Attorney Rui P. Alves

Call now (401) 942-3100

Five Facts About RI Divorce That Might Be Tough to Hear

No one wants to get divorced, but if the inevitable happens there are a few things you need to keep in mind as you move forward with the dissolution of your marriage.

1. Though it is not always the best choice, it is always “easier” to stay married. ~ This fact may not save your marriage, but it may save you from endlessly lamenting about the RI divorce process. Yes, divorce stinks, and yes, it is technically easier to stay married, but in most cases if you’re ready to divorce your spouse, you have already explored all of your options in terms of mending the relationship. Resolve yourself to move through the process to the best of your ability and get to the other side where you can start a new life.

2. The house may have to go. ~ The only thing worse than getting divorced is trying to hold on to the house for sentimental reasons when you know that you can’t pay the mortgage alone (or it will be a hardship to do so). This is particularly true if you have children. While the move may be difficult at first, having you available to them while they go through the divorce process too will be more important than staying in the same house. In some cases, in fact especially if you had a difficult marriage with a lot of fighting and trauma, moving may give everyone the chance to start fresh in a home with more positive energy.

3. If you do not pay child support, you will go to jail. ~ That one is pretty self-explanatory, and yet so many non-custodial parents fail to pay when their support is due. Pay it on time, in full and you can avoid the added financial and emotional burden of having to appear in court and subsequently being placed in jail for failure to pay your child support.

4. If you cannot agree on certain issues, the court will decide for you. ~ Issues in particular relating to the separation of property and those having to do with any minor children of your marriage are taken quite seriously by the court. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement in these areas, the court will decide based upon the laws for the division of assets in RI, and what will be in the best interest of the children.

5. Spouses are rarely awarded both alimony and child support. ~ The circumstances that must be present for a spouse to be awarded both alimony and child support are a dwindling statistic. Find out what your rights are, but be prepared to accept child support in lieu of alimony unless you meet a strict set of criteria for the time that you were married to your spouse.

If you need help with a Rhode Island divorce or child support issue, contact me at (401) 942-3100 for a free consultation.

Continue Reading

Are the Children Ever Allowed to Determine Child Custody Placement?

In the Family Court system, the guiding principle when deciding child custody issues, is ‘what will be in the best interest of the child’. For many divorcing parents this can be a nightmare as one parent attempts to influence the child to live with them with promises of gifts or indulgent behavior, or a child simply develops a preference for one parent over another for other reasons.

What divorcing parents need to remember is that the decision concerning the physical placement and visitation for any of the  minor children of the marriage rests squarely with the judge.

Parents (and children) may contribute to the decision making process by providing the court with every conceivable piece of information regarding the current lives of the children, their preferences, who they spend the most time with, their schedules, and where they currently live. It will then be up to the judge to determine what custody and visitation schedule would be in the best interest of the child.

There are many instances as well where the child/ren are asked if they have a preference as to which child they will live with. In many if not all divorce cases involving child custody, if the child is mature enough to have a preference, it will be taken into consideration as long as the other criteria for the well-being of the child are present in those living arrangements.

Child custody issues can be difficult. If you need help with a child custody, divorce, or child support issues, contact me at (401) 942-3100 for a free consultation.

Continue Reading

Is a 50/50 Custody Schedule Right for Your Child?

The RI and MA Family Court system entertains every custody schedule that will be in the best interest of the child. If you and your ex decide that you would like to share equally in the upbringing of your child, then a 50/50 custody schedule might be right for you and your child.

Some of the things that you will need to consider when deciding whether or not this will be in the best interest of your child/ren are your current parenting schedule and who spends the most time with your child/ren, the age(s) of your minor child/ren, where each parent lives, the kind of work schedules each parent has, and perhaps most importantly, the child’s relationship with each parent.

50/50 custody schedules can be set-up for half-week schedules, alternating weeks, or on selective days during the week. The key factor in determining this schedule however, needs to be the unique needs of your child or children. No matter how convenient this kind of arrangement might seem to you and your former spouse, if a 50/50 custody schedule is going to cause your child more stress, anxiety, or disruption, then it would not be in their best interest.

If you would like to discuss your options with regard to a custody and visitation schedule, please contact me at (401) 942-3100 for a free consultation.

Continue Reading

Interstate Child Support Issues ~ When Your Ex Lives Out-of-State

When it comes to Interstate Child Support issues, those practices characteristic of each individual state have typically been considered the guiding principles for dealing with out-of-state matters. Because of this, one of the most difficult situations involving child support occurs when the custodial parent lives in one state, and the non-custodial parent lives in another.

The states are required to cooperate in locating missing non-custodial parents and enforcing child support orders. However, there is some difficulty in enforcing an order from one Family court in another state.

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), a federal law, was enacted just for these kinds of situations. The Act has prompted many states to also adopt their own interstate child support laws, with language that closely resembles the federal law.

