I Have A Date With A 6 Year Old Boy Rhode Island Divorce Law FAQS How Long Until It’s Over? Residency Requirements & No Fault Divorce

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Rhode Island Divorce Law FAQS How Long Until It’s Over? Residency Requirements & No Fault Divorce

1) How long does it take to get a divorce in Rhode Island?

If all issues related to divorce, child support, child custody, equitable division of property, alimony, visitation, and other issues are resolved between the parties, the earliest possible date for a nominal divorce in Rhode Island (a nominal divorce is an uncontested divorce in which all is agreed upon) approximately sixty-five to seventy days after the plaintiff files for divorce. If the matter is declared uncontested, then the clerk will set an automatic court date, the “Nominal Divorce Hearing,” approximately sixty-five to seventy days after the filing.

In the event that one party does not wish to move forward to that seventy-day nominal divorce hearing date or if all issues are not resolved between the parties, then the case will not move forward to the nominal date and will be set for additional conferences and potentially a discovery process. The case could eventually culminate in a trial. Disputed divorces are usually resolved in 6 to 10 months, but can take up to a year.

A divorce cannot become final until at least ninety days after the parties attend a nominal court hearing. In other words, a final Rhode Island divorce judgment cannot take effect until at least 90 days after the nominal divorce hearing. In the event that the parties do not go to court and settle the matter on the nominal court date, then the divorce could take up to a year or potentially more. It is extremely rare for a divorce to last longer than a year.

2) What does a “no fault” divorce mean in Rhode Island?

In some states, it is necessary to prove the grounds of guilt in order to get a divorce. In Rhode Island, it is not necessary to prove fault in order to obtain an absolute divorce. All you have to do is prove irreconcilable differences to get a divorce. Irreconcilable differences can be anything from lack of communication, different goals and aspirations, affairs, domestic violence, fighting, falling out of love or anything. In other words, if either party wishes to dissolve the marriage, then that party may obtain a divorce in Rhode Island as long as the other jurisdictional requirements in Rhode Island are met.

“No-fault divorce” does not mean that the fault is not significant! Faulting can be extremely significant in Rhode Island. If a party can prove that the other party is at fault for the dissolution of the marriage, then they can claim a disproportionate share of the marital property. Fault can also be a factor in determining whether a party is entitled to alimony. The following types of behavior can be grounds for acquiring more than fifty percent of marital property: alcoholism, drug addiction, domestic violence, extramarital affairs (fraud), abusive behavior, gambling, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial mismanagement, criminal activity, abandonment , etc.

3) What is the residency requirement to obtain a divorce in Rhode Island?

To file for divorce in Rhode Island you must be domiciled and have resided in Rhode Island for one year prior to filing for divorce. If you were not a permanent resident and resident of Rhode Island one year prior to filing your divorce complaint, you may file based on your spouse’s residence in Rhode Island for the year prior to filing. It doesn’t matter if you change your residence the next day or move out of town as long as you were a resident on the day you filed for divorce and one year before!

There are exceptions for people stationed in the military who are residents of Rhode Island. Even if you move the day after filing, you still meet Rhode Island residency requirements. If you are not eligible to file for divorce in Rhode Island, you should look for an attorney in other states who may be qualified to file for divorce. If you live in Rhode Island but do not meet the residency requirements to file for divorce, there are other types of actions such as filing for separate maintenance without filing for divorce that you could file that would allow you to resolve property issues. rights and issues of child custody and support.

3a) What are the residency requirements for nominal divorce hearings to obtain a divorce in Rhode Island.

-It is sufficient for both parties to appear on the nominal court date and testify that at least one of the parties was a domicile and resident of Rhode Island for one year prior to the filing of the divorce action. The family court will usually waive the requirement for an additional witness if both husband and wife attend the nominal trial date and testify that at least one party had the required residence as noted above.

-If only one party attends the nominal court date then you need one of the following to get a divorce in Rhode Island (a) two additional witnesses in court to testify to the one year residence of the plaintiff or defendant (b) one witness in court to testify to the prosecutor’s one-year residence and the sworn statement of another witness confirming the residence of that person. (This form of affidavit is readily available from a Rhode Island family court clerk.)

If you do not meet these requirements to prove Rhode Island residency, your divorce case may be dismissed or you may be given additional time to obtain the necessary witnesses or affidavits.

4) In Rhode Island family law, does it matter who files for divorce first?

It does not matter which spouse files for divorce when the Family Court determines the equitable division of property, child support, child custody, visitation, child custody, alimony, etc. An urgent request is required or submitted, which party files can be extremely important first! This is especially true if there is an urgent child custody and/or visitation claim related to the child.

Legal notice from Rhode Island attorneys under the RI Rules of Professional Responsibility:

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island licenses all attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any attorney as an expert or specialist in any practice area.

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