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What is the Best Way to Beat Child Support?

Rhode Island Child Support
By:  Christopher A. Pearsall, RI Divorce & Family Law Lawyer*


What is the best way to beat child support?


There is no good way to beat child support. I agree with Attorney Andy Chen on I have seen many people try to “beat” child support ( by which I assume you mean that the person avoids having to pay child support without consequences). It never ends up well for that person.

Failure or refusing to pay child support often has many direct and indirect consequences, such as accruing interest at an exorbitant rate that keeps compounding, loss of your driver’s license, damage to your credit rating which prevents house purchases, car purchases, or even small personal loans, possible imprisonment, possible loss of your job, vengeful behavior from the child’s other parent or even from the child later in life.

People who try to beat child support NEVER end out better for it.

I understand that sometimes money is tight. I also understand that some people feel they have good reasons for trying to avoid or beat child support. However, in the end I have to wonder why someone would try to “beat” child support so they don’t have to pay anything.

Whatever the reason, if a person is the actual biological parent of a child then there is a legal, practical, and to many a moral obligation to help support a minor child. Minor children typically aren’t able to support themselves financially, which includes putting a roof over the child’s head with heat and electricity, food for the child to eat, clothing for the child to wear, etc…

It is important regardless of whether I am a lawyer or not that if we have played a role in procreating or adopting a child that each of us take personal responsibility for that role and help provide the basic necessities for the child. If any of us as people are not prepared to do that under any circumstances, then we should not perform the acts that result in procreation or adoption until we are prepared to undertake that responsibility and realize that it continues at least until the minor child is emancipated.

Remember, that opposing an increase in child support for justifiable reasons is not trying to “beat child support”, it is merely balancing the needs of both the parents and the child. In some cases, there are justifications before the court for temporarily or in the rare occasion permanently terminating child support to a minor child. However, trying to “beat” child support for a minor child you helped bring into the world for the sake of simply avoiding your obligation as a biological parent is neither a reasonable nor acceptable position. If this is the reason for your question, then the counter questions to you would be

  1. What do YOU mean by “BEAT” child support?
  2. What are your justifications (often confused with reasons or explanations which are not the same) for trying to “beat” child support.

In any event, unless you have viable legal justifications that can be argued before the court regarding child support, then it is never a good idea simply to try to find practical ways to “beat” child support. In the long run it never pays to try to “beat” child support.

It is always best to sit down for an advice session with a competent and experienced family law attorney in the state in which you have your issue before taking any kind of action.

For people within the State of Rhode Island, feel free to call me to set up your comprehensive low-cost flat fee legal advice session. Know what your options are before you act.

Call today and be on your way to getting the answer you need!  (401) 632-6976

Rhode Island is the Children's Home State. Can the Custodian Parent Move out Of State for a Job?

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Atty Chris Pearsall

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

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Question: Can the custodian parent move with with children to another state because of a new job if there is a court order stating that Rhode Island is the home state of the children?

Reponse: No. If you have joint legal custody or this would prohibit you from having your scheduled parenting time with your children, then a parent is not supposed to make that unilateral move.  A parent with physical placement of the children must file a Petition for Relocation / To Move Out of State with the Minor Child(ren) in the Rhode Island family court, particularly if Rhode Island is stated in the Court's Order that Rhode Island is the "Home State" of the minor child(ren).

However, some parents do it just the same and file the petition afterward. Of course after the fact it is very hard to expect the court to order the parent to move back into the State of Rhode Island with the children.  However, it is possible.  It is also possible that if the court finds that the move was not in the best interests of the minor child(ren) if the parent makes the move first, it is entirely possible that the family court judge could find that is it in the best interests of the minor child(ren) to be placed with the parent who remained in the State of Rhode Island.

If you suspect that the parent would leave with the minor child(ren) to another state, it is best to be proactive and file an action in the family court with an Ex Parte Motion and supporting affidavit demonstrating why you have the reasonable belief that the custodial parent will take the child(ren) to another state.  It is possible that the Court will issue a Temporary Ex Parte Order based upon your initial Ex Parte Motion if the court doesn't issue an immediate Order prohibiting him or her from moving to another state. 

Typically the Ex Parte Motion asks for immediate emergency relief based upon what you know and represent to the court in your affidavit.  However, there must be an underlying action filed for permanent relief.  Very often the underlying action is a Motion for Change of Placement or a Motion to Preclude the Relocation of the Minor Children Outside the State.  The grounds used are that it is likely to cause "irreparable harm" to the child(ren) based upon their strong psychological relationship and ties with Rhode Island, including the other parent, friends, extended family, church, extracurricular activities, etc. The same grounds might be used, in part, for a change of placement of the children to the non-custodial parent.  You would obviously be asking that an Emergency Order immediately issue until such time as the custodial parent files a motion for the relocation and the matter can be heard on it's merits. This is not something that is easily done. You only get one shot at it and if you blow it you may find that if you are the non-custodial parent that suddenly your children are gone to another state despite your attempts to prevent it. I strongly recommend seeking the assistance of an experienced family law lawyer.

Best of Luck to You!

How do I take back my former name in a Rhode Island Divorce proceeding?

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Authored By:  Christopher Pearsall, RI Divorce Attorney
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Resuming a maiden or a former name in a divorce proceeding, whether it is a contested or uncontested proceeding is quite simple.

Many people know that they want to resume a former name at the time they file their initial divorce complaint or their counterclaim for divorce.  When you do so there is a section that asks for the relief you are looking for in the proceeding.  In that "request for relief paragraph" you simply include a statement that you want to resume your maiden or former name of "SMITH" or whatever it may be.

