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April 2013

A Divergence from Rhode Island Divorce! CISPA must be Stopped!

Picture of Attorney Christopher Pearsall
Atty Chris Pearsall

Authored By:  Christopher Pearsall, RI Divorce Attorney
a.k.a.  " The Rhode Island Divorce Coach ℠ "

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We have a real legal problem here and it isn't related just to divorce!

It's related to PRIVACY!  It's been on the horizon for a while but now it's on our doorstep and the companies we love to share our data and social information on are now turning against us and going to to bed with the lobbyists!  Imagine if Facebook, Twitter and Google were in favor of a law that gave the government access to all of our information and data without question.  No warrants, no subpoenas, no right of privacy, no due process of law.... NOTHING!!!  

Privacy would go out the door under the US Constitution because of this new law.  It's called CISPA for short and it just passed the House of Representatives.   The government already has so much power in our lives.  Do you want them to be privy to even every little post or profile information that you put on your social websites when that is exactly what it takes to rank on the search engines.  These companies offer us all these great "tools" so subtly and yet what if the plan all along is to be the puppet of the government so the government can invade our every waking though, know what we upload, download, listen to, watch, post, talk about, even our private emails are gone because the government has the right to know it without any due process at all.  

Fight for the Future needs your help.  I don't have much.  Times are tough what with helping all my clients through difficult times but I'm going to help and I'm going to stand by this.  If you don't know what this means, take the time to read up on it.  These are NOT rights we want to lose.  You might as well think of it as the Federal Government and everything you post becomes the property to, if not accessible and usable by the federal government.  

The end result, Your Privacy as Guaranteed by the United States Constitution is GONE!  This one law would deprive you of it.  Get informed people!  This is as serious as it gets on a global scale.  The companies we trust to provide us with good, enjoyable connecting services are selling us out.  Do I know what's behind the scenes?  No, I don't, but I know that companies that should be fighting in for their client's privacy are rolling over like dogs to get their tummies scratched.

We have ONE chance!  Just ONE chance and if we blow it then we are SCREWED and the chances of reversing this law aren't going to amount to a hill of beans. is fighting for all of us.  They need our help and support both by our action and our contributions.  I'm in and frankly I don't mind saying that money is tight and I don't have any money besides my budget to work with but I'll sell what I have to sell on this one, my guitar, my laptop, even my time at 1/10th of the price for a month.  Yes, it means that much.  

People who know me can tell you I'm taking this more than seriously.  I'll live on peanut butter if I have to save money on food.  Do I sound extreme?  Sorry if you think so of if you are offended but this is the way it is.  I never get on a bandwagon.... and I mean NEVER.... but this means killing our right to privacy over the biggest risk there is .... the internet... without ANY due process at all.  So there's my post.   I advise everyone reading this to subscribe to and do your part.  Last year Millions of people signed a petition and it stopped it's brother law called SOPA.  But now they've renamed it CISPA and taken a different approach with approximately the same result, our favorite companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook aren't backing us this time.  

If you aren't aware that the 5 major internet providers in the world have already made a agreement with the government to monitor everything we do but not tell us.  If you didn't know that and it doesn't bother you then you have a problem with ignorance.  Does it matter to you if the government can access any comments to your friends, your private emails, your uploads and downloads, where your children are and when, what your spouses look like, what your weaknesses are, who the most important people in your life are, whether you have commented about receiving money under the table, or whether you have pirated movies, what sites you have accounts on, what games you play, what accounts connect to what other accounts, where you work, where your children go to school, photos of who you love look like, etc.....

Do you see the implications?  I"m taking this seriously and so should every attorney and any person who shares "personal" information with other people.  What if you suddenly are targeted because you express political views contrary to what the government computers flag and tag.  Could you possibly receive repercussions?  YOUR RIGHT TO PRIVACY IS ON THE VERGE OF BEING TAKEN FROM YOU!  Your choice!  Are you going to give it up without a fight?  NOT ME!  

Our forefathers fought and died for these rights for a reason.  Our fight doesn't involve our lives but the people behind are mobilizing us and they need out help to save YOUR right to privacy.  IF we lose this valuable right, we ALL lose it!  WE can't let it happen!  Spread the Word!  Sign up at that website.  Contribute what little or as much as you can.  

How much is YOUR PRIVACY WORTH?  See why I'm on the soapbox?  I don't have enough money to contribute to tell you how much this right is worth to me.  What about you?

What do divorce lawyers do in their off time? A Day in my Life!

Picture of Attorney Christopher Pearsall
Atty Chris Pearsall

Authored By:  Christopher Pearsall, RI Divorce Attorney
a.k.a.  " The Rhode Island Divorce Coach ℠ "

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Publisher on Google+

Well, I can't speak for other lawyers in my field when I say what divorce lawyers do in their off time but I certainly know what I do.  I'll let you judge for yourself if I'm typical, atypical or just plain strange.

