Legal Blog

Rhode Island Divorce Laws: All The Basics to Know

Divorces commonly occur following marriages, even in the most ideal marriages. While unfortunate, a variety of circumstances can lead towards the separation. This happens across the United States, with couples marrying and divorcing plenty of times. However unfortunate the trend may be, preparing oneself for the possibility remains crucial. Should you be considering a divorce, or simply with to know more about what happens if your marriage ever comes to that, it is essential for you to understand the different laws and how they work in Rhode Island.

Marriage and divorce laws differentiate by state, so if you believe you know the law based on one state, that may not hold true for another. Knowing the different Rhode Island divorce laws best prepares you in the unfortunate circumstance that you ever need to use them. Though your first step should be hiring a Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer, knowing the laws yourself helps too.

Rhode Island Divorce Laws: The Basics

Fault vs. No Fault Divorce

Rhode Island divorces include two different types of possibilities. Your marriage can end in a fault divorce, or a no-fault divorce. Understanding the difference between these two types of divorces will help you properly designate your divorce. Thus, you will best be able to go through the divorce without hassle. Let’s look at the two types and how they separate from each other.

Fault: There are eight different actions that classify a divorce as a fault. The first is impotency, or the inability to maintain an erection. Secondly, adultery falls under this category. The third possibility is extreme cruelty, as the law is made to protect you from harm. Fourth, willful desertion of at least five years can lead to this kind of divorce. Any fewer than five years, however, does not match this law. Fifth, continued drunkenness by one of the parties brings this law into play. Sixth, The habitual, excessive, and intemperate use of opium, morphine, or chloral makes this law an option, as it puts the marriage in a difficult position. Seventh, neglect or refusal, or the husband being insufficient in his abilities can enact this law.

Finally, any other gross misbehavior or wickedness can present this law to the forefront, as once again it is made to protect people from abusive relationships.

No-Fault: There are two possibilities that fall into this category, both serving as far less severe than the Fault divorce possibilities. First, in a case of irreconcilable differences that have caused the breakdown of the marriage, a no-fault divorce can occur. The other possibility is living separate without cohabitation for at least three years. Any fewer than three years fails to fall into this category.

What Happens Next?

Once your divorce is properly categorized and filed, the two parties are separated into categories once again. The filing party becomes the plaintiff, and the non-filing spouse becomes the defendant. Should the case reach court, this is a crucial part of the proceedings. Quite often these cases reach family court as an attempt to properly split up the different assets and aspects of the marriage that must be separated. This can also include children should there be any children. In the case of children being involved, hiring a Guardianship Lawyer is key to ensure you put forth the best case in order for you to own the rights to your children.

The court cases go as smoothly as the divorcing parties allow. Should the parties be willing to cooperate and compromise, the lawyers can work together to find peaceful ground. However, if the differences are so strong that neither party wishes for the other party to get anything, the legal proceedings will take time and evidence from both sides.

Spousal Support

In the case of a separation in which your spouse simply does not put the work in, you may be left wondering if they will be required to assist you financially. Spousal support is determined on a case by case basis. The existence of children in the picture certainly lends itself to the need for spousal support. However, spousal support does not always come with the territory, and understanding that is vital in working through your divorce. The two parties can agree on a spousal support agreement otherwise, as worked out between the parties, the lawyers, and the judge.

Like Spousal Support, where the children end up can be worked out through the parties, the lawyers, and the judge as well. Rhode Island prioritizes putting the children through the least emotional trauma possible. Thus, in the case of parents failing to reach any kind of agreement, the law will take precedent. Working out an agreement with your spouse works in the most ideal fashion to avoid a long legal battle. The law simply wishes to see children taken care of in the smoothest manner. All things receive consideration in such manners. In the end, the law decides all final decisions. While arguable, preparing yourself ahead of time works best.