to remedy members' balance-of-payments crises.

"It was a targeted attack," said Tom Kellerman, who has worked for both international financial institutions and who serves on the board of a group known as the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance.

The code used in the IMF incident was developed specifically for the attack on the institution, said Kellerman, formerly responsible for cyber-intelligence within the World Bank's treasury team and now chief technology officer at AirPatrol, a cyber consultancy.

The attack on the IMF was the latest to become known in a rash of cyber break-ins that have targeted high-profile companies and institutions, often to steal secrets with potentially far-reaching economic implications. The list of victims includes Lockheed Martin Corp, Sony Corp and Citigroup Inc.

IMF spokesman David Hawley said Saturday the Fund was "fully functional," despite the attack.

"I can confirm that we are investigating an incident," he said, adding that he was not in a position to elaborate on the extent of it. He declined to respond to requests for comment on Kellerman's conclusion about the intruders' goal.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is helping to investigate the attack on the IMF, according to a U.S. Defense Department spokeswoman.


A World Bank official said the Bank had cut its network connection with the IMF out of "caution" even though the information shared on that link was "non sensitive."

Rich Mills, a Bank spokesman, said "the World Bank Group, like any other large organization, is increasingly aware of potential threats to the security of our information system and we are constantly working to improve our defenses."

Jeff Moss, a self-described computer hacker and member of the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Committee, said he believed the attack was conducted on behalf of a nation-state looking to either steal sensitive information about key IMF strategies or embarrass the organization to undermine its clout.

He said it could inspire attacks on other large institutions. "If they can't catch them, I'm afraid it might embolden others to try," said Moss, who is chief security officer for ICANN.

But cyber security experts cautioned it might be difficult for investigators to prove which nation was behind the attack.

"Even developing nations are able to leverage the Internet in order to change their standing and ability to influence," said Jeffrey Carr, author of the book, "Inside Cyber Warfare."

"It's something they never could have done before without gold or without military might," Carr said.

Experts say cyber threats are increasing worldwide. CIA Director Leon Panetta told the U.S. Congress this week the United States faced the "real possibility" of a crippling cyber attack.

"The next Pearl Harbor that we confront," he said, could be a cyber attack that "cripples our power systems, our grid, our security systems, our financial systems, our governmental systems."

"This is a real possibility in today's world," Panetta told a June 9 confirmation hearing in his bid to become the next U.S. defense secretary.


Bloomberg News reported the attack occurred before the May 14 arrest of former IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sexual assault charges. It resulted in the loss of e-mails and other documents, Bloomberg said.

The New York Times cited computer experts as saying the IMF's board of directors was told of the attack on Wednesday, though the assault had lasted several months.

An Internal IMF memo issued on Wednesday warned employees to be on their guard.

"Last week we detected some suspicious file transfers, and the subsequent investigation established that a Fund desktop computer had been compromised and used to access some Fund systems," said a June 8 email to employees from Chief Information Officer Jonathan Palmer.

Details of the email were first reported by Bloomberg. Reuters' sources confirmed the wording of the email.

"At this point, we have no reason to believe that any personal information was sought for fraud purposes," the message to employees said.

Lockheed Martin Corp, the Pentagon's No. 1 supplier by sales and the biggest information technology provider to the U.S. government, disclosed two weeks ago that it had thwarted a "significant" cyber attack. It said it had become a "frequent target of adversaries around the world."

Also hit recently have been Citigroup Inc, Sony Corp and Google Inc.

The IMF is seeking a new head following the resignation of Strauss-Kahn after he was charged with the sexual assault of a New York hotel maid.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton, Jim Finkle, Jim Wolf, Jim Vicini; Editing by Peter Cooney, Todd Eastham and Paul Simao)


Privacy is no longer something to be considered sacred anymore and some parties in a divorce have taken matters to new heights, going so far as infecting computers with hidden software programs that go virtually unnoticed by the user while the spouse is constantly fed your private information.

Imagine being in a Rhode Island divorce proceeding only to have your private emails and banking records thrown at your own attorney in the courtroom hallway. 

Imagine having your account at BANK RI drained of funds by a transfer you never authorized.

Imagine having fraudulent information published on your Facebook page to be used against you in your divorce when they were planted by your spouse who has stooped to a new low in guerilla divorce tactics.

These are only a few of the actions that spouses have taken or could take to cripple you in a divorce proceeding whether they contain accurate information or fraudulent information.

Denial is usually the first level a spouse will arrive at if these things are even mentioned, yet the reality of the things are that people who can do these things are readily available through the internet or through internet contacts.  Sadly there are even companies that sell little known programs that will do some very damaging and intrusive things to you in your RI Divorce proceeding without having the slightest amount of computer knowledge at all.

