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Divorce Laws in Rhode Island

Rhode Island law is very strict when it comes to honoring visitation rights. If the parent with child custody fails to comply with visitation orders and the problem goes to court twice, he or she can lose the child to the other parent.

Residency and jurisdiction in Rhode Island
The filing spouse must live in Rhode Island for at least one year before filing. Divorce may be filed in the county where either spouse lives provide that spouse has lived in Rhode Island for at least one year.

Fault or no fault and grounds for divorce in Rhode Island
Rhode Island allows fault and no fault divorce. No fault divorce will be granted on the following grounds:

  • Irreconcilable differences which have caused the breakdown of the marriage
  • Separation without sexual relations for at least three years

Acceptable grounds for fault divorce in Rhode Island are:

  • Impotence
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Desertion for five years
  • Continued alcohol abuse
  • Habitual drug abuse
  • Husband who refuses to support his wife for one year or more
  • Any other gross misbehavior or wickedness

Division of property
Rhode Island is an "equitable distribution" State meaning the property is not divided 50/50, but rather in a manner that the court deems fair to both parties. After hearing any witnesses for each spouse, the court must consider the following factors:

  • Length of marriage
  • Marital conduct
  • Contribution to acquisition and value of the property
  • Contribution as homemaker
  • Health and age
  • Sources of income
  • Occupation and employability
  • Potential for future acquisition of assets and future income
  • Contribution to the education or earning power of the other spouse
  • Child custody as it affects the need to occupy or own the family home
  • Intentional inappropriate dissipation or transfer of assets

Spousal support in Rhode Island
When determining spousal support, in Rhode Island, the court must hear any witnesses for each spouse and consider the following factors:

  • Length of marriage
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Marital conduct
  • Health and age
  • Station, occupation, and income
  • Vocational skills and employability
  • Debts and needs
  • Ability to be self supporting
  • Damage to employability and earning capacity caused by the marriage
  • Time and expense required to become self supporting
  • The likelihood, considering age and skills, of becoming self supporting
  • Potential for future acquisition of assets and future income
  • Supporting spouse’s ability to pay

Child custody and support in Rhode Island
Rhode Island always grants visitation rights to the non-custodial parent unless, for good reason, that parent should not be granted visitation.

Parents and children are required to comply with the visitation orders, and if they do not comply, the non-custodial parent may file a complaint with the court. If the court finds that the visitation order has in fact been violated a remedy and detailed definition of the non-custodial parent’s rights will be given by the court. This only happens once. If a second complaint is filed that court may change custody to the non-custodial parent.

Rhode Island uses the Income Shares Model for calculating child support.

If you are considering or facing divorce in Rhode Island, contact an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney today.

Click here to select from Rhode Island divorce lawyers in your area.

Click on a link to find a Divorce Lawyer in that state.
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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in Rhode Island and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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