Rhode Island divorce attorney, David Slepkow answers several important questions about divorce in RI and Rhode Island divorce law. RI divorce lawyer, David Slepkow provides this info free to the public.
How long until a divorce in Rhode Island is over?
The nominal divorce hearing is scheduled by the clerk approximately 65 days after Plaintiff files a divorce in Providence Family Court. A “nominal” is a perfunctory hearing in which agreements are put on the record in front of a Rhode Island Family Court judge or magistrate. If husband and wife resolve all pertinent disputes and issues related to custody of children, visitation, legal custody, asset division, debt, alimony and other issues there will be a divorce hearing on that nominal date. If The Defendant answers the divorce in a timely manner, the divorce will only go forward at the nominal if everything is agreed and both parties consent yo go forward.
The divorce cause of action in RI may eventually culminate with a contested trial on the merits. However, divorce trials are rare in RI Family Court. Contested divorces in Providence Family Court typically resolve in 6 – 10 months but may take up to a year or even longer in some circumstances. An absolute divorce in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations pursuant to RI law cannot culminate with a final judgment of divorce until three months after the nominal court hearing.
Review Rhode Island divorce records here
What does “no fault” mean in a divorce in RI?
In certain states it is required to prove fault grounds to obtain a marital dissolution from a spouse. In Rhode Island it is not required to prove fault to get divorced. A litigant must prove irreconcilable differences that lead to the irremediable breakdown of the the marriage in order to get a divorce. Irreconcilable differences in Rhode Island include poor communication, different goals and aspirations, affairs, domestic abuse, fell out of love or anything.
If husband or wife desires to end the union, then that spouse can obtain a divorce in RI if he or she is able to prove that the Court has jurisdiction to hear the cause of action. No fault in RI, does not mean that fault is not important! Fault can be extremely significant in RI. If a husband or wife can establish by a preponderance of the evidence that other party is at fault for the breakup of the marriage, then they can go after more than 50 percent of the marital estate. Fault is not usually relevant to determine whether a spouse is entitled to alimony / spousal support in Rhode Island.
There are dozens of different deleterious behaviors that could result in a disproportionate division of the marital assets. These include:
- drug addiction,
- domestic assault,
- extramarital affairs (cheating),
- abusive behavior,
- emotional abuse,
- sexual abuse,
- financial mismanagement,
- criminal activity,
- abandonment, etc.
Is there a residency requirement to get divorced in RI
A litigant may not file for divorce in RI unless he or she has been a domiciled inhabitant and resident of Rhode Island for one year next prior to your filing the complaint for divorce.
If you are active duty in the military, are there exceptions to the residency requirement in Providence Family Court?
Pursuant to RI Family law and Rhode Island divorce law, there are different rules for people stationed in the military who previously resided in Rhode Island.
If I don’t meet the residency requirements can I still seek relief from the Providence or Kent County Family Court?
If you are currently living in RI but cannot satisfy the RI divorce residency requirements to file for an absolute divorce, there are other options such as a complaint for separate maintenance without filing for divorce or a divorce from bed and board and future cohabitation. These causes of action may permit you to litigate property rights, temporary alimony, child custody and support issues among other issues.
In RI divorce and family law, is there a legal advantage to filing for divorce first?
It is usually irrelevant legally, who files for divorce first in a Rhode Island divorce. However, if the Plaintiff files for a restraining order or an ex-parte emergency motion, which party files first is very important! This is especially true if there is an emergency motion related to child custody or visitation.
Rhode Island Attorneys legal Notice per RI Rules of Professional Responsibility:
The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. For example there is no specialized field of divorce in RI.