Authored By: Christopher Pearsall, RI Divorce Attorney
a.k.a. " The Rhode Island Divorce Coach ℠ "
Many people think the court is responsible for creating the court orders relating to divorce and family law matters after the judge has stated them from the bench or the parties have agreed upon them.
This is a mistake often made by pro se litigants and new attorneys in Rhode Island. It is up to the litigations in the matter to create the court's Order consistent with what the judge has stated from the bench. If this means that you must obtain the transcript of the hearing or a transcrip exerpt that contains only the judge's Order, then you should do so.
Remember, the Orders are the documents that the court uses to review the file and determine the travel (i.e. what has happened) in the case. It is often quoted by judges that a court speaks through it's Orders. Therefore, without orders for each part of the proceeding, a further review of the file leaves gaps in the timeline. This leaves judges missing critical peices about what occurred during the court proceedings and as a result the judges are without the appropriate information to make equitable decisions in the case.
Just remember that there are procedures for submitting Orders to the Court, including waiting periods once submitted. These procedures for those who are unfamiliar with them, can be found in the Rhode island Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure.