Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Rhode Island (RI) Divorce Court


If you live in Rhode Island and are going through a divorce, you need to know about this state's rules on divorce process. Here you will get to know about Rhode Island divorce court rules and regulations.

Filing Requirements

To file for a divorce in Rhode Island divorce court, the plaintiff must have been a resident of this state and should have resided in this state for a period of one year before filing the petition.

All complaints for divorce and complaints for release without commencement of divorce proceedings shall be filed in the county in which the plaintiff is residing. The complaint can also be filed in the Providence County or in the county in which the defendant resides.

Legal Grounds for Divorce in Rhode Island Divorce Court

A divorce may be granted on the grounds of conflicting differences which have caused the permanent breakdown of marriage.

Fault Divorce Grounds

Divorces shall also be decreed for the following causes:

  1. Impotency
  2. Adultery
  3. Extreme cruelty
  4. Willful desertion for five years of either of the parties
  5. Continued drunkenness
  6. The habitual, excessive, and intemperate use of opium, morphine etc.
  7. Neglect for a period of at least one year before filing the petition
  8. Any other misbehavior and evilness in either of the parties

Property Distribution

Rhode Island divorce court is an equitable distribution state. It means that the property will be distributed fairly, but not necessarily equally. In deciding the nature and value of the property, if any, to be assigned, the court shall consider the following:

  1. The span of the marriage
  2. The conduct of the parties during the marriage
  3. The input of each of the parties during the marriage in the gaining of their respective estates.
  4. The contribution and role of either party as a homemaker
  5. The health and age of the parties
  6. The sum and sources of income of each of the parties
  7. The occupation and employability of each of the spouses
  8. The opportunity of each party for future gaining of income
  9. The input by one party to the education, training, business, or increased earning power of the other.
  10. Any factor which the court shall clearly find to be just and proper

Property held by a party before the marriage, or property gained by gift or legacy before, during, or after the term of the marriage shall be considered separate property, and not subject to division.

According to Rhode Island divorce court, alimony may be awarded to either party.

Child Custody

It is important to file an agreement between the parents as to the custody of the children or the determination will be made by the court, based on the best interest of the child.

The factors that will be considered by the court are as follows:

  1. Wishes of the child's parents regarding the child's custody
  2. Reasonable first choice of the child
  3. The relationship of the child with the parents
  4. Child's adjustment to the child's society, home and school
  5. Mental and physical health of all individuals involved
  6. The stability of the child's home environment
  7. Moral fitness of the child's parents
  8. The willingness and ability of each parent to allow a close and continuous parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent.

In Rhode Island divorce court, child support orders shall include terms regarding either or both parentsí duty of support to a child and to obtain health insurance for the child through parent or parentís employment.


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