Rhode Island Divorce Forms

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Rhode Island Divorce Law

Download completed Rhode Island divorce forms based upon the answers you provide in the online interview. We provide Rhode Island State Approved downloadable Rhode Island divorce kits, complete with divorce instructions, to allow you to obtain a divorce in Rhode Island. Download your uncontested or no fault Rhode Island divorce papers and eliminate any divorce attorney. Click the Start Now button and begin your online divorce today.

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Divorce Residency Essentials to Get Divorce in Rhode Island

Either spouse must have been a resident of Rhode Island for one year prior to filing for divorce. The divorce may be filed for in the county of residence of the plaintiff, unless the one-year residency requirement has been satisfied by the defendant’s residence. In such case, the divorce must be filed for in the county of the defendant’s residence. [General Laws of Rhode Island; Title 15, Chapter 15-5-12].


Reasons for Divorce in Rhode Island

There are mainly two reasons of divorce in Rhode Island those are fault and general.In order to file for divorce in Rhode Island, the proper grounds must be established. Both spouses are involved in establishing these grounds, and both must substantiate and agree upon these, unless the divorcing spouse is trying to prove otherwise to the court.

No-fault grounds for a divorce in Rhode Island include:

  • Irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage or
  • Living separate and apart without cohabitation for three years. [General Laws of Rhode Island; Title 15, Chapters 15-5-3, 15-5-3.1, and 15-5-5].

General reasons fordivorce in Rhode Islandinclude:

  • Impotence;
  • Adultery;
  • Abandonment and presumed dead;
  • Alcoholism and/or drug ad­diction;
  • Willful desertion for five years [or less within the discretion of the court];
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment;
  • Bigamy; and
  • Gross neglect. [General Laws of Rhode Island; Title 15, Chapter 15-5-2]. Law].

Custody of the Children in Rhode Island

Child custody is determined according to the best interests of the child. Reasonable visi­tation should be granted to the non-custodial parent, unless it would be harmful to the child. There are no factors for consideration set out by statute. There is no specific provision for joint custody in Rhode Island. [General Laws of Rhode Island; Title 15, Chapter 15-5-16].


Property Distribution in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is an “equitable distribution” state. Separate property which a spouse owned prior to the marriage and any property which a spouse receives by gift or inherits (either be­fore or during a marriage) is not subject to division. Any other property (including any income from separate property that was earned during the marriage) may be divided by the court. The following factors are con­sidered:

  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation in value of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as homemaker;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The conduct of the spouses during the marriage;
  • The health and ages of the spouses;
  • The amount and sources of income of the spouses;
  • The occupation and employability of each of the spouses;
  • The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, licensure, business, or increased earning power of the other;
  • The need of a custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own the household effects according to the best interests of any children;
  • Either spouse’s wasteful dissipation or unfair transfer of any assets in contemplation of divorce;
  • The opportunity of each spouse for acquisition of assets and income; and
  • Any other factor which is just and proper. [General Laws of Rhode Island; Title 15, Chapter 15-5-16.1].

Rhode Island Spousal Support Guidelines

Either spouse may be awarded alimony after a divorce or legal separation. In determining the amount of alimony, the following factors are to be considered:

  • The extent to which either spouse is unable to support himself or herself adequately because of his or her position as primary caretaker of a child whose age, condition, or circumstances make it appropriate that the parent not seek employment outside of the home;
  • The extent to which either party is unable to support himself or herself;
  • The extent to which a spouse was absent from employment while fulfilling homemak­ing responsibilities;
  • The extent to which a spouse’s education may have become outmoded and his or her earning capacity diminished;
  • The time and expense required for a supported spouse to acquire the appropriate education and training to develop marketable skills and become employed;
  • The probability, given the spouse’s age and skills, of completing education and training and becoming self-supporting;
  • The standard of living during the marriage;
  • The opportunity for either spouse for the future acquisition of capital assets and income;
  • The ability of the supporting spouse to pay, taking into consideration the sup­porting spouse’s earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, debts, and standard of living;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The conduct of the spouses during the marriage;
  • The health, age, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, and employability of the spouses;
  • The liability and needs of the spouses; and
  • Any other factors which are just and proper. [General Laws of Rhode Island; Title 15, Chapters 15-5-16 and 15-5-16.1].

Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines

Either parent may be ordered to provide child support, after a consideration of the follow­ing factors:

  • The financial resources of the child;
  • The standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage had not been dissolved;
  • The physical and emotional conditions and educational needs of the child;
  • The needs of the noncustodial parent;
  • The financial resources of both the noncustodial and the custodial parent; and
  • Any other factors.

Family Court child support guidelines have been adopted. In order to guarantee child support payments, the court may require:

  • Income or property assignments;
  • Posting of bond; or
  • Wage withholding.

There is an official Child Support Guidelines Form which must be filed in cases involving minor children. [General Laws of Rhode Island; Title 15, Chapters 15-5-16.1, 15-5-16.2, 15-5-16.6, 15-5-22, and 15-9-1 and Rhode Island Rules of Procedure for Domestic Relations; Appendix of Forms].


Divorce Mediation

In cases which involve child custody or visitation, the court may direct the parents to participate in mediation in an effort to resolve any differences. There is an official Family Court counseling form which must be filed with the Complaint for Divorce. [General Laws of Rhode Island; Title 15, Chapter 15-5-29].

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