In the end, depending upon how the person engaged by your spouse approaches the situation, or which spouse performs the actions, or which spouse even "owns" the computer, the spouse taking these denigrating acts of violation or hires a person to do so may have committed a state or federal computer crime punishable by fines or jail time.  Yet many spouses, especially those with children, bank on the very fact that the spouse begin victimized by these computer invasions of privacy would never cause the mother or the father of their children to be labeled as a criminal.

Ultimately, if you have a computer, especially one connected to the internet by a cable or DSL internet service your level of awareness during a divorce should be increased as should that of your divorce lawyer. 

Yes, Rhode Island divorces could (and frankly have) become subject to criminal acts out of everything from emotion, to vengeance to extreme acts of protection which may be, in fact, criminal.

Watch your back!  Watch your front!  Watch your kids!  But be ever vigilant that your computer may be used to watch YOU!

Domestic Violence Affects Men Too!

Men also fall prey to domestic violence, male victim says at Greenwich vigil

Frank MacEachern, Staff Writer for
Updated 12:04 p.m., Friday, October 7, 2011

Women are not the only victims of domestic violence.

A man who went only by the name of John, speaking to about 90 people gathered for the YWCA of Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services' annual candlelight vigil on Thursday evening, related his story of an abusive relationship with his wife and the help he received from YWCA counselors and town police.

"You are probably surprised, yes, I am a man," John said. "I lived with it for many, many years."

John, who is now divorced, said he suffered from emotional abuse at the hands of his ex-wife and that he finally sought help two years ago at the urging of Greenwich Police.

"They didn't laugh at me, they actually supported me and came over and listened," he said. "On the third time I called they actually handed me the card for the YWCA domestic abuse program and said, `It's time. Give them a call. You are not going to basically be able to deal with this yourself.'"

But it took John a while to dial the number.

"I didn't call right away because I'm a guy. It doesn't happen to us," he said.

John praised the counselors at the YWCA for their work in counseling him and taking his situation seriously. Through their counseling he learned that abusers are relentless, he said.

"I found that abusers are toxic; they are relentless. They will take every opportunity to harm you," he said. "It doesn't end. That is the sad part of it."

A Greenwich woman in attendance at the event Thursday night also turned to the YWCA for counseling and said it has helped turn her life around.

Kathryn Dydecka, 35, said she turned to the YWCA two years ago after being victimized for 10 years.

She learned through counseling that her experiences were not her fault, she said in an interview following the ceremony.

"I am not going crazy. I am not imagining this," she said. "Someone really listened and understood."

The emotional and physical abuse left her mentally scarred, and she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder that made it difficult for her to hold a job.

That has all changed after going through the YWCA's program, she said.

"I am a success story," she said. "I just got a job yesterday."

The names of 23 Connecticut residents who died as a result of domestic abuse this year, including former Greenwich resident Sara Coit, 23, who was murdered on April 10 in New York City, were read at the vigil. Her boyfriend, Raul Barrera, has been charged with second-degree murder.

First Selectman Peter Tesei proclaimed October as domestic violence awareness month. Selectman David Theis was also present. Selectman Drew Marzullo did not attend due to a prior commitment.

"We wish we were not here this evening to have this event," Adrianne Singer, the YWCA's president and chief executive said in her remarks. "We are here to help victims of domestic violence and save lives. Unfortunately we are busier than ever."

The YWCA of Greenwich is the sole licensed provider of domestic violence services for adults and children in Greenwich. The organization's free, confidential and bilingual services include individual and group counseling, safety planning, shelter, legal information, court advocacy and more. The YWCA's hot line, 203-622-0003, can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Andy Jablow was given the Purple Ribbon Award in honor of her volunteer work with the YWCA's domestic abuse services.

Read the Original Article:

Published at

Does a RI Uncontested Divorce Make the Most Sense for You?

In many Rhode Island divorce proceedings tensions run high and sometimes emotions as well.  Depending upon the reason for the divorce sometimes there is so much anger between the parties or simply from one party to the other that all a person can think about can be boiled down into words that easily come to mind such as:

1. Adultery

2. Treachery

3.  Cheater

4.  Entitlement

5.  Broken Promises

6.  Vindication

7.  Revenge

8.  Rejection, and many more.

With these words come very strong feelings that often spell a recipe for difficult and troubled end to the marriage in family court.  Most of which may well be valid and understandable from a counselors point of view but not when it comes to using your common sense.

What happens if you have a bitter and contested Rhode Island divorce?  Let's take a look at what usually happens in this kind of divorce.

