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Rhode Island Divorce Facts

When going through a divorce in in Rhode Island, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of Rhode Island should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of Rhode Island Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified Rhode Island Divorce Professional.

  • Rhode Island recognizes common law marriages.
  • In Rhode Island, no-fault grounds include irreconcilable differences and living separately for at least three years. Fault grounds include impotency, infidelity, cruelty, desertion of either partner for at least five years, or shorter at the court's discretion, alcohol or drug abuse, husband's refusal to provide support for his wife for at least one year, or any other conduct seen as a violation of the marriage covenant, such as abuse.
  • To file for divorce in Rhode Island, a person must live in the state for at least one year. The courts will, however, allow a person who has lived in the state less than one year to file if the respondent spouse has lived in the state for the required time period.
  • State law requires a 60-day waiting period after the couple has filed a petition, but the court reserves the right to hear cases sooner should it deem appropriate. During the 60 days, the court has the discretion to investigate claims and order counseling.
  • Rhode Island is an equitable division state; courts divide property equitably. This does not mean equally but fairly. The court considers several factors if the parties have not agreed beforehand on distribution, including the duration of the marriage, each spouse's contribution to acquiring and maintaining the property, the best interests of the children if applicable, contribution of one spouse to the earning capacity of the other, and income among other things.
  • Rhode Island provides for temporary or permanent alimony. The court, in making a decision, considers the earning capacity of the spouse receiving alimony, the income of the spouse paying, education and skills, which spouse spent a majority of time as a homemaker, and the time and expense required for the receiving spouse to undergo education or training to improve employment possibilities.

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