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Divorcing couples in every state are required to satisfy certain requirements in order to have their marriage dissolved by the courts. These requirements are known as "grounds for divorce" and vary from state to state. In Rhode Island, divorcing spouses must indicate the grounds on which they are pursuing a separation on their official divorce papers. Couples can separate on either no-fault grounds or due to the fault of one or both of the spouses.

No-Fault vs. Fault Divorces in Rhode Island

A no-fault divorce is a separation that does not require the spouse requesting a divorce to indicate that the other spouse did something wrong. These grounds can be cited if a spouse simply does not wish to be married anymore, or if irreconcilable differences have caused a breakdown of the marriage. Additionally, a no-fault divorce can be sought if a couple has been living separately without cohabitation for a period of three years.

On the other hand, a spouse can initiate divorce proceedings on fault grounds and due to the wrongful actions of the other spouse.

The following are all acceptable reasons for a fault-based divorce:

  • Impotency
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Willful desertion
  • Continued drug or alcohol abuse
  • Neglectful behavior
  • Other gross misbehaviors

Reasons to File for Divorce on Fault Grounds

Depending on the specific issues surrounding a couple's situation, a spouse may want to file for divorce on fault grounds in order to gain an advantage in court. For instance, if a spouse files for divorce because their husband or wife is a habitual drug abuser, the non-abusing spouse will likely have a greater chance of achieving a favorable verdict for issues such as child custody. Fault divorces can potentially sway a judge's decision in the non-offending spouse's favor, though this is not always the case. If you are considering filing for divorce, it is best that you consult with an attorney to determine which grounds would be more strategically advantageous.

Contact a Skilled Divorce Lawyer in Providence

At TJC ESQ, our firm's skilled Rhode Island divorce attorneys have helped countless clients achieve smooth divorces with our compassionate and results-driven advocacy. Having earned a 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating and an AV® PreeminentTM Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, your case is sure to be in excellent hands. To find out more about what our 30+ years' of family law experience can do for you, call (401) 216-4414 or request a free consultation todaytoday!

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