 - Usually you lose lots of time from your work, schooling or children.  

 - Usually you spend considerable time waiting in court for your matter to be called and heard by the court over and over and over again as it drags on.

 - Usually you spend tremendous energy merely indulging your anger, anxiety and/or fears all of which may be lumped together causing your nerves to be short and your mental state to start to affect your body by developing facial worry lines, grey hair (or losing your hair altogether), grinding your teeth, and literally becoming a person who begins to become anchored in the feelings of the divorce that may not leave you until long after your divorce is over, preventing you from happily getting on with your life.

 - Usually you pay a lawyer thousands upon thousands of dollars to protect and preserve your rights with absolutely no guarantee that you will accomplish your legal, economic or even emotional goals by the end of the divorce.

 - Usually you have lost a tremendous amount of money and time in your life that you can never get back because you can't turn back the clock.

So it's not too hard to see why having the right lawyer and working toward an uncontested Rhode Island divorce is important and best for most people.  

Look how much you lose in a long contested battle!

My best friend's father was the best example of a father I ever had that honor of calling "dad" in my life.  His name was "Hugh O'Brien" and he was and always will be nothing short of a truly great man in my eyes.  He was one of the few great men I have had the privilege of knowing and as my "dad" he taught me that no matter how much in the right you may feel you are, there is almost never any reason to fight unless you are are absolutely forced to defend yourself.  I remember him saying one time that it is always better, if you can, to walk away and maintain your dignity.

I agree whole-heartedly not only in a physical fight but also in a divorce proceeding.  Yes, there are in fact times when one spouse is so unreasonable that he or she will want to deprive you of everything and you simply can't "walk away" or you won't survive.  In that kind of case, a contested divorce may become unavoidable.  If that is that case, I understand and like many other Rhode Island attorneys who practice divorce and family law I will do what needs to be done to protect you.

Yet the truth is that perhaps only 1% of all divorce cases each year are contested to that degree.

So what makes sense?  Is it better to indulge unhealthy emotions by fighting over some money and some things to the point where they affect your nerves, your appearance, your attitude, your employment, your children, the amount of money you'll have to work with at the end of the proceeding and most importantly the limited time you have on this earth simply to make a point or get a few extra things or a few extra dollars at the end?  Is it really?  If so then you'd rather pay a lawyer thousands to get this all done only to find out you really haven't gained any thing but rather you've lost what you can never get back.

What if you knew that you could get on with your life sooner and find your "soulmate" who was truly meant for you but you missed him or her never to find them again because you were in the middle of a fight with your spouse over other things in a contested divorce proceeding.

In a contested divorce proceeding, a party never wins.

An uncontested Rhode Island divorce with a lawyer determined to get you there is the best way to go. However, ultimately the only REAL WINNERS I have EVER seen in any divorce proceeding are the two parties themselves who participate in an uncontested proceeding.  Those who work together to reach an agreement and get through their proceeding amicably for themselves and their children so they can move on with their lives fairly are the only ones that WIN.

Do you want to really WIN in your divorce proceeding?  Be smart and follow what Hugh said and plan on an uncontested RI divorce with your spouse!  Do you need an uncontested RI divorce lawyer to help you?

Are you a WINNER?  Then, welcome to my Rhode Island Divorce Coaching Plan!  I created it for the WINNERS like you?  People don't need or want a lawyer who needs $10,000 to reach an end result in their case . . . and while Rhode Island divorce law even in an uncontested divorce is not easy... it can be made simple in many cases.  

I'm Rhode Island Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall and I focus my practice exclusively on Rhode Island Divorce and Coaching.  Give me a call at (401) 632-6976 and I'll be happy to set up your first low-cost session for only $135.00.

My Very Best to All of You in Your Divorce and Family Law Cases!

Rhode Island Divorce Coaching Tip: Agreeing to Set An Earning Capacity in Your RI Divorce can Hurt You!

In a Rhode Island Divorce it is possible for a judge to set an earning capacity for you following a hearing.  It is also possible for you to agree to an earning capacity when you are in a divorce and just want to get the divorce completed.

An earning capacity is an artificial income that is assigned to you for child support, alimony or other financial purposes in a divorce either by a judge or by agreement.

Should John Agree to Setting his Earning Capacity? 

For example, John is a sheet metal specialty engineer and is going through a divorce with his wife Miriam.  They have 4 children.  John was let go from his job of 26 years when the Rhode Island company downsized 1 year ago.  John made a good income after 26 years as a specialist with the same company and he made a good six figure income ($125,000/yr) and his family lived fairly well.  Despite a diligent search for work John found that there aren't any positions in the New England area looking for a person with his experience.  John's work was actually specifically suited to the work for the company that had let him go and his experience didn't transfer easily to any company.

