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July 2013

A Call to RI Divorce Lawyers to Push Uncontested Divorces to Help People!

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Atty Chris Pearsall

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

Publisher and Author on Google+

When I started the development of the RI Divorce Coaching program other attorneys said it wouldn't work. No one was behind me except my wife. 

Primarily, attorney colleagues consistently told me they would not participate in the program because they wouldn't make enough money promoting the program. 

 Secondarily, my fellow Rhode Island attorneys said it would not be effective because people in Rhode Island would not be receptive to the fact they they could actually understand the process and take themselves through Rhode Island's Uncontested Divorce/Nominal Hearing process to the Final Judgment because they were too ingrained in traditional legal representation.

Well, after 5 1/2 years of coaching the program speaks for itself.  While I had projected and even hoped for an 85% success rate of the program over the 4 year period, I have been amazed to find that upon reaching a milestone of 4 years of continuous coaching for laypeople of Uncontested Divorce Coaching, the plan itself and my coaching clients have achieved a 99.9% success rate.

No, that is not a misquote.  99.9% of those who engage in all aspects of the program have achieved their Final Judgment of Divorce with minor adjustments in only 2 instances with countless successes, each of which were handled with ease by the client after the appropriate coaching.

Rhode Island attorneys I'm asking you to give me a call.  Pro Se filings for Divorces are on the rise but these people need guidance. I have created a detailed explanatory program that is helpful to people who can't afford the cost of representation.  It's more affordable and works in stages.  Sure, it's not the big money you might like.  Yet if you spend your time helping more people in coaching aspects of your practice the money adds up and believe it or not your liability is reduced.

If your law practice is slower and you need to supplement your law practice income stream, I welcome you to contact me.  This concept is growing and already two attorneys in other states have not only picked up on it but they have expanded it into other areas of practice.  People call me directly seeking my coaching services and most of my coaching clients who aren't excessively busy are more than happy to provide me with a great testimonial for my legal services and particularly the coaching services.  

to lawyers to bring it to the public to improve their practices and help people with their uncontested divorces.  While for some attorneys it is not the most profitable service compared to representation.  

RI Divorce Coaching is a valuable service to afford us as attorneys the opportunity to assist people in their uncontested divorces when th.  Payment is at the time of the service and coaching clients are informed about how to go about presenting their own rights and claims in court in an amicable manner.

I will be releasing a complete program together with the structure of my program for a fee similar to a franchise.  I have followed this structure and improved it for over 5 years with the input and construtive criticism of my uncontested divorce coaching clients and though continuing to develop it is a way to expand your practice using a new and effective system for attorneys to market themselves from a new prospective.

I welcome lawyers or coaching clients interested in learning more about how client's can handle their own uncontested Rhode Island divorce cases as if they were their own attorneys.

Whether you are interested in purchasing the program as an attorney to offer it to clients, or a client who needs the help from this program to save the money because of limited financial resources, feel free to call me at (401) 632-6976 for an attorney's briefing on the program or to get a client's first affordable Coaching & Advice Session to get a real solid grasp on what to expect from the RI Family Court System as it relates to your circumstances.

Uncontested RI Divorces - You are the Magic in your Rhode Island Divorce!

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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Rhode Island uncontested divorces in my estimation have their own divorce recipe.  

What is that uncontested divorce recipe in Rhode Island you ask?

Here is my RI Uncontested Divorce recipe for those who represent themselves in a nutshell.  

1. Your own common sense.
2. Your willingness to get some professional coaching.
3. Your ability to follow directions.

Many Rhode Island lawyers will tell you ALMOST exactly what I will tell you.  Most RI lawyers who handle a moderate amount of divorces will tell you something like this:

"It's never a good idea to represent yourself in your own Rhode Island divorce matter."

But ALMOST isn't good enough for most people.  It isn't good enough for me, and it shouldn't be good enough for you.  So what I will suggest to you is this:

"It's never a good idea to represent yourself in your own Rhode Island divorce matter unless you've got some divorce coaching."

Rhode Island divorce coaching is the second ingredient in the recipe I mentioned above.

Notice the common thread in the Rhode Island uncontested divorce recipe.  It's not a divorce lawyer.  It's YOU!  

Your common sense, your willingness, and your ability will determine if your divorce is and will remain uncontested and go from beginning to end without substantial challenges.  This works for both the husband and the wife in each uncontested divorce.

To the extent that there is any magic at all in a trouble-free uncontested divorce in Rhode Island, it's YOU! 

The purpose of this short article is very focused.  If you don't realize that YOU are the magic in any uncontested divorce then you've missed the point.

