Rhode Island Family Law Attorney
- Domestic Abuse
- Paternity Issues
- Child Custody
- Child Visitation
- Restraining Orders
R.I. divorce and family law Attorney Steven Robinson. Family Law issues often involve many difficult and stressful issues that tend to hit us the hardest when we feel the most vulnerable. The combination of a strong support system together with an experienced, agressive family law, divorce attorney will help guide you through these emotionally and financially difficult times.
The broad range of Family Law matters we handle include:
When experience counts... An Attorney’s true level of expertise is demonstrated when the more complex marital dissolution proceedings come into play. Child Custody, Alimony, Equitable Distribution(division of the Marital Estate), although issues for resolution in almost all divorces, are matters which require an experienced Trial Attorney if your divorce cannot be settled. Attorney Robinson has the trial experience to navigate and successfully represent you in order to protect your legal rights.
The firm stands ready to help with these needs, whether simple or complex, with the utmost consideration given both to the emotional needs and the financial demands of your situation.
Contact R.I. family law lawyer, Attorney Steven Robinson to schedule your confidential consultation. The confidentiality and privacy of your correspondence is guaranteed and Protected by Law.
Serving individuals and families throughout the State of RI, practicing in all five (5) Counties.
Frequently Asked Questions:
(1) Does it matter who files first? No. But if your spouse files first, it is very important that you file a counterclaim for divorce. That way, if for some reason your spouse wants to delay Entry of Final Judgment, your attorney can file the Final Judgment with the Court thereby divorcing you.
(2) How long does a divorce take? Approximately 2 to 3 months from the time the complaint for divorce is filed, the court will assign your case for a "nominal" hearing date. The "nominal" hearing date, is the date that you go to court and your divorce is heard by a judge as an uncontested matter. In Rhode Island, you still must wait three months and a day from the divorce hearing date before Final Judgment may be entered. Once Final Judgment is entered, you are now legally divorced.
(3) Do I have to testify? Yes. You must tell the judge, presuming the divorce is uncontested, what you and your spouse have agreed to regarding your children, ( issues of custody, visitation and child-support), your property and spousal support/alimony.
(4) How is child-support determined? The Family Court uses child-support guidelines. These guidelines take into account the number of your children, you and your spouse's gross incomes, or earning capacity, whether either party pays for medical insurance, whether either party supports any children from a prior marriage or subsequent marriage or relationship, and the payment of work related day care expenses.
(5) Most all of our property is in my spouse's name. Am I entitled to any of that property? Yes, assuming the property was purchased during the course the marriage, generally, it is subject to distribution by the Family Court.
(6) My parents left me an inheritance, is my spouse entitled to any of it? As long as the inheritance was solely in your name and not merged with other marital assets, the Family Court cannot assign/give your spouse any of it. Note: this also applies to gifts from third parties.
(7) My spouse and I cannot agree on child custody. How is that decided? The Family Court tries to determine what is in the "best interest" of your children. The Rhode Island Supreme Court, in a case known as Pettinato v. Pettinatto,set out the following factors for consideration by the Family Court: the wishes of the child's parent or parents regarding custody; the reasonable preference of the child, if the court determines the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding and experience to express a preference; the interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parent or parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest; the child's adjustment to the child's home, school and community; the mental and physical health of all individuals involved; the stability of the child's home environment; the moral fitness of the child's parents.
(8) How much does it cost to get divorced? The court filing fee is $120, and the cost to serve your spouse is $45. If you and your spouse have agreed on everything, such that your divorce is uncontested, my retainer starts as low as $750.00, plus court costs and filing fee.
(9) Do you accept payment plans? Yes. After payment of the initial retainer, and affordable payment plan can be worked out.
(10) If you are going through a divorce now, or your divorce was final years ago, be advised that each unpaid child support installment is a judgment unto itself. This means that interest at the statutory rate of 12% per year is added to the unpaid child support amount and that collection of the past due amount can be pursued in either the Family Court or the Superior Court. As with all judgments, you have 20 years to bring an action from the date that each unpaid child support payment was due.
SIGNIFICANT SUPREME COURT FAMILY LAW DECISIONS:
(1) IN RE DIANA P., No.93-337- Appeal 656 A. 2d 620; (R.I. 1995)
This was a matter in which father was accused of child abuse. The trial judge refused to ask the minor child the questions prepared by me on behalf of father. The Supreme Court held that father’s due process rights were violated, as the questions were in the nature of cross-examination and therefore, the refusal to ask those questions excluded father from the examination process.
(2) SANTOS V. SANTOS, 568 A. 2d 1010 (R.I. 1990)
This was a matter tried by my father involving a father who filed a motion to reduce his child support payments. The trial court, with no motion pending from the mother, increased father’s child support payments. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that it was error to increase the support, because the worst that should have happened to father was that his motion would be denied. I drafted the brief for the Supreme Court.
(3) RESENDES V. BROWN, 966 A.2d 1254 (R.I. 2009)
A Family Court matter in which the Supreme Court reinstated a stipulation which had been entered into between Attorney Robinson's clients, the de facto parents of a young boy and the biological mother of that boy. The stipulation had provided for visitation and telephone rights for the de facto parents and had previously been signed by a Justice of the Family Court. Another Family Court Justice vacated the stipulation holding that it was void because the unknown biological father had never been served with the original or amended complaint seeking custody, visitation, and/or guardianship over the young boy.
Personal Injury Verdicts/Settlements: (note, some of the following matters involve confidential settlements and/or matters which involved unique facts and/or liability disputes).
$245,000.00 Jury verdict (with pre-judgment interest)
Jury found a Doctor negligent in performing the removal of a cervical node from an 11 month girl, and also that Doctor negligently failed to obtain informed consent from the little girl’s mother. (See also, notable Supreme Court Decisions).
$40,000.00 jury verdict (with pre-judgment interest)
Jury found for client who was rear-ended; client treated with a chiropractor. Insurance company offered $8,000.00 before trial; our settlement demand was $15,000.00.
$85,000.00 jury verdict (with pre-judgment interest)
Jury found for client who was a passenger in a motor-vehicle. This was a matter in which plaintiff had already collected policy limits from the policy of the other driver. The suit involved the leasing company. The lessor failed to offer additional funds in settlement.
$85,000.00 Judgment (non-jury)
Judgment for client alleging breach of contract against purchaser of business interest.
This matter was a wrongful death claim in which a child was struck by a utility vehicle. Child allegedly ran out into the street from between parked cars.
For a client who contested a will.
A wrongful death claim involving an elderly woman who was a patient in a nursing home. Client was found on floor beside bed. Client sustained a cerebral hemorrhage.
For a woman against her former-in-laws. Woman and husband built a house on land owned by in-laws. Woman and husband in process of divorce, when husband passed away. In-laws claimed ownership of house and had attempted to evict client.
For a woman who was rear-ended. Woman claimed residual/permanent injury, although she had returned to work.
Steven A. Robinson, Esquire
Date of birth: May 16, 1958
Place: Providence, Rhode Island
Marital Status: Married
Home Address: 41 Pearl Avenue, Warwick, Rhode Island 02889
1982 Bachelor of Arts, Human Biology
Providence, Rhode Island
1988 Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
Suffolk University Law School
1988-present Robinson & Robinson Partner/Owner
158 Warwick Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island 02905
Concentrating in Personal Injury Law, Family Law, Probate Law
1988-1992 State of Rhode Island, Legal Counsel, Senate Health, Education Welfare Committee
1984-1988 Rhode Island Hospital
Medical Technologist, Hematology
1989 United States District Court of Rhode Island
1992 First Circuit Court of Appeals
1993 United States Supreme Court