In the event that you neglect to include the request to take back a maiden name or a former name the court will usually allow you to amend your complaint or counterclaim either by a written or an oral motion to the court requesting that you be allowed to do so.  It is usually accepted by most judges in either contested cases or in uncontested/nominal hearing cases.

How do I file a Motion to Adjudge in Willful Contempt in Rhode Island Family Court?

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Authored By:  Christopher Pearsall, RI Divorce Attorney
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Question: How do you adjudge in contempt in ri family court?   My ex  took my parental rights away from me until he filed a motion to modify visits

Answer: To Adjudge in Contempt in Rhode Island Family Court assuming it is an open court proceeding before the court you would file a Motion to Adjudge in Willful Contempt.

A basic motion would typically consist of the following:

1) Identify the Order of the Court that the other party has violated.

2) Direct the Court to the specific terms of the Order that the party did or did not do.

3) Claim that the party has willfully disobeyed the Orders of the Court and therefore should be adjudged in willful contempt of Court.

The person making the motion would then ask for the relief that they would like from the court. This relief could be attorney's fees, lost wages for having to file and prosecute this motion, an amount of financial damage that you suffered, committal to the ACI (Adult Correctional Institution) until the person complies with the Court's Order, etc.... Relief in these motions vary based on each case.

Since there is no information about your case I have just given you some basic examples of types of relief you might request. Now regarding your 2nd sentence, you ex-partner is not able to unilaterally take away your parental rights since only the court has the power to do this and does not do so lightly.

Therefore, I'm not really sure what you are referring to here. Unfortunately this is the best guidance I can give you since I do not have detailed specifics about your case which would require much more than is allowed through this forum. My very best of luck to you in your matter in the Rhode Island Family Courts!

How Do I Find Out What My Spouse Will Use Against Me in My Divorce?

There are legal tools that exist in the Rhode Island Domestic Relations Rules of Procedure and in virtually every state and commonwealth that a party can use to discover their opponent's claims and what evidence they might have against you.

So what could you use.

In Rhode Island there are several main "Discovery Tools" as I prefer to call them.  They are generally as follows:






There is an additional one in some jurisdictions that provides in some situations that is a Request for a Mental Health or Medical Examination but it is rarely used in divorce cases as compared to the other tools.

These discovery tools would be used by you or your attorney to find out what your spouse will use against you, the find the strengths and/or weaknesses in your spouse's case, to gain evidence about your spouse's credibility and for other purposes relevant to your case.

Each tool performs in a different way.  Today we will address Interrogatories.

Interrogatories are questions that you may send to the opposing spouse that he or she must answer under oath or objected to within a specific time period set forth by the Rules of the Court.  The answers may be used not only to discovery aspects of your opponent's case but they also may be used at the time of trial for a variety of purposes that support your case or damage the other spouse's case.  In Rhode Island Family Court the number of questions you may ask, including subparts, is limited to thirty (30) unless you obtain approval of the court to ask more questions.

The next article will cover a description of another powerful tool used in divorce cases to learn your opposing spouse's position and to build your own case in the event you are headed for trial or need bargaining leverage for settlement.  

In the series of articles to following their descriptions I will give examples of how each particular tool might be used and perhaps even some of the traps to avoid falling into when you are sent a particular set of documents that must be responded to.

Rule 33 of the RI Rules of Prodedure for Domestic Relations governs interrogatory use in divorce and family court cases and it works in conjunction with Rule 26 which relates to the majority of the other "discovery tools" as you will see later.

Rule 33 as of the writing of this posting is as follows:


(a) Availability; Answers; Objections. Any party may serve upon any adverse party written interrogatories to be answered by the party served or, if the party served is a public or private corporation or a partnership or association, by any officer or agent, who shall furnish such information as is available to the party. Interrogatories may be served after commencement of the action and without leave of court, except that, if service is made by the plaintiff within twenty (20) days after service upon the defendant, leave of court granted with or without notice must first be obtained. The interrogatories shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath. The answers shall be signed by the person making them; and the party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers on the party submitting the interrogatories within forty (40) days after the service of the interrogatories, unless the court on motion and notice and for good cause shown, enlarges or shortens the time. With his or her answers a party may serve specific written objections to particular interrogatories, stating the grounds on which they are based. Failure to serve such objections shall constitute a waiver thereof. Answers to interrogatories to which objection is made may be deferred until an order to answer is entered in accordance with Rule 37(a) upon motion of the interrogating party. Such objections or motion made without substantial justification shall be subject to the sanctions set forth in Rule 37(a).

(b) Scope; Limitations. Interrogatories may relate to any matters which can be inquired into under Rule 26(b), and the answers may be used to the same extent as provided in Rule 26(d) for the use of the deposition of a party. Interrogatories may be served after a deposition has been taken, and a deposition may be sought after interrogatories have been answered, but the court on motion of the deponent or the party interrogated, may make such protective order as justice may require. A party shall not serve more than one set of interrogatories upon an adverse party nor shall the number of interrogatories exceed thirty (30) unless the court otherwise orders for good cause shown. The provisions of Rule 30(b) are applicable for the protection of the party from whom answers to interrogatories are sought under this rule.

(c) Continuing Duty to Answer. If the party furnishing answers to interrogatories shall obtain subsequently information which renders such answers incomplete, amended answers shall be served not later than ten (10) days prior to the day fixed for trial. Thereafter amendments may be allowed only on motion and upon such terms as the court may direct.

[Rule 33 is Accurate as of November 2, 2012]

Bookmark this website for upcoming articles on other Discovery Tools you can use in your divorce that can help give you an advantage.

All My Best to You on Your Journey Through The RI Family Court,
Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall - "The Rhode Island Divorce Coach"™ 

Affordable Divorce Representation and Coaching for Providence, Kent, Washington and Newport Counties.

Call me for your reduced-cost advice session at (401) 632-6976.