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C'mon Would You Really Expect To Get A Divorce For Only $200?

Christopher Pearsall

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I see this title from time to time. It's a teaser line that is advertised to get people's attention and hopefully entice them to get in the door.

There are any number of ways to create such an advertisement and still be within the bounds of the ethical rules. Unfortunately it really isn't what it claims to be. Any attorney who tries to put through a divorce in Rhode Island for $200 is taking a massive loss. I don't just mean a loss of profits. I mean a loss of their time. It's easy to do the math. It costs $100 to file the divorce complaint and that fee goes to the State of Rhode Island. Then it costs about $45 to have the constable serve the complaint and summons upon the defendant spouse.

On average, even an uncontested divorce under the best case scenario is going to take a minimum of 15 hours of work by the attorney. How is an attorney going to survive by doing 15 hours of work for $55?

Perhaps there are other ways that legal practitioners are making this offer. Perhaps they are giving a “do-it-yourself" course by giving the person a packet and giving them a quick guide through the system. This may sound like a good idea but it comes with a lot of liability on the attorney's part and there is virtually no way an attorney can anticipate the twists and turns a divorce will take once it gets going.

It's true that no two divorces are alike and each of them has to be treated differently and attorneys often have to adapt their legal arguments and strategies during the course of the proceedings.

So what is this - “Rhode Island Divorce Only $200 or $300" all about. Well, I must admit that I have not gone into the office of a lawyer making such an offer to find out, but I can state that in my opinion, no reputable Rhode Island Divorce or Family Law lawyer would offer such a thing. I must believe that it is only a teaser to get clients in the door or that the lawyer is just giving a mini-course or packet that addresses the Rhode Island Divorce process in a general way.

Though the packet might seem to be a good idea, it borders on an attorney's assistance of the Unauthorized Practice of Law which is prohibited by law despite any attorney's good intentions.

I don't want to misjudge here. To the extent you have been a client and you have responded to an add such as this, or if you are a Rhode Island Divorce attorney with a legitimate offer that I have overlooked, please feel free to respond to this article as I have no intention of falsely accusing anyone or misunderstanding a legitimate purpose.

At this juncture however, I must say that if it looks too good to be true. . . . it probably is!

Visit to learn about Attorney Pearsall's Divorce focused practice

PLUS . . . get detailed Rhode island Divorce Information at Rhode Island Divorce Tips Blog

Contact Attorney Pearsall at (401) 354-2369 for your low-cost consultation and even find out why FREE consultations are worth exactly what you pay for them!

This article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should not take legal action without legal advice from a licensed practitioner who has been fully informed about your specific circumstances.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all attorneys in the general practice of law and has no procedure for recognition of specialties.


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