I enjoy spending my time with my wife Cindy and my three chihuahuas.  Yes, three (3).  They were rescue dogs in need of adoption and we originally went to see one dog.  Well we found out that the one dog we saw was part of a family that had been relinquished to the shelter.  They where scared and skiddish.  There was a mother and her little boy and a little girl.  Well, thankfully my wife and I had similar thoughts that day... "You just can't break up a family."  So there we were taking home three chihuahuas.  The names had to be changed... they just didn't fit the bill.  They seem to be a mexican type breed so we gave them new appropriate names.  I won't even tell you the names because they make me want to cringe.  They were far from endearing. 

So,first there was Taco because he's the smallest one and he could literally fit in a little pita pocket. 

It took a few days to figure out the little girl.  Yet after a few days it was pretty clear.  She's a beautiful jet black and wonderfully sleek.  But she's fast, wirey and sneaky as all hell.  She has ivory colored circles around her eyes and just a bit over her nose so it looks like she's wearing Zoro's mask.  Yet she would quickly get out of her crate, her pen, her yard and anywhere else she was confined.  At first I thought of Houdini but since he was a man it didn't quite suit her.  Finally I noticed how she tried to steal any food or treats that were left out for the other dogs.  She was clearly a Bandit.  So we added an "a" to the end and there you go... Bandita.

Last but not least was their Mother.  That one was easy after a rather painful bite.  They had been at the shelter and left by themselves for about a month or a month and a half either in this really large carrier or in their crate at the shelter.  Well, I learned that they get what is called "cage rage" when they are in the same place as a "pack family" for that much time.  In other words, she was protective and territorial.  So the first day she wouldn't come out of the crate when we brought her home and neither would the others because they were scared.  Well, stupid me, rather than just letting them adjust I just thought I'd reach in and get one of he babies to bring them out to show them it was their now home and their mom tore into my right hand and left me bleeding with some pretty deep teeth marks for the rest of the day. 

I'll admit it, I was ticked off.  But it never happened again once I let them come out on their own.  Yet it gave her the name Mommacita.  She was the ultimate mom.  She protected them.  Cuddles with them.  Cleans their ears and their paws and plays with them.  When they get too rough then she jumps in to break things up. 

So what do I do?  I spend my spare time cuddling with my dogs.  Filming them and playing with them on the floor.  I'm always trying to think of new games to play with them.  With all of the children grown up and out of the house these are our children now but we don't expect them to leave any time soon.

As you can tell I enjoy writing.  I like sharing with people and informing people about things that I know so they can learn from me and hopefully I can learn from them.

I am constantly reading and learning new things on the internet.  Right now my newest thing it is about creating videos with video production programs.

When I have a case that is concerning me and there is a hearing coming up or a client is really having a hard time, I find myself writing to them, almost always on my own time to give them support and know that they are not alone.  Depending upon the case I sometimes spend days or even weeks worrying about them and having sleepless nights wondering how I can help them better.

I enjoy watching Netflix with my wife and after being exposed to so much reality each week I like to indulge in some of my favorite movies and television series such as Charmed, Smallville and The Avengers. 

I'm an entrepreneur at heart and I'm constantly experimenting with business ideas and concepts that may prove fruitful.

I am also into into self-help for relationships, physical fitness, and meditation.

I play acoustic guitar on occasion and spend considerable time trying to figure out what Google has done to change how its ranking system works and why they suddenly "demote" one or more of my other websites for my services or giving good solid information to the public without any particular reason.

I thoroughly enjoy Mac/Apple Computers and have found the need over the years to be a bit of an apple laptop technician on my own after the warranties expire.

I enjoy nature and amateur photography and miss the interaction of colleages in a large firm  since I began my solo-practice in 2000.

I drive an older car, practice filming and fixing up the house on weekends and find myself constantly doing paperwork and finding new things to recycle to help our environment.

I often take time to learn new programming techniques so I can develop my own billing program and try to learn new internet languages to keep up with today's technology.

I'm a simple man with a simple life.  I'm happiest with my dogs and my wife or when I get the rare occasion to go visit my mother and see my brothers.

No matter what, I am constantly helping those who call me and become my clients for either coaching or representation.  I'm selective about my clients and I pick good people.  I'm fair and honest with them and reasonable with all my billing.  I tend to lose more than I make which is disappointing because I know I've truly earned what I bill (usually 10 times over actually) and many times I take a loss each year which the IRS doesn't recognize.

