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Divorce Trials Are Almost Extinct

Divorce Trials Are Almost Extinct

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Published by CareyH231
Divorce Help
Divorce Help

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: CareyH231 on Jan 24, 2012
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01/24/2012

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 ==== ====Divorce Helpdivorcesecrets.1shopdeals.net ==== ====Why are there so few Divorce Trials in Rhode Island Family Court? If there are thousands of casesfiled in Rhode Island Family Court, why are there so few trials? Divorce trials are very different from divorce hearings. A hearing in Family Court is when a judgehears testimony of witnesses or hears arguments from counsel about pretrial matters such asChild Custody, Child Support, Child Visitation, Contempt, Restraining Orders, Discovery motions,Motions to Modify Child Support, Temporary Alimony etc. Divorce hearings occur much more frequently than Divorce trials. When the parties reach asettlement there must be a brief "nominal" hearing. Husband and wife must testify at that nominalhearing. This type of hearing is a formality. There are a myriad of reasons for the minuscule amount of Rhode Island Divorce Trials. Afundamental "culture" and practice has evolved over decades in Rhode Island Family Court. ThisCulture and Process encourages out of Court settlements both directly and indirectly. This processalso subtly punishes those litigants who do not settle their divorce. In some instances, the pressure for a settlement is direct from the Trial Judge. In other instances,the parties perceive that if they perceived as being unreasonable then there will be some sort ofpenalty or adverse ruling at trial. Often that perception is just a perception rather than a reality.Sometimes the perception is a reality. In some ways, a divorce trial is viewed by the Court as a breakdown of the system. The entireprocess is premised around parties reaching a settlement prior to trial. The system, in itself, tends to wear the parties down to the point that they feel they have no otherrealistic option but to settle. Parties can be worn down both emotionally and financially by theRhode Island Family Court process. As far as equitable division of Assets in a Rhode Island Divorce is concerned, there is usually noabsolute winners and losers. In a Rhode Island Contract or Personal Injury case that goes to trial,there is usually a winner and loser. In a Rhode Island Criminal Trial, the accused is either guilty ornot guilty after trial. In a Divorce Trial, the Family Court Judge attempts to fashion an equitablesolution after trial. In other words, if you cannot settle your divorce there will be a quasi settlementimposed by the judge after hearing testimony. A seasoned and experienced Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer often has a general idea as to theoutcome of the divorce trial. Many cases settle because the attorney informs their client that theycannot in all likelihood do better at trial and may do a lot worse.
 
 How do parties get worn down to the point of settlement? There are often many Court dates prior to the Divorce Trial. These Court hearings involve waitinghours to have motions or Pretrial Conferences resolved. Cases are often continued for variousreasons including the calendars of Lawyers, the litigants and the Judges. Some cases arecontinued because more information or documents are needed or more time is needed for variousreasons. There are often frequent review dates to determine the progress of certain orders. For example, ina Rhode Island Divorce involving Visitation or Child Custody issues, the Family Court may holdfrequent review dates. These review dates often determine the progress and compliance with avisitations schedule. If a person is not paying child support on a timely basis or is falling behind onchild support, there may be frequent review dates to insure compliance with Rhode Island ChildSupport Court orders. In contentious Divorce cases, the parties through their Rhode Island Divorce lawyers often filefrequent motions concerning: Child Custody, Child Support, Child Visitation, Restraining Ordersand the disposition of Marital assets. There are frequent Pretrial conferences. In a pretial conference, the judge attempts to facilitate asettlement or helps the parties find a middle ground towards settlement. The Rhode Island Family Court process can wreak havoc on a litigants work schedule causingtheir employer to become disappointed. Some people lose their job as a result of frequent RhodeIsland Family Court appearances. Some people lose income as a result of the Rhode IslandDivorce process. Many people lose a sense of their dignity going through the sometimes contentious, confusing andunpredictable RI Divorce process. There is one fundamental truth in Rhode Island Family Court.Everyone must go through a similar process irrespective or race, gender and socioeconomicclass.Usually in contested Rhode Island Divorce cases, the only thing that is predictable is theunpredictable nature of Rhode Island Family Court. Attorney fees can become too expensive for a party to afford. Expensive Attorneys fees may becaused by frequent lengthy Court Dates, waiting in Court and the time and expense of answeringdiscovery and preparing for the trial. In some cases when one spouse has more resources then the other spouse they may try to driveup the other spouse' attorney fees to essentially force them into settlement. This is very unfair.However, it is the real world of Divorce in Rhode Island (RI). The trial Judge will make every effort to encourage the husband and wife to come to a settlementprior to starting a trial. Some judges will require mediation by the Court appointed Mediators. OtherJudges will require the parties to essentially lock themselves in a conference room with theirlawyers in the Courthouse for a day or perhaps several days until they reach a settlement.Negotiating in the Courthouse prior to trial and mediation may be time consuming and expensive
 
for the parties. It is very expensive and time consuming endeavor for a Rhode Island Divorce Attorney to preparefor a Divorce Trial. Parties often want to curtail the amount of trial preparation because of theexpense. A Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer must prepare testimony for all witnesses they intend tocall to testify in the proceeding. the Attorney must prepare cross examinations of all opposingwitnesses, prepare exhibits, prepare opening and closing statements. The Lawyer must also beprepared to argue motions as well as draft an extensive pretrial memorandum etc. Many clients donot want to pay the additional expense for their Attorneys' trial preparation and would rather settle. Divorce trials are not similar to the trials that you see on television. Usually, judges have manyother matters on the calendar on the day the divorce trial is scheduled. In Many instances, thedivorce trial will not start until after 11am. It is not unusual for the court to allow only 2 hours a dayfor the actual trial. Sometimes the Court will hear less than 2 hours of trial testimony in a day.Therefore a trial can take many days to complete. Some Trials take weeks or months to complete. Newport Family Court has 1 judge hearing divorce trials. That Judge is also responsible to hearand decide all Family Court matters in Newport County Family Court including Child Support,Divorce, Child Custody, Restraining orders etc. The Judge must resolve all matters scheduled forthat day. The Judge cannot cancel all other important family Court business in order to hear a trialin Newport. The Judge must fit the trial into his or her schedule. This usually means that the trialwill start after all of the courts business is resolved for that day. Newport County Includes NewportRI, Middletown, Portsmouth and Tiverton. Kent County has 2 judges handling Divorce, Child Custody, Visitation and Family Court matters.Kent County Family Court includes Warwick, East Greenwich, Coventry and North Kingston. Washington County Family Court has 1 judge hearing Divorce, Post Divorce Motions, ChildCustody, Child support, Adoptions and Family Court matters. Washington county Family Courtincludes Wakefield, South Kingston and Narragansett etc. Providence County Family Court includes Providence, Pawtucket, Barrington, Bristol, Warren,East Providence, Cumberland etc. Why does the system "wear down" divorce litigants? The Court system is overburdened and judges have many cases on the docket on a given day. Ifevery case went to trial the system would break down. If a substantial percent of cases went to adivorce trial the system would break down. The Rhode Island Family Court Lacks the Judges andresources to have too many cases go to trial. The Court does not tell you it is trying to wear you down. The Judges may not intend to wear youdown. However, the entire process has the practical effect of wearing parties down until they feelthat they must settle to cut their losses. Even though some parties do not want to settle their divorce, they fear that going to trial will be aloss of control. The loss of control is essentially allowing the Trial judge to make decisions ratherthan the parties agreeing to a negotiated solution controlled by the parties. In a mediated / 

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