RHODE ISLAND DIVORCE LAWS:
The Residency Requirement: Either spouse must have been a resident for one year prior to filing.
No Fault: Irreconcilable differences that have caused the breakdown of the marriage; Living separate and apart without cohabitation for at least three years.
Fault: Impotency; Adultery; Extreme cruelty; Willful desertion for five years, or for a shorter period, if the court believes it a valid amount of time to terminate the marriage; Continued drunkenness; Drug abuse; Neglect and the husband’s refusal to provide necessaries for the subsistence of his wife, the husband being of sufficient ability, for at least a year; Any other gross misbehavior and wickedness, in either party, repugnant to and in violation of the marriage covenant.
Property Division: Rhode Island is an equitable-distribution, dual-classification state. Property is classified as either separate or marital; separate property must go to the property owner, while marital property is divided between the parties “equitably.” Equitable means fairly, based on how the parties acquired and treated the property during the marriage; it does not mean equally (click the following for an expert's overview and key tips on dividing up property through divorce).
Alimony: Alimony may be awarded to either spouse, in money or property, in lump sum or installments, having regard for the value of the property at the time of the award. Marital fault does not affect alimony.
Child custody and child support: As in all states, custody is determined according to “the best interests of the child.” Once a decision has been made whether there will be joint or sole physical and legal custody, Rhode Island also considers visitation rights not only of the noncustodial parent but of grandparents and siblings, if that is in the child’s best interests.
Rhode Island child support guidelines are based on the income-shares model: the total obligation is divided between the mother and father according to their incomes. These figures are rough estimates only.
For a combined gross monthly income of:
- $2,000, support for one child is $314; for two children, $483; for three children, $612.
- $4,000, support for one child is $524; for two children, $814; for three children, $1,019.
- $5,000, support for one child is $624; for two children, $971; for three children, $1,299.
Child support is paid until age 18.
(click the following for an expert's overview and a list of articles on child custody and child support).
The information supplied above is for "educational purposes only" and is not intended to be used as legal advice.