Divorce in Rhode Island – “Do’s and Don’ts After Divorce” – Family Law and Child Support by an RI Lawyer

(For your convenience, I have prepared this list of “Do’s and Don’ts after Divorce” that apply to Rhode Island divorces. Some may apply to you and many will not. Please please take a few minutes to read this.If you have any questions about this article or need legal help, contact a Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer) Artilce by David Slepkow 401-437-1100

behind

Keep accurate records of child support, alimony, or other estate settlement payments. In the event there is a dispute as to whether or not you have made payments, accurate records are important as proof of payment.

If you have an estate settlement agreement in your case, any changes to the estate settlement agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties.

In the event that you do not have an estate settlement agreement and there is only one final judgment in your case, changes can only be made by applying to the court for a modification of the final judgment based on a material change in circumstances.

If your children’s visitation is in dispute, keep accurate records of your visits that document dates, times, activities, and/or confrontations with your ex-spouse.

If your ex-spouse receives welfare (afdc benefits), then don’t make direct payments to them! You must make payment to the State of Rhode Island. In the event that your ex-spouse receives welfare and you make payments directly to him/her, these payments will be considered a gift. The State of Rhode Island (RI) will continue to pursue you for child support payments, even though you made the payments directly to your ex-spouse. This means that you will have to make double child support payments.

Do not modify the property liquidation contract by verbal agreement. ALL changes to a property settlement agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties.

Do not make cash payments of alimony or child support without a receipt signed by your former spouse.

If you make payments directly to your child or buy something for your child, these payments will be considered gifts to your child and will not be credited toward child support. Therefore, if you want these types of payments to be considered child support, they must be given directly to your spouse as child support.

If there is a restraining order or no contact order in your case, do not contact your ex-spouse without having the restraining order dismissed. Even if your ex-spouse initiates communication or invites you, he could still be arrested for violating the restraining order. Any type of communication is a violation of the restraining order, including emails, letters, faxes, or voicemail messages. Do not trust your ex-spouse’s insistence that a restraining order has been dismissed. You must verify with the Clerk of the Rhode Island Family Court that the restraining order has been dismissed.

Important information

If your circumstances change, consider filing a motion to modify child support right away. This only applies if the alimony is modifiable. If there is an estate settlement agreement that is incorporated into the final judgment that states that child support is non-modifiable, then child support is non-modifiable. If there is no property agreement in your case and alimony, then alimony is probably modifiable upon a substantial change in circumstances. A substantial change in circumstances could be a loss of income, loss of a job or disability, etc.

A. Child Support

Child support does not automatically end when your child turns eighteen (18) years of age. Child support will automatically accrue unless a Motion to Terminate Child Support is filed.

If you are the physically placing parent of your child or children and your income significantly decreases or your former spouse’s income significantly increases, then you should contact an attorney to file a Motion to Increase Child Support Payments.

If you are the non-physically-placed parent of your child and your income significantly decreases or your former spouse’s income significantly increases, then you should contact an attorney to file a Motion to Reduce your child support obligation. If you are unable to pay child support due to a change in circumstances, you must file a motion to modify child support immediately; otherwise, you may be subject to contempt proceedings for failure to pay child support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *