Divorce can be an emotional and complicated process. If you are considering getting a divorce in Rhode Island, you should review some of the Rhode Island divorce laws and consult an attorney who practices family law in the state. Here you will find general information on divorce, legal separation and annulment in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Legal Separation
A legal separation in Rhode Island does not dissolve the marriage; the spouses may not remarry. Rhode Island recognizes legal separation as "divorce from bed and board." There are many reasons why some couples choose a legal separation over a divorce such as religious or tax purposes. Rhode Island allows legal separation on any ground for which a divorce might be granted and requires only that the petitioner have been officially domiciled in the state for a period of time the court determines suitable. A Rhode Island divorce attorney can help you decide whether a legal separation is right for you.
Rhode Island Divorce - Fault / No Fault Grounds
A ground for divorce is a reason that the state recognizes as an appropriate basis on which to seek a divorce. Rhode Island has two types of grounds for divorce
To determine the appropriate ground(s) for divorce for your marriage consult a Rhode Island divorce lawyer.
Rhode Island Divorce - Residency & Where to File
To file for divorce, one of the spouses must have been a legal resident of Rhode Island and have resided in Rhode Island for a period of one year before filing the complaint or being served the complaint with process, respectively. All complaints for divorce or legal separation should be filed in the county in which the plaintiff is residing, unless the complaint is based upon the residence of the defendant, in which case the complaint shall be filed in Providence County or in the county in which the defendant resides.
Rhode Island Divorce - Property Division
Rhode Island courts will look at a number of factors in making a property division determination. This may include how long the parties were married; the parties' health, age, education level and amount of work experience; and which party is the custodial parent of any children.
Courts will not distribute property that was held in the name of one party prior to the marriage. Check with your Rhode Island divorce attorney to learn more about how Rhode Island courts may distribute your marital property during a divorce.
Rhode Island Annulment
The difference between a divorce and an annulment is that divorce terminates a valid marriage, while annulment is a court's acknowledgement that there was no valid marriage to begin with. Rhode Island will grant annulments for marriages where:
Annulments can be complicated and hard to obtain if the required proof is difficult to obtain. You should consult a Rhode Island divorce attorney if you are contemplating an annulment.
See below for some important Rhode Island codes related to divorce.