By: Christopher A. Pearsall

The why is relatively easy to answer.

The Rhode Island family court system recently has taken a dramatic turn since the appointment of the newest Chief Judge Haiganush Bedrosian.

Judges previously expected parties in a divorce know what they are doing when processing their divorce hearings.  There has been a substantial trend in judges helping people through the divorce proceeding.

So many people are doing a passable job on their initial filings to make it passable with the clerk's office.  Then people are counting on the judge to help them through the actual proceeding.

This trend started when the Courts began providing divorce packets containing rough questions that may or may not be asked during an uncontested divorce proceeding.

Well, that's what people are thinking and it would seem to make sense now wouldn't it?   Is it that easy?  Based upon rough estimates about 75 to 80% think that it is.  That seems to be approximately the number of "Pro Se" individuals that are filing  their own divorces with the court.  

Do you have the right to file your own divorce?  Certainly you do.  You have the right to represent yourself.  

Yet 90% of the callers who contact me each week assume they have an uncontested divorce.  Usually I hear something like this.

"We don't have anything to argue about.  Everything is agreed to.  It should be so easy that a lawyer should have to do almost nothing so it should be really cheap."  

The next question that usually follows is "How much do you charge for an uncontested divorce?"  

But usually they don't have an uncontested divorce and they have misunderstood the concept entirely because they really don't know what an "uncontested divorce" really is.

To this point we know why people are filing their own divorces without the help of a lawyer.  They know it's cheaper and they think it's easy so they don't think they need a lawyer.

But what are these folks missing?  Check out my next article.


    Attorney Pearsall is a RI Lawyer whose practice has been exclusively devoted to Rhode Island Divorce and Family Law Matters for more than 12 years.


    February 2013



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