You can give the credit to a divorce lawyer if you want to, but in the end you are the one who has the power to call the shots, make the decisions, settle your case and either keep it uncontested or make it contested.

If manage to get through the divorce procedure on your own without any professional coaching or legal guidance then I won't be patting you on the back.  Why, because chances are better than good that you just lost property, waived rights, or gave up something that was perhaps even more valuable regarding your child(ren), visitation, placement, custody, healthcare benefits, etc. . . that you will never get back.  You may have had that one chance and you blew it because you didn't want to get that divorce coaching.

It is your marriage.  It is your divorce.  An uncontested divorce is your chance to make the decisions and reach a resolution.  Sure, get some professional guidance for your divorce regarding the law and the procedure.  It's essential.  

Yet if you get nothing else from this article, realize the truth.  

YOU are the magic in your Rhode Island uncontested divorce!

What is a Rhode Island Uncontested Divorce?

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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Many people call me simply to price shop over the phone for the cheapest lawyer.  People usually just say "I have an uncontested divorce. Everything is agreed upon.  How much do you charge for a simple divorce like that?

I have never asked a caller if they know what an uncontested divorce is because I have no intention of embarrassing or insulting them.

Yet many people don't know.  From my perspective, an uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses have agreed on every aspect of a divorce that must be agreed upon in a divorce proceeding including all of those that must be stated to the judge in the courtroom.  Additionally, an uncontested divorce is one in which no motions are filed by either by party and the case is resolved at the Nominal Hearing date.

The Nominal Hearing date is the first hearing date scheduled in a divorce proceeding.  It is, in essence, a Marital Agreement friendly divorce hearing between parties who have agreed how to resolve all of their issues regarding children, support, marital assets, marital debts, insurances, medical expenses, etc.

I strongly suggest that you don't presume you have an uncontested divorce.  Many people do not know the things that the court requires to hear from them, nor do they know what they should do to properly protect themselves even when they do agree upon things.

In 2013 there has been a trend where about 70% or more of people are representing themselves and handling their own cases by themselves (Pro Se).  Now in the mid to later part of 2013 I am finding myself attempting to fix what was (or was not) done by these people in their divorces.  Many times I am unable to do anything because of the way in which the person represented themselves.  

I urge you to think twice before representing yourself without the advice of an experienced family law lawyer after you have fully informed him or her about your entire marriage circumstances.

RI Divorce Snippet about Inherited Property as a possible Asset in a Divorce Case!

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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Rhode Island General Laws § sets forth the primary statute delineating the Equitable Distribution of the Marital Estate in a Divorce proceeding whether it is an Absolute divorce or a divorce from bed and board.  That statute currently states as follows:

R.I. General Laws § sets forth the primary statute delineating the Equitable Distribution of the Marital Estate in a Divorce proceeding whether it is an Absolute divorce or a divorce from bed and board.

That statute currently states as follows:

  15-5-16.1. Assignment of property

(a) In addition to or in lieu of an order to pay spousal support made pursuant to a complaint for divorce, the court may assign to either the husband or wife a portion of the estate of the other. In determining the nature and value of the property, if any, to be assigned, the court after hearing the witnesses, if any, of each party shall consider the following:
(1) The length of the marriage;
(2) The conduct of the parties during the marriage;
(3) The contribution of each of the parties during the marriage in the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation in value of their respective estates;
(4) The contribution and services of either party as a homemaker;
(5) The health and age of the parties;
(6) The amount and sources of income of each of the parties;
(7) The occupation and employability of each of the parties;
(8) The opportunity of each party for future acquisition of capital assets and income;
(9) The contribution by one party to the education, training, licensure, business, or increased earning power of the other;
(10) The need of the custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects taking into account the best interests of the children of the marriage;
(11) Either party's wasteful dissipation of assets or any transfer or encumbrance of assets made in contemplation of divorce without fair consideration; and
(12) Any factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper.
(b) The court may not assign property or an interest in property held in the name of one of the parties if the property was held by the party prior to the marriage, but may assign income which has been derived from the property during the term of the marriage, and the court may assign the appreciation of value from the date of the marriage of property or an interest in property which was held in the name of one party prior to the marriage which increased in value as a result of the efforts of either spouse during the marriage. The court also shall not assign property or an interest in property which has been transferred to one of the parties by inheritance before, during, or after the term of the marriage. The court shall not assign property or an interest in property which has been transferred to one of the parties by gift from a third party before, during, or after the term of the marriage.

