False Allegations During Child Custody & Divorce

Unfortunately, a spouse often will rely upon false allegations during child custody and divorce to gain advantage in the proceedings. One spouse points the finger at the other and receives a restraining order from the court. The wife or husband recognizes that doing this will, almost by default, give them custody of the children and exclusive use of the family home. The accused parent then must defend themselves in court and prove these allegations false.

False accusations can be damaging legally and emotionally to the victim. It is terrible to have someone who you once shared a life with make false claims of either abuse or neglect and is something no one is ever really prepared for. You may feel the need to reach out to your soon to be ex-spouse, but this may actually make things worse for you. Additionally, trying to make contact could be used against you, particularly if a Restraining Order has been issued against you by the Court. It is not unheard of for there to be accusations of stalking, harassment, or violence when all you want to do is smooth things over. No matter how tempted you may be, it is best to keep away, and with a clear mind, take more deliberate actions to defend yourself. You should:

1. Gather Evidence – If there is an accusation reported against you, collect evidence that will prove differently. You need names, places, and dates that will prove the charges are false.

2. Seek Legal Counsel – While any general practice attorney can represent you in this kind of situation, it is best to seek an a specialized Divorce and Family Law attorney with experience dealing with these specific issues. A lawyer with the right knowledge and experience can provide you with the best legal counsel and properly protect your interests. [Read more…]

Ways to Discover Hidden Assets During a Divorce

Despite complications to the marriage, most people enter the divorce process believing their soon to be ex-spouse is an honest person. However, this is not always the situation. The fact is, dishonesty is a common reason for seeking a divorce. Regardless, even if you have no reason to suspect your former partner is a liar, there is still good cause to be curious and concerned about their finances heading into a divorce.

Once a divorce begins, many people will do whatever it takes to conceal and hold on to what they believe is “their money”. Moreover, some will even create secret accounts, or perform other questionable financial transactions. Discovering these hidden assets during a divorce, is the only way to ensure you receive a fair settlement.

You should never rely entirely on your spouse’s financial affidavit. The good news is an experienced divorce attorney has many tools at their disposal. These include a forensic accountant or other investigators who can uncover most everything during the discovery process. [Read more…]

What to Do if You Aren’t Getting Visitation with Your Child

If you are the non-placement parent, unable to spend sufficient time with your child on a daily basis, it can be can be quite painful. Regular and consistent visitation  helps, but if the other parent is not cooperative, recalcitrant, or if you have not been granted specific visitation you may be wondering what steps you need to take in order to spend more time with your child. An attorney who is experienced in Rhode Island divorce and family law can help.

If you have not previously been granted visitation with your children you will need to perfect your rights. This will require the filing of a Miscellaneous Custody Petition and you will need to go to court to either create an order that will actually grant you legal rights or modify the child custody order that is currently in place.

If a judge has already ordered visitation with your child, but the placement parent is not cooperating, you will need to petition the courts to ensure that the child custody order is followed. It can be challenging to deal with a parent who is not willing to budge, but it is important to follow the proper legal procedure to enforce your rights and obtain your desired outcome.

If you want to see your kids you should be able to, even as the non-custodial parent. Whether you need help with child custody, placement, visitation or other aspects of your divorce, we can help. Please call our office to schedule a consultation with our family law attorneys.

Divorce and The Best Interests of the Child

When you’re going through the divorce process and negotiating child support and custody issues, you’ll hear the term “best interests of the child.” The court will consider a number of things in determining the best interest of a child, including the new family lifestyle the children will experience after a divorce and where the court feels the children will best be able to adapt to the new changes. It is possible for you and your spouse to ease into your new family dynamic in order to make the transition easier on your child provided you can collaboratively work to achieve that goal.

Amicable Relationship

In order for you and your spouse to best help your child through the divorce process, you should maintain an amicable relationship. While that may not be easy, especially at first, this is beneficial in helping your child’s transition into this new way of life. It’s best to avoid contentious debates about visitation, child support, visitation and other child-rearing issues. [Read more…]

Preparing for the financial side of Divorce Mediation

Divorce is almost always a painful process. Determining how to divide assets and determine their cash value is often a difficult and bitter end to a relationship that did not work out. Emotions run high, even in an amicable divorce. Therefore, being prepared is the best way to ensure both parties receive their equitable and fair share of the marital assets and debts. Listing shared properties of value, dividing properties with written evaluations by a neutral party and listing all goals for the divorce mediation are important to avoid costly mistakes.

List All Items of Value
Every couple has items of value. A family home is a piece of real property. Vehicles, jewelry, family heirlooms and furniture may all have monetary value. Family businesses or savings and retirement accounts are part of the marital assets as well. Credit card or loan debt must be considered as part of the equation also. These items are all part of the property settlement for the divorce. Dividing them equitably between the partners is the goal of mediation. Having a list of all valued property makes division easier and ensures both parties receive their fair share. [Read more…]

Divorce Modifications in the State of Rhode Island

In the state of Rhode Island, overturning an official Decree of Divorce, rendered by a Judge after a testimonial hearing, requires an appeal. This must be done within a short and specified timeframe, after the entry of the Order of Divorce. An agreed upon, or Nominal divorce cannot be appealed.

Unfortunately, the appeal process is costly and drawn-out because the RI Supreme Court will need to thoroughly review the lower Courts decision before it will decide to overturn the same. These appeals are usually unsuccessful except in the case of exceptional and compelling circumstances as the Supreme Court will give the Lower Court Judge a lot of discretion. [Read more…]

Completely supportive and respected my time

Christopher Heberg represented me in a child support case. From day one, he was completely supportive of me. He made sure I knew everything that would happen before it happened. I was always prepared and knew what to expect. He respected my time and did an amazing job of giving me his time as well. He did everything he said he would do. He always responds to emails and calls very quickly. I highly recommend him.

Jodi, Child Support client

From the moment I met him he made me feel comfortable

I live in Massachusetts and needed to find a lawyer out of Rhode Island for my child support case. Well,as you know I hired Chris. People might ask why Chris, from the moment I met him he made me feel comfortable. He explained everything that he would get done…not do but get done. My court date was a month away and during that time he kept in touch weekly and answered my calls when I had a question. Chris got me what I wanted, so Thank you Chris. In closing, he is a great guy with enormous knowledge and experience with the court system.

Mike, Child Support client

Straight forward, honest, and patient

I hired Chris to represent me when my ex took me back to court to increase the amount of money she receives from me. Chris was straight forward, honest, and patient when he explained everything. He is very honest and gave us know false promises, but he did promise I would not get railroaded!!!! He kept his promise. I could not have been happier with Christopher Heberg’s work, and would not hesitate to hire him again…….. All and all a great experience, Thank you Chris!

Joe, spousal support client

Chris was always there to help me see the logical side

During my rather lengthy divorce, I needed a lawyer and a counselor. I needed a lawyer for all of the paperwork, expert knowledge of RI divorce laws and so on and so forth. I needed a counselor to help me remove feelings from the situation and help me see the logical side of things. Separating your feelings from a divorce (specially a very difficult one like mine) is very hard to do.

Chris was there for me from day 1. He handled all the back and forth with the other attorney, he made sure I understood everything that was going on, he filed all of the motions, he encouraged me and my ex to try to workout our issues to come to a fair resolution. After there was an attorney change by my ex, he took it in stride and kept everything moving without delay. But the most important thing he did was keep my feelings of anger or my want for revenge out of the equation. Chris was always there to help me see the logical side. He always returned my phone calls and emails.

Chris was my divorce lawyer and now I understand why the word “counselor” is used to identify lawyers because Chris was definitely my “counselor” too.

William, divorce client