I want to make a difference with people more than anything.  Lawyers have a black eye with people and I want to be one lawyer who changes that view even if it's one person at a time.

Ultimately, I'm a simple man, caring, loving, not out for the money but out to help those I can and still pay my bills and take care of my family.  It doesn't always work out that way, but somehow things work out and life goes on.

The rare latte at Star Bucks is enjoyable and I get to network and meet a few people but other than that as a very close friend who passed not long ago would say, I'm a priest who only looks and acts like a lawyer.

This isn't a legal article as you can tell, but it gives you a sense of me.  Most lawyers don't want you to know these things about them because it crosses the line between personal and professional.  Yet how can you trust your attorney if you don't know about them.

For those going through a family court matter, I've been there.  But this has been a cheerful sharing so perhaps we will leave the details of that for another day.

The PRO SE Divorce Movement has its Consequences!

Picture of Attorney Christopher Pearsall
Atty Chris Pearsall

Authored By:  Christopher Pearsall, RI Divorce Attorney
a.k.a.  " The Rhode Island Divorce Coach ℠ "

Google+ Author Profile

Publisher on Google+

There's no doubt that the economy is tight for everyone and money is scarce.  That factor alone is enough to explain why people are filing their own divorces and trying to save money by not hiring lawyers to take them through the Rhode Island divorce process.

Yet if you are going to go this route and not even bother to speak to a lawyer and get some solid legal advice regarding your rights, then you need to understand that there are consequences to your actions.

Here are three (3) important points that you should consider:

Point No. 1:  Judge's do not protect you. - You are responsible for protecting your own rights, plain and simple.  It doesn't matter if judges ask you fundamental questions to lead you through your divorce.  These questions are only fundamental and judges who may be helpful are trying to move their calendar along.  It is not their job to protect your legal rights.  Only you know the facts and circumstances of your life, your assets, your debts, the gifts you have received from third parties, any items or funds you may have inherited, your children, who the primary caretaker is, etc....  These are the things an attorney would ask about in order to advise you about your legal rights, options and alternatives.  


Yet a judge isn't allowed to give you legal advice.  So when you answer basic questions because you came before the judge willing to risk your legal rights based on your own knowledge, you need to know that a judge's guidance through the proceeding with basic questions means "nothing" except that a judge is covering just enough to be able to render a decision in the case.  If you miss something important during the divorce proceeding because a judge doesn't address something that should be addressed in your divorce, then you should know that you may have risked losing your rights or even waived it all together.

Point No. 2:  Be Prepared to Pay the Price. - The vast majority of people who go before the court and represent themselves (Pro Se) in their own divorces don't think of everything that a good divorce lawyer does.  Every day that I'm in court I see people represent themselves.  I hear them in the hallway and they mention something that I know is very important in their divorce. Yet when they go before the court, nothing is mentioned about it whatsoever.

So what happens?  Plan to be back in court.  Yes, I'm serious!  A good many Pro Se divorce litigants will, in fact, be forced to go back before the court to try to fix something from their goofed divorce.  Yet this time don't expect a judge to lead you through anything. Judge's may ask a few questions in post-judgment divorce matters because you are not doing a very good job explaining the issue, however, it will still be up to you to make a legal and/or factual argument.  

In the end, by my estimation about 8 out of 10 people fall flat on their face, waste their time, lose time from work and get no relief from the court whatsoever and are told that they should have had a lawyer or at least received solid advice from one before they handled their own divorce.  So, in the end if you are one of those 8 out of 10 who have to court, be prepared for the hard facts.  You may have to pay the price for not getting coaching from a regularly practicing attorney in the family courts and find there is nothing you can do after the fact.


Point No. 3 - Doing Things Right Doesn't Cost a Fortune.  I understand that money is tight.  I also understand that people want to save money every where they can.  Yet your legal rights in a divorce proceeding is NOT the place to get so cheap that you don't go and find out about your legal rights and figure out what to do.

There aren't any books that tell you about the rights that are important to your particular case.   Nor are there any books that explain to you the procedure of even a Nominal Divorce and the "why" of each step so that you understand what you are doing and the consequences.

Even this website does not cover everything in detail because each couple's life is different.  Perhaps someday I will write an extensive book on the subject but that is for another day.

Five years ago I developed a coaching program which I believe to be reasonably affordable and spaced out so that people could know their rights, understand the process, understand the law and the courts at least generally and get a grip on their own situation and how to correctly process their own divorce.

Despite it's affordability and the chance to space out Coaching sessions so that people wouldn't have to spend thousands up front on a lawyer but they could know their rights, etc... and make sure they took care of their divorce correctly.  Not being informed is a poor way to conduct your divorce.  Affordability and knowing your rights is only a telephone number and a small payment away.

