How Divorce Works in Rhode Island
Ending a marriage is undoubtedly a tough journey. It’s a far cry from the bright hopes and dreams you had when you first tied the knot. When the bonds of matrimony break, it’s a challenging and emotional experience. Attempting to go through a divorce without the guidance of an experienced attorney can add more complexity to an already challenging situation.
As time passes, life takes its course, and your circumstances change. Perhaps you share children, own property, or even run a family business together. A divorce brings substantial changes to all these aspects of your life.
While divorce inevitably brings its share of stress and turmoil, there are ways to make the process more manageable. One of the most effective steps you can take is to reach out to a reputable divorce attorney in Rhode Island.
At Carl P. DeLuca, Attorney at Law, we’ve supported hundreds of Rhode Islanders on their divorce journeys. Through our work, we’ve come to understand the most common questions people have about divorces in Rhode Island. In this article, we aim to shed light on these questions, providing you with a better understanding of the fundamental divorce process in Rhode Island
Top Rhode Island Divorce Questions
1. What are the grounds for a Rhode Island Divorce?
In Rhode Island, the majority of divorces are granted based on irreconcilable differences. However, there are additional grounds for divorce, including:
- Adultery committed by either spouse.
- Instances of abuse, whether physical or emotional.
- Substance abuse involving drugs or alcohol.
- Living separately for a significant period and/or desertion by one spouse over an extended duration.
To be eligible for a divorce in Rhode Island, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for a minimum of one year or longer. Some exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis, such as situations where a spouse was deployed and consequently unable to reside in Rhode Island for a full year.
2. Is Rhode Island a no-fault divorce state?
It’s important to note that neither party needs to be proven at fault to secure a divorce in Rhode Island. However, it’s essential to understand that fault can play a role in various aspects of your divorce, including child custody, spousal support or alimony, and the division of assets. While Rhode Island law doesn’t require fault grounds for divorce, it’s possible to allege fault, and if proven, it may impact support arrangements and property division. It’s worth noting that fault-based divorces tend to be more intricate, and it’s advisable to seek guidance from an experienced divorce attorney who can help you navigate these complexities and prepare for any challenges that may arise.
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.