If you need help with an out of state child support matter, contact me at (401) 942-3100 for a free consultation.

Continue Reading

You’re Not the Only One Who Needs Help in a Custody Case

Child custody issues are among the most difficult and heart-rending aspects of the Family Court process. Most parents are sensitive to the needs of their children during divorce proceedings, and yet being emotionally involved in the situation very often make errors in judgement that can negatively effect their children, as well as the outcome of their custody case.

In the determination of child custody in Rhode Island, the court may order a custody evaluation. In this evaluation, your child will be expected to answer the questions of the interviewer. The interview alone would be a stressful situation for any child, but when coupled with the divorce process and parents who may not agree over custody issues, it can be overwhelming.

Your child is already under a great deal of stress. In order to support your child through this process, you need to focus on guiding them rather than giving them exact responses to the questions that will be asked. By being a source of strength and assuring your child that as long as he or she is honest they will be giving the right answers, you provide your child with the confidence to overcome their discomfort to some degree. If they feel that you don’t expect them to say specific things, or that they don’t have to remember special answers, they are much more likely to come through the process without trauma. In fact, comparing the interview to a visit with any other counselor will go a long way toward instilling the idea that they need only be themselves and have a normal conversation.

Reinforce that they need only be honest and that they cannot give a right or a wrong answer. That no matter what they say to the interviewer, nothing bad will happen to themselves, their parents, or other siblings. Under no circumstances should you coach your child with responses and guidelines for what they may and may not say in the interview. If there is any issue of abuse, or your child would rather not be with one parent or the other, the interviewer will best be able to determine this through honest answers from your child.

If you are considering a divorce in RI and you have minor children contact me at (401) 942-3100 for a free consultation.

Continue Reading

Facebook & Court – Be careful what you write.

Is what you write on facebook private?  No, not according to United States Federal Court Judge William Pauley III.  Federal prosecutors were able to use what a criminal defendant wrote on his facebook profile against him.  This person ha…

Continue Reading

Divorce Attorney-Who do I hire?

Divorce Attorney – Who do I hire?The divorce process can be a very difficult and stressful process.  You should hire a lawyer who will make the process less stressful for you.  It is important that you hire a lawyer who believes in you. &nbsp…

Continue Reading

NEW – RI Child Support Guidelines Increase

Rhode Island Family Court Child Support Guidelines.Recently the Rhode Island Family Court has updated its Child Support Guidelines.  This update has resulted in the monthly amount of child support that paying parents pay, going up.  As a resu…

Continue Reading

Hit & Run in Rhode Island

From the Providence Journal Newspaper

The penalty for his choice
Jose M. Cordeiro sentenced for hit-and-run crash that left young girl severely injured


   PROVIDENCE — Nancy Ramos was a happy 15-year-old when she left her family’s apartment in the Codding Court public housing to meet a new friend on Columbus Day weekend in 2009.

   About two hours later she was fighting for her life at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where she was taken after having been run down by a Jeep operated by a hit-and-run driver on Narragansett Boulevard in the Washington Park neighborhood. She was hospitalized for seven months.

   Having suffered a broken left leg and a brain injury, a 17-year-old Nancy now spends her days in a wheelchair, partially paralyzed, in a long-term-care facility.    “Her reaction is, ‘Why me,’ ” a sister, Damaris Martinez, said recently.

   The driver was Jose M. Cordeiro, an auto-body repairman nicknamed “Joe Maaco,” for the Maaco chain of auto-paint shops, who was at the wheel of a customer’s vehicle. He had picked up the Jeep about one hour before the accident. Afterward, he left it at the customer’s house with more damage, according to court evidence.

   Thursday was Cordeiro’s day of reckoning, in Superior Court. Cordeiro, with a crumpled tissue in his hand, and Nancy’s family began crying midway through a sentencing hearing.

   He pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, with serious bodily injury resulting. Judge Netti C. Vogel imposed a prison sentence of 10 years, with 5 to serve at the Adult Correctional Institutions and the rest suspended with probation.

   She ordered that his driver’s license be suspended for two years and that if it is reinstated, his car for two years must have an ignition interlock device that prevents him from turning on the engine until he has breathed into the device to prove that he has not consumed alcohol.

   Vogel recited the facts of the case, including Cordeiro’s admission that he stopped the vehicle, opened the driver’s side door, looked back, and then took off after the impact, which the police said threw Nancy 71 feet.

   Cordeiro left her in the street “like road kill,” Vogel said.

   “You made a choice. … You had to know that she was suffering.”

   Cordeiro, 57, of 11 Paula Lane, Johnston, and a citizen of the Azores, faces possible deportation as a result of the conviction, Vogel pointed out.

   John E. MacDonald, one of Cordeiro’s lawyers, told the judge that his client is the father of a 25-year-old son who is housebound in a wheelchair and for whom Cordeiro is the sole financial support. He asked Vogel to see that Cordeiro have work release while at the ACI so Cordeiro could continue to earn money. But she left that decision to the Department of Corrections.