John simply could not find a job and unemployment was going to run out soon.  Miriam expected the same sort of support for her and the kids that John had been providing for years.  John simply couldn't do it.  He was as agreeable as possible while on unemployment but now that unemployment was coming to an end John was forced to take the best job he could find at only $54,000 a year in order to make sure there was still money coming in.

Miriam and her lawyer were not satisfied with the amount of child support John would end up paying at an income of $54,000 per year so they asked John to agree that he accept an assigned earning capacity of $85,000 per year or they would petition the court that the amount be $100,000 or more.

John was scared.  He didn't know what to do.  He felt he should be making $85,000 with his skills but the jobs weren't there and he took the best job he could.  Even though Miriam and her divorce lawyer thought it was fair to ask for much less than the income he had been making before, John would have nothing left to live on after he paid for child support and child care for the children as well as the medical insurance costs he would have to pay out of pocket.  Yet John was scared about what might happen if the Court decided that he had the capacity to make $100,000 or even $125,000.  He knew he wouldn't survive at all and he'd be living on the street because he wouldn't be able to even afford gas for his truck.

What should John do?

Each person has to make their own choices in their own Rhode Island divorce but they should consider the advice of a competent lawyer who regularly practices Rhode Island divorce and family law.  Whatever decision John should make in his divorce predictament, he should do it with an informed mind and consider not just the immediate moment but the future as well.

My philosophy has always been that unless there is extremely strong facts and reasoning for agreeing to an earning capacity when you are not making anywhere close to the amount of money someone else wants to assign to you, then you should oppose it.  

Now, what is the reasoning behind my philosophy?  It's fairly simple.  If you previously made $125,000 but now you are making $54,000, in almost every instance you most likely wouldn't want to agree that your earning capacity is $85,000 in a divorce or in any family law proceeding in Rhode Island for that matter.  

Why?  Think of it this way.  Once you agree with people that you are capable of making $85,000 then you have set the floor (the "lowest amount you should make") for what you are capable of earning.  Therefore,unless you become severely injured or debilitated then the other party is almost always going to take the position that your income should always be based "at a minimum" on $85,000 because you agreed to it.  

Now, since typically as you get older you gain more experience and more experience should mean greater income then your agreement to $85,000 as the lowest amount you should ever make should be upheld.  Therefore, if you agree that your earning capacity (what you are capable of earning) is $85,000 then you may never be able to argue that you make less than $85,000 for any purpose because you have now admitted that you are capable of earning $85,000.

Imagine that John does agree that he is capable of making $85,000 early in his divorce even if he is only making $54,000.  Reasonably, John's child support, child care and perhaps alimony payments are very likely to be based on $85,000 or higher even if John only makes $54,000.  That's a huge difference.  

So what happens?  John overpays because he wanted to be agreeable in his Rhode Island divorce and loves his children, yet John later realizes he simply can't survive.  If John agreed that the $85,000 during his divorce, John should be prepared that he may never be able to argue that his income is less than $85,000 even when it actually is.

Agreeing to an earning capacity is generally speaking a bad idea in Rhode Island divorce and family law cases for the reason I mentioned above.  Once you agree to that assigned amount, you can't just take back your agreement if it doesn't work out in the future.  If $85,000 ends up in a court order then you just set the lowest amount you should expect to make in the eyes of many judges, attorneys, and parties.

Is it a risk to go to court and take the chance that the judge might find it to be higher?  Yes, it is.  Yet the other party has to justify why you should be assigned more than the $54,000 you make.  If you demonstrate your unsuccessful yet diligent job search and the specialty area that you were involved in then any good judge is likely to see what you can and cannot do.

Give careful consideration before you agree that an earning capacity can be set for you in a RI divorce.  If this comes up in an uncontested Rhode Island divorce, think twice because frankly... it shouldn't!

My Best to All in Your Rhode Island Divorce and Family Law Cases!

Child Support Debt causes Police to haul US singer off the stage

A singer known for his 1990 chart-topping love song has been hauled off a Massachusetts stage and arrested on charges of owing $420,000 ($A431,056) in unpaid child support.

Steven Bernard Hill of Las Vegas was arrested on Friday night at the MassMutual Center, where he was performing on tour.

Hill performs as Stevie B and is best known for the song Because I Love You (The Postman Song). It reached number one on the Billboard charts in late 1990.

Springfield police Sgt John M Delaney told the Springfield Republican that Hill was surprised by the arrest and concerned that he might miss a weekend show in Providence, Rhode Island.

Hill is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.