Ever since my business signed up for some bad ass digital marketing with Infuzion Marketing I have been getting a whole lot of calls at my office ( … and I am eternally grateful for every single one of those calls. Truly. …) from a whole lot of disgruntled people looking for answers. Happy, well-balanced folks don’t call me unless they are trying to sell me anything. Honestly, hostage negotiators talk to happier people than I do.
The only thing every single one of my poor, lost callers has in common is the R.I. Family Court, that terrible machinery. They are stuck in its jagged, venomous teeth.
I get calls from people who already have an attorney but are deeply unhappy with him or her, or they are upset because “my spouse is winning” (no, they aren’t) or they “just have a few questions” (don’t we all!) about this and that. This is all my fault for listing my cell phone on my website. Callers think they have questions that require answers, when often what they actually have are perfectly legitimate complaints that require empathy.
The “only a few questions” callers amuse me most because I always have the same answers to each and every question.
Like any good lawyer, I answer a question with a question.
If someone calls me and asks about their case, about how some potentiality will turn out, about what the result will be if they do this or that, about answers to what their spouse did or did not do, I always ask them who their judge is.
Which judge is assigned to your case is the second most important factor to determining its outcome (only the facts of the case are more important – if you are seeking placement of the child but you live in the ocean then nothing else really matters).
Every judge is unique, with his or her own hang-ups and eccentricities. They are human, after-all. Judge Smith of the R.I. Family Court will tolerate a certain strain of argument while Judge Rogers will become so irate at you for even attempting that same argument that he or she will not hear another word out of your mouth, no matter how long your case lasts. And Judge Rogers will never forget your face.
I know a judge who will not order shared placement of a minor child, no matter the age, maturity or circumstance, and another judge two doors down who would entertain an entire trial over several months based solely on that question. Neither is wrong, or right (unless a given disposition helps your case, of course). Just unique.
Before hiring an attorney be sure that he or she will have have answers to the questions that have not even risen yet. Before hiring a Family Law attorney be certain that he or she has spent at least ten years practicing Family Law in R.I. so that they know in great detail what your specific judge likes and hates. That is an attorney that is worth the money (almost).