   Yadira Martinez, another of Nancy’s sisters, gave a victim-impact statement on behalf of Nancy, who relatives said could not be brought to court.

   “You took something very special from us. … ,” Martinez said. “I want you to look at me. You made us suffer. …”

   In Portuguese translated to English, Cordeiro said later, “I am very, very, very sorry for what happened to their little girl.”

   “Every day in the evening, I pray for that young lady. …”

   Said Vogel, “I think that the family must have taken some solace from your tears.”

   Some of the common reasons for hit-and-run accidents, according to the police, is that the driver has been drinking alcohol and fears the consequences of that, has an outstanding arrest warrant, and/or is driving without a license.

   Vogel referred to Cordeiro’s two previous convictions for driving while intoxicated and said she does not know if he was drunk in this case because he fled the scene.

   “You were an accident waiting to happen,” she declared.

   Court evidence shows that Cordeiro admitted that he had been drinking before the accident. In a statement to the police, Cordeiro said he remembers nothing between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on the night of the accident, Oct. 10, 2009. Nancy was struck at 7:58 p.m.

   “Cordeiro was highly intoxicated when his wife, Nellie, arrived to pick him up” on Park Avenue, Cranston, later that night, a police report states.

   Cordeiro was not charged with drunken driving. If he had been, he would have faced a more severe sentence, according to Sgt. Paul F. Zienowicz, commander of the Providence police traffic-services unit.

   Detectives did not identify Cordeiro as the driver and locate him until the day after the accident. So too much time had passed, the police noted, to get a usable test of his blood alcohol content. Even if they could, he mighthave been drinking after the accident as well, spoiling any potential link that might have been made between the accident and the alcohol.

   Cordeiro’s case was resolved as the General Assembly considers proposals to beef up the laws on hit-and-run accidents and drunken driving, among other motor-vehicle legislation.

   In 2011, there were about 20 serious hit-and-run accidents statewide, of which 3 were fatalities, according to Sen. Edward J. O’Neill, an independent who represents a district in Lincoln, Pawtucket and North Providence, and sponsor of a bill that would stiffen the penalties for hit-and-runs.

   In Providence alone, there are about 2,600 hit-and-run accidents annually, most of which involve only property damage. 

   (401) 277-7334


   Jose M. Cordeiro appears in court Thursday with defense attorney John MacDonald, left, and interpreter Dalila Ferreira.

Nancy Ramos, shown in a family photo, was 15 when she was run down by a hit-and-run driver on Narragansett Boulevard, Providence, on Oct. 10, 2009. The accident left her partially paralyzed and confined to an undisclosed rehabilitation facility.

THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL / CONNIE GROSCH———————————————————————————-
If you have questions about this posting or are interested in Divorce, Immigration, or Estate Law in RI or MA contact Massachusetts and Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Rui P. Alves at 401-942-3100 or CONTACT him via email.

Continue Reading

5th Amendment

Posted Dec 6, 2011 4:53 PM CST By Martha Neil EmailPrintReprints
Updated: A Michigan criminal defense lawyer spent about four hours in jail on Friday after being held in contempt for telling a client to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination at his arraignment.Attorney Scott Millard, 29, who works for Miel & Carr, was supposed to be jailed until Monday. However, he was released Friday after Ottawa County Circuit Judge Edward Post issued an emergency stay of Hudsonville District Court Judge Kenneth Post’s contempt order, according to the Grand Rapids Press and the Holland Sentinel.The articles don’t explain whether the two judges are related to each other.Post apparently had sought information about the 20-year-old client’s drug use to determine appropriate bond conditions. However, Millard reportedly told him not to answer, because he might incriminate himself.Chief District Court Judge Brad Knoll told the newspaper such questions are appropriate for this purpose at an arraignment, and Judge Kenneth Post told the Grand Rapids paper he could not comment on a pending matter.However, attorney Josh Blanchard, who also works for Miel & Carr and is representing Millard in the contempt matter, disagreed, calling the district court’s procedures not compliant with the law.Blanchard also said Millard had done nothing wrong, only “what the law expects of an attorney.” He said Millard “remained calm despite the judge’s threats of jail. He behaved in a manner we’d expect.”Millard is appealing the contempt ruling and has asked the circuit court to take oversight of his client’s minor-in-possession case.A subsequent post provides additional details:Transcript: Told to Sit Down, Be Quiet, Lawyer Blocked Judge’s Drug Queries, Was Jailed for ContemptUpdated on Dec. 7 to link to subsequent post.———————————————————————————-
If you have questions about this posting or are interested in Divorce, Immigration, or Estate Law in RI or MA contact Massachusetts and Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Rui P. Alves at 401-942-3100 or CONTACT him via email.
Continue Reading