This divorce law article was authored by a Rhode Island divorce lawyer. In Rhode Island, all property and assets acquired by the parties during the marriage constitute marital property subject to equitable division by the Family Court. (There are certain limited exceptions, some of which are set forth in more detail below) Inheritance and gifts do not constitute marital property in RI subject to being divided unless the parties co-mingle such property. Co-mingling could cause non-marital property to become transmuted to marital property.
RI divorce laws
Assets and property owned by husband or wife prior to the marriage is not marital property subject to equitable division in a divorce by a Rhode Island Family Court judge. However, the appreciation in value of that account, real estate or property, could be marital property. “In order for the appreciation of value of premarital property to be equitably divided, the appreciation must result from the efforts of the spouse who do did not own the asset prior to the marriage.” § 15-5-16.1. Assignment of property.
Rhode Island divorce lawyer, David Slepkow authored this informative divorce law article. This legal article explains: what is marital property in a divorce in Family Court. RI Family court attorney, Slepkow, explains what constitutes non- marital property in Rhode Island. Divorce laws are a serious matters. You should consult with a divorce lawyer about your case to get legal advice.
Marital and non-marital property in RI
In Rhode Island, all property and assets acquired by the husband and wife during the marriage constitute marital property subject to equitable division by the Family Court. (There are certain limited exceptions, some of which are set forth in more detail below) Inheritance and gifts do not constitute marital property in RI subject to being divided unless the parties co-mingle such property. Co-mingling could cause non-marital property to become transmuted to marital property. A transmutation of non-marital property to marital property could occur if a person puts the other spouse’s name on a bank account or brokerage account or transfers title to real estate via a quit claim deed.
Personal Injury settlements in RI
Personal injury settlements or judgments relating to pain and suffering, disability and certain types of disability pensions are not marital property. However, portions of injury settlements such as an asbestos trust fund lawsuit settlement pertaining to lost wages during the marriage and medical bills expended during the marriage or other similar such damages, constitute marital property subject to equitable division. Please contact a Rhode Island divorce lawyer for a more detailed explanation.
Is premarital property subject to equitable division of assets in Providence Family Court?
Assets and property owned by husband or wife prior to the marriage is not marital property subject to equitable division by a Family Court judge or General Magistrate. However, the appreciation in value of that account, real estate or property, is marital property. “In order for the appreciation of value of premarital property to be equitably divided, the appreciation must result from the efforts of either spouse during the marriage. This provision requiring that the appreciation result from the efforts of the either spouse is often loosely applied in Rhode Island Family Court, especially in marriages of long duration.”
For example, if husband owned investment multi-family real estate before the marriage and the real estate appreciated during the marital union then such appreciation may be divided by a RI Family Court Justice if wife can show that the appreciation is active appreciation as a result of the efforts of either party.
Property divided half to the wife & half to husband in a divorce?
No, not in every case. If you and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide marital assets then contact a divorce attorney in Rhode Island.
How can fault be relevant in a divorce in Providence Family Court?
Even though Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is considered a no-fault state, fault allegations (if they can be proved) can play a significant role in how the Rhode Island Family Court equitably divides the debts and property of the marriage. The Family Court Judge or General Magistrate must first determine what property constitutes marital property under RI law. Once that is determined, the Family Court Justice will analyze numerous factors set forth in R.I.G.L. 15-5-16.1 to establish the division of marital property.
Contribution during the marriage in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation
The Family Court may review the factors set forth in the law, to determine equitable assignment of the property: a) The length of the marriage b) The conduct of the parties during the marriage c) The contribution of each of the parties during the marriage in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates d) The contribution and services of either party as a homemaker e) The health and age of the parties f) The amount and sources of income of each of the parties g) The occupation and employ-ability of each of the parties h) The opportunity of each party for future acquisition of capital assets and income. These factors are among other factors in R.I.G.L. 15-5-16.1.
Equitable distribution law- the Family Court may consider any factor
The RI equitable distribution law specifically declares that the RI Family Court may consider any factor which the court so expressly finds to be just and proper. Please note that in many cases the parties decide to divide the property 50% to the wife and 50% to the husband. One of the most important factors the judge will look at in granting the husband or wife a disproportionate share of the marital assets is if the other party cheated, was emotionally or physically abusive or had substantial drug and alcohol problems.
The court will also look at other negative, antisocial, harmful or deleterious conduct in awarding a disproportionate share of the marital assets. It is not uncommon for a judge to award a 60/40 or 55/45 distribution if the court finds that one party had an extra marital affair and that affair led to the breakdown of the marriage.
Can the Providence Family Court defer the sale of the marital home for the best interest of the children?
If husband or wife demands a deferred sale of the former marital domicile, then the Providence Family Court must make findings of fact. The findings of fact include whether or not it is economically feasible for the spouse who is residing in the real property to pay the mortgage, liens, taxes and insurance on the house until the home is sold at some point in the future. In making its determination of this important issue, the Rhode Island Family Court will examine at the income of the resident parent, any alimony the parent receives, child support and other source of income to make those payments. The purpose of this RI law is to prevent foreclosures, uninsured property, and deterioration of the marital home and to protect the other spouse’s equity in the real estate.
After the Newport Family Court determines that it is “economically feasible” for the parent to remain in the house with the minor children or child in a Rhode Island divorce, the Newport Family Court will decide whether it is in the best interests of the minor child to stay in the house. The Family Court in Rhode Island will use its discretion in making this determination. For more a more detailed explanation of deferred sale of the former marital domicile please click on this article.
Is the appreciation of a gift or inheritance subject to equitable division?
No. Pursuant to Rhode Island divorce law, appreciation of inheritance or gifts during the course of the marriage is not subject to equitable distribution. Many people are searching the internet trying to get information about Rhode Island divorce court and trying to obtain Rhode Island divorce forms. Some people are seeking info on how to file for a divorce in RI or contested divorce in RI. Most people are unaware that it seems that the majority of divorces are uncontested. Many people do not know that there is a 3 month waiting period after the divorce hearing until a litigant can get a Rhode Island divorce final decree otherwise known as a final judgment of divorce. Please contact Rhode Island divorce attorney, David Slepkow for legal representation in your RI divorce.