Many people who are filing with the Family Court feel as though they have a genuine emergency. For the most part, they are mistaken.
When you file your case in the RI Family Court, you are given a court date and a Summons, which allows you to serve the other party (that idiot!).
Sometimes, the court date can be a real problem.
Depending on which season, which court and which judge you are assigned, your court date may not be for a little while. As much as ten weeks away in the worst case scenario.
For parties who need to get divorced, or have a pressing issue with a child, waiting eight to ten weeks might as well be back-to-back life sentences.
What the hell am I supposed to do in the meantime, then?
Who pays the mortgage at the marital home during all that time? Surely I don’t have to, as my husband/wife kicked me out and I am sure as hell not paying their mortgage for them (though I do want all the equity)!
Or, if you have the children for those ten weeks, when does the other parent visit? And under what conditions? How can I be expected to survive financially for ten weeks with these kids if he/she is not paying me any child support?
How do we file taxes?
What if my spouse wants to introduce the kids to his or her new love?
Can I take his / her name off of the car loan? The deed to the home? The electric bill? Our side-by-side burial plots? I want to be buried next to my poodle, now.
This infernal wait for a first court date leads many parties to try to claim that they have an “emergency”. An emergency motion is one in which an issue is so pressing, and the damage so devastating and irreparable, that the parties cannot / should not have to wait for their assigned court date to seek relief. One or both can saunter into the court at any time to address the emergency only.
But be cautious, judges are naturally suspicious of emergencies. They like for parties to wait their turn in line for their court date like everyone else.
Unless a child / children are or could be reasonably considered to be placed in harm’s way unless the Family Court acts immediately, your issue is not likely an emergency.
Try to take a moment to consider your situation in an unclouded way (as the judge will) before walking in and breaking glass in case of emergency.