How Divorce Works in Rhode Island
Even if you’re able to visualize a better future without your current spouse, divorce isn’t easy. After all, you entered into your marriage with high hopes and expectations for a long future together. When your relationship comes to an end, it’s often painful and challenging. Trying to do a divorce without an experienced divorce attorney will only make it more challenging.
If you’re like most couples, life looks much different now than it did when you first married. Whether you have children, own a home or even have a family business together, a divorce brings changes in all of these areas.
While you can’t eliminate the stress associated with divorce, you can make the process less challenging and all-consuming. One of the best ways to do so is by contacting a top Warwick, Rhode Island divorce attorney.
At Carl P. DeLuca, Attorney at Law, we’ve helped hundreds of Rhode Islanders navigate the divorce process. Working with these clients has shown us what the most common questions about Rhode Island divorces are. In this article, we provide insight to these questions to help you feel more informed about the basic Rhode Island divorce process.
Top Rhode Island Divorce Questions
1. What are the grounds for a Rhode Island Divorce?
While most Rhode Island divorces are granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, other grounds for divorce include:
- Adultery by either spouse
- Abuse – either physical or emotional
- Substance abuse – drug or alcohol
- Living separate for a period of time and/or desertion by one spouse for an extended duration
To obtain a divorce in Rhode Island, you or your spouse must reside in Rhode Island for one year or longer. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis, including if a spouse was deployed and, as a result, not living in Rhode Island for a year.
2. Is Rhode Island a no-fault divorce state?
Neither party must be proven at fault in order to obtain a divorce. However, aspects of your divorce including child custody, spousal support or alimony and division of assets can all be impacted by fault. The law simply means that fault grounds are not necessary in order to obtain a divorce in Rhode Island. However, fault can be alleged and, if proven, may affect support and the division of property. Fault-based divorces are much more complex. An experienced divorce attorney can prepare you for the challenges.
3. What is the typical custody arrangement in Rhode Island?
Child custody is often, though not always, awarded as joint custody. While this is by no means the only custody arrangement, it’s often awarded when each parent is proven to be a responsible and willing caregiver. In joint custody, a child typically resides with one parent and that parent is deemed to have physical placement. The other parent has visitation with their child and the ability to have a say in the child’s upbringing.
Other placement arrangements include shared placement where placement is equally, or close to, equally shared. Custody arrangements, placement, child support and any other issues relating to the care, support, and well-being of a child, can be modified if circumstances change, at the discretion of the court.
4. Am I entitled to child support in my Rhode Island divorce?
Child support is awarded to the parent with physical placement of the children. If the children’s primary physical residence is at your house, then you’re entitled to receive child support. The amount granted is based on each parent’s income and other factors such as insurance and other child-related expenses. The amount of child support may be reduced or eliminated in the situations where there is shared placement.
5. Does Rhode Island have alimony?
Rhode Island is an alimony state, though alimony is not what it used to be. The days of lifetime alimony or long-term alimony are nearly gone. Alimony is awarded on a case by case basis, with the majority of it being awarded on a short-term basis. The goal with alimony is to help the partner with a lower income get back on their feet after a divorce. Ask your divorce attorney if you qualify for alimony.
6. How long will it take for my Rhode Island divorce to be final?
How soon your divorce is finalized depends on a few factors, including whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse have to agree on most of the factors in your divorce including the debts, division of assets, child custody arrangements and more.
An uncontested divorce is often quicker and less expensive than a contested divorce. Even if your divorce is contested at first, once you and your spouse come to an agreement on the terms with your divorce attorney, your divorce can change from contested to uncontested. Still, we do not advise rushing through your divorce in the hopes of it being over quickly. Unlike the decision to join a gym, nearly all of the decisions you make during the divorce, with the exception of matters related to your children, are final. As such, the decisions you make during your divorce will have long-lasting impacts on your future life.
Rhode Island’s Premier Divorce Attorney
According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, divorce ranks as the second-highest stressful life event, second only to the death of a spouse. While you can’t eliminate the stress of divorce, you can make it more manageable. One of the best ways to do so is to hire an experienced Rhode Island Divorce Attorney with a track record of success.