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Rhode Island Family Law Blog

Summer child custody doesn't have to be a stressful endeavor

The summer months don't have to be stressful ones just because you and your ex have a child custody agreement. With proper planning, you can enjoy the time you have with your children during the summer and they can have fun without having to worry about school.

One of the most important things for you to do before you make summer plans is to review the child custody agreement. This document contains all the information you need to know about the schedules and parenting time for these warmer months. From there, you need to start thinking about the logistics for summer.

How moms can help their kids celebrate Father's Day

Mother's Day and Father's Day can be among the trickiest holiday for divorced parents. If you and your co-parent have a strained relationship, it can be difficult to muster the will to help your kids prepare to celebrate a day when your ex is celebrated. If your kids are still young, it also means helping them choose a gift (or doing it yourself).

If you're a mom whose ex-husband didn't step up and make sure you got the Mother's Day you deserved recently, you may consider the upcoming Father's Day payback time. However, it's essential to remember that these holidays are important to your kids. Even if your ex did nothing to help your kids prepare for Mother's Day, you can lead by example this Father's Day.

Why becoming empty-nesters can mean the end of a marriage

We've all heard of the "Seven Year Itch." There was even a movie by that title in which a faithful husband is tempted by a woman he meets on vacation, played by Marilyn Monroe.

Now researchers are seeing a growing phenomenon that some call the "20-year itch." It's one reason for the rise in divorce rates among couple in their 50s and older. It's doubled in the past 20-plus years, while the divorce rate for people 65 has grown even more.

Does a co-parent's remarriage affect child support obligations?

When most parents divorce, they work out a child support agreement (or a court determines one for them.) The agreement may be modified based on a significant change in circumstances, such as if the paying parent loses a job. However, what if one of the parents remarries?

Unlike spousal support, which the paying spouse can terminate if the receiving spouse remarries, child support is generally not impacted by the remarriage of either parent.

Handling a co-parent who is speaking negatively about you

If you've read anything about healthy parenting after divorce, you know that you should never speak ill of your co-parent to your children. However, what happens if you find out that your ex is criticizing your parenting or saying negative things about you to your kids? What if the negativity is coming from someone else on your ex's side of the family, like one of the kids' grandparents, aunts or uncles? Maybe it's coming from the parent of one of your kid's friends who took your ex's side in the divorce.

When you hear about such things from your kids, it's essential to remain calm and not react. This may be a good time to talk to your kids about how saying mean things about people is wrong, as is repeating those things. Don't respond with your own negativity or get defensive.

3 divorce challenges many couples face

You might think you're being smart and levelheaded about your divorce process, but navigating a marital breakup can be tricky. It's fairly easy to fall into various traps and make a host of mistakes.

The types of mistakes a particular person may be prone to make during divorce will usually depend on his or her personality, background and emotional makeup. However, the following mistakes -- if you're susceptible to them -- could ruin your chances for a swift and easy divorce. You may want to avoid them like the plague. 

How does retirement impact alimony?

When a person is ordered or agrees to pay alimony (spousal support) as part of a divorce, the amount and time frame are designated. Of course, changes to the financial situation of one or both of the former spouses may be grounds for modification of the original spousal support agreement. One of these is often retirement, either by the person paying the alimony or the person receiving it.

If the payer retires, he or she can seek a reduction in alimony. However, whether that is granted depends on a number of factors. Key considerations are why the person retired and whether the retirement came at a reasonable point in his or her life. If a perfectly healthy person decides to retire at 55, for example, that person likely has the financial means, such as a generous pension, that will allow that person to do so. Therefore, he or she may have a difficult time convincing a judge to reduce his or her alimony payments.

State supreme court hears couple's common-law marriage case

Rhode Island is one of the minority of states where common-law marriage may be recognized by a court. However, whether a couple is in a common-law marriage can be a murky legal question.

One Rhode Island couple who split after more than two decades living together is asking the state Supreme Court to rule on that question.

Divorcing spouses are increasingly spying on one another

Rhode Island family law attorneys and judges say that they're seeing what one lawyer called a "deluge of spy versus spy in Family Court." Our own Brenda Rioles notes, "It's become almost commonplace."

Divorcing spouses are using GPS tracking devices, surveillance cameras and computer spyware to find out where their soon-to-be exes are going, what they're doing and what their legal strategy is. Some even go so far as to sew recording devices into their children's clothing or give them a watch that, unbeknownst to them, tracks their location when they're with their other parent. These surveillance devices are becoming not just more sophisticated and easier to hide, but more affordable.

Why do some women resent being asked to pay husbands alimony?

Increasingly, women are out-earning their husbands. That means that in divorce, more men are now seeking alimony from their wives. There's even a rather unflattering nickname for it -- "manimony."

We don't know what percentage of men currently receive alimony. According to the last census, it was just 3 percent. The 2020 census is likely to reflect a larger number.

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Rioles Law Offices
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Providence, RI 02909

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