Divorce is a trying time for the toughest of individuals. Even people who have
only been married for a year or so can feel the pressure and emotional
struggle that accompany divorce. If you think your own marriage may need
to come to an end, you can help ease into this understandably difficult
transition by knowing a few of the most basic but most important components
to Rhode Island’s divorce laws.
At TJC ESQ, we want our clients to be happy and well-informed, so we have
outlined five of the most prevalent divorce laws in Rhode Island. If you
would like to have the legal counsel and guidance of our Providence divorce
attorneys directly, you can call
contact us online to schedule an
Five Ground Rules in Rhode Island Divorce Law
Fault or no-fault: Rhode Island, like all other states within the country, allow no-fault
divorces, meaning someone can file for divorce just because they can no
longer get along with their spouse; in legal terms, this is called irreconcilable
differences. In Rhode Island, however, you can still file for an at-fault
divorce, or one that is spurred on by a specific event or series of events,
such as infidelity,
domestic violence, drug abuse, and so on. You can also cite a
legal separation that has persisted for 3 or more years and develop that into a divorce.
Residency: States have a residency requirement before people living there can file
for divorce; this is mainly to prevent tampering with estates by hopping
across stateliness. In Rhode Island, at least one spouse in a divorce
must have lived within the state for at least 12 months prior to the filing.
Property division: Rhode Island uses equitable distribution rules when marital assets are
split among divorcing spouses. Equitable means fair, not even, so divorcés
should not expect to receive a 50-50 split of assets. The court will decide
what is “fair” if an agreement is not made between the spouses
and their lawyers. Additionally, marital property is anything accrued
or improved while the marriage existed. For example, if your spouse owned
a business before you got married but you worked there as a manager to
help it profit, it could potentially be considered marital property, not separate.
Child custody: The divorce court will want to do what is best for the child in a divorce
but also operates under the original assumption that a child should be
able to see both parents somewhat equally. If this is not the arrangement
that you want, you will need to think about creating a persuasive argument
that states otherwise.
Child support: How much child support a parent can earn depends on the income of themselves,
their ex-spouse, and how much time each of them spend with their children.
The more a parent makes and the less time they spend raising the children
after a divorce, the more likely they will pay a considerable amount in
child support to their ex on a regular basis. The court also has the ability
to increase the child support payment a spouse receives if they are earning
less than their maximum earning capacity due to their parental responsibilities;
this is sometimes seen as a roundabout way of creating
spousal support that does not necessarily follow any alimony agreements.