Yet strangely enough people are complaining about the cost of knowing their rights and what it has taken my years to learn.  It has even taken me additional years to be able to present each stage in an understandable yet comprehensive way in a reasonable amount of time.

Your rights aren't something to play with.  You only have one chance to put your divorce through correctly!  Don't be foolish!  One mistake can make a huge difference.

Even now I am helping pro se individuals repair issues caused when they drafted their own marital settlement agreement and forgot to consider what might happen if different things were to happen.

In several cases the use of the a word that was close but not quite what was meant by one of the parties caused a tremendous problem years later.

Take the time to get it done right.  Knowing your rights for a few hundred dollars is an investment well-worth making.  It certainly beats a mistake that can cost you thousands. 


Technology like Facebook Can Wreak Havoc on a Relationship!

Picture of Attorney Christopher Pearsall
Atty Chris Pearsall

Authored By:  Christopher Pearsall, RI Divorce Attorney
a.k.a.  " The Rhode Island Divorce Coach ℠ "

Google+ Author Profile

Publisher on Google+


Facebook and many other social networking websites have changed the world but not necessarily for the better.

Facebook in particular has opened up a doorway for people to find what they are missing in their lives.  It sounds like a good thing, doesn't it?  

But if that "something" that a husband or wife needs is something that they need from their spouse an issue arises.  Facebook's easy access to millions of people at the touch of a button allows men and women to avoid reaching out to their partners to solve their relationship issues and find that missing relationship element elsewhere.

Avoidance of relationship issues is far from the best way to maintain a positive, strong, and loving relationship with someone.  In fact, avoidance leads to a breakdown by drawing one or both of the partners in the relationship in opposite directions.

On the surface it may seem harmless.  Sometimes, it starts as finding old friends and a little bit of chat here and there to catch up on old times.  At other times it might start as a partner intentionally finding groups or people who have the same relationship issue in their life and are therefore sympathetic too it.  Before long people may have connected and cultivated and internet friendship.


It is common for this internet friendship and/or other interactions to develop into what is seemingly harmless flirting and sympathetic understanding for each others problems and gaining a deeper respect and appreciation for the person on Facebook than you otherwise have with your partner.  Many times this occurs because the person on Facebook is sympathetic to what is missing in your life because as a give and take typing over the internet there is a focus on what is missing in your life and since the person is not likely to judge you since they are not your partner, you feel comforted and perhaps even empowered and loved by the Facebook person.

Before you know it you are exchanging pictures of each other, expanding into other subjects about family and likes and dislikes while subconsiously examining your compatibility with this person.  All the while most people never notice that they are sinking deeper and deeper into the trap of destroying their own marriage by reaching out to a third-party on Facebook for their needs rather than addressing the issue they have with their partner and resolving if not strengthing the relationship.  

The person's avoidance by using technology in the form of Facebook or any other social networking forum or Instant messaging service, etc. . . becomes destructive to the relationship as they someone begin to believe that the "grass is greener on the other side of the fence."  This may or may not lead to a physical meeting which, because of the bond created over Facebook or other social media often ends up in a physical relationship which is likely to destroy their relationship with their present partner.

It is sad that social media technology like Facebook now lends itself to such ease of use on a 24/7 basis that rather than dealing with issues at hand with those who are physically in our lives here and now.  We seek fulfillment elsewhere and let present relationships deteriorate and sometimes die because it is an easy way not to deal with issues that have arisen.

Yes, technology is more and more becoming the cause of the destruction of relationships in our society and it is questionable whether the benefit of touching base with old friends from long ago is enough of a benefit to offset the destruction of our current relationships.  Certainly it prompts in many people an avoidance mentality so that it is easier to avoid relationship issues and find someone else to fulfill a missing need.  In the end, we shirk our responsibilities and destroy our own relationships by failing to take responsibility for the issues in our current relationships and running away to a person on Facebook.

In the end, Facebook has become such a tremendous tool that it has been used to justify divorces on a fault basis for what some judges consider "internet affairs" or "internet infidelities" which justify an offset in the distribution of marital assets and debts.  In some cases it has destroyed relationships between a mother and child as some judges make determinations about the change in the physical placement of a child based upon statements and pictures on a child's Facebook account which remained unsupervised by the parent.

Unfortunately Facebook is only one forum that demonstrates how technology has been able to wreak havoc on today's relationships.

Perhaps the Zuckerbergs of the world will one day realize that other than the financial bottom line, sometimes the price paid on relationships and families is too much.  When that day occurs I hope they find a way to remedy the damage that is being done by the product they created and find a way to minimize the damage it creates.

Or, is the user to be considered completely at fault for using so easily available a technology forum like Facebook rather than correcting their own relationships?