The assignment of property, if any, to be made shall precede the award of alimony, since the needs of each party will be affected by the assignment of property, and once made in a final decree shall be final, subject only to any right of appeal which the parties may have. Any assignment made by the family court shall be regarded as a judgment for debt so that suit may be brought or execution may issue on the debt for the property due and undelivered, or the amount due and unpaid to be shown by affidavits of the person entitled to the property and the attorney of record of the person, the executions to run against the goods and chattels of the husband and wife, as the case may be; and the court may make all necessary orders and decrees concerning the suits or executions.

Current through Public Law 143 of 2013 Legislative Session

So what is the snippet of information to give you?  It arises from the case of Quinn v. Quinn, 512 A.2d 848 (RI 1986) which has been confirmed as current law by its restatement in Tondreault v. Tondreault, 966 A.2d 654 (R.I. 2009).  

The Quinn case tells us that despite the statutory provisions in RIGL 15-5-16.1, the statutory provisions do not preclude the court from including within the marital estate an asset that is traceable back to inherited property.

Simply because an asset was inherited does not exclude it from the marital estate.  If you included your spouses name on the asset's title, if you commingled the asset with your marriage, if you sold the asset and used the proceeds to buy something used in your marriage, if you inherited funds and deposited them in a joint account with your spouse . . . . all of these things can change the character and nature of the inherited item such that it is no longer exempt from the marital estate.

The law changes frequently.  Always have to check your law and seek the advice of an experienced Rhode island divorce attorney who has been fully infomed about your case before taking action.


Can my Attorney Move to Withdraw if I am unable to pay my Divorce Bill?

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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Attorney Pearsall, my name is Hector.  I hired a divorce lawyer for Rhode Island family court to get me through all this legal stuff.  Right now we are a month away from the trial date the judge specified.  My attorney had been sending me some bills and I told him that I was good for them and that I always pay my bills.  He told me that lawyers don't work that way and that he's had tons of people just skip out on him over the years without paying their bills.  The bill really doesn't seem to be that much to me.  Right now it's a bit over $4,500.00.

The attorney asked me to come in and talk to him about the bill but I told him I wouldn't because he would just bill me more for that meeting.  Now he is telling me that I need to pay the outstanding balance and advance him monies for trial preparation otherwise he is going to withdraw on my case.

Just so you know, I went to another attorney and she told me that my attorney can't withdraw on me like that.  She said that it's up to the judge as to whether my attorney is let out and with a trial date set it is not very likely that the judge will do it.  She said that all I have to do is object.

What do you think?  Can he withdraw just because I haven't paid my divorce bill so far?



Hector, I'm not sure what you are trying to do.  Are you trying to get away without paying your bill?  Or are you trying to get as many opinions as you can and then whichever legal opinion you get the most of is the right one?

Whatever your motives are I can suggest to you several things.  

First, look at the written agreement you have with your attorney?  Does it say that if you don't pay your bill that he can withdraw from the case?  If so, some judges are going to take that into consideration.

Second, it is correct that your lawyer can't get out of the case without the judge allowing it.

Third, yes a judge can allow it for non-payment of your divorce bill even if there is a trial date set.

Not too long ago in 2009 there was a case that was right on point on this issue.  It was the case of King v. NAIAD Inflatables of Newport, Inc.   King was a Superior Court Case.  In that case the Defendant's owed their attorneys about $50,000.  The case was set for trial.  The Defendant's attorney moved to withdraw because they hadn't been paid and that it was unreasonable that they as attorneys should be burdened with the time necessary for preparation and for trial.  The judge denied the motion.  Essentially the Judge thought it would be better for the court to flow more smoothly if the attorneys remained in the case.

The attorneys for NAIAD appealed the judge's decision denying their Motion to Withdraw.  The Rhode Island Supreme Court stated that the judge didn't give enough consideration to the fact that attorneys need to be paid and that to keep the attorneys in further when they already hadn't been paid $50,000 or so dollars was unfair because it made them involuntary servants working for no wages.  The Rhode Island Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court Judge's ruling allowing the Defendant's attorneys to withdraw.

The case can be downloaded by clicking on this link -> King v. NAIAD Inflatables of Newport, Inc. 

In a nutshell, though the cases can be differentiated your answer is provided by the Rhode Island Supreme Court's decision in King.  

An attorney must have the permission of the court in order to withdraw from a case but an attorney may certainly file a motion to withdraw if you have not paid your bill and the court has the power to grant it even if there is a trial date pending.

My suggestion.  Pay your attorney or you will just end up trying to get another one who may have to charge you more just to get up to speed quickly depending upon the amount of time, if any, that the court gives you if your attorney's motion is granted.

In the end, ask yourself this.  When you work a whole week after being told you'd be paid, don't you expect to be paid?