|Where do I file my divorce papers in Rhode Island? |
Divorce papers in xxsstatename* are filed with the Clerk of the Family Court in the county where the plaintiff resides, or if the plaintiff does not meet the residency requirements but the defendant does, then the divorce is filed with the Clerk of the Family Court in the county where the defendant resides.|
R.I. G.L. § 15-5-13
|Will either of us be required to attend a court hearing? |
Yes, it is recommended that both parties attend the nominal divorce hearing. If only one party attends the nominal court date then you need one of the following in order to obtain a divorce (a) two additional witnesses in court to testify to the one year residency of the Plaintiff or Defendant (b) one witness in court to testify to the one year residency of the Plaintiff and an affidavit from a different witness attesting to the person's residency. (This affidavit form can be easily obtained by the clerk of the Rhode Island Family Court.)
|What is considered to be the date of separation in Rhode Island? |
The date of separation in Rhode Island is the date the parties started living separate and apart.
|What are the Rhode Island residency requirements for filing for divorce? |
In order to meet the residency requirements, the plaintiff or defendant must have been a resident of Rhode Island for one (1) year immediately before filing for divorce.|
R.I. G.L. § 15-5-12
|What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Rhode Island? |
The no-fault grounds for filing for divorce in Rhode Island are irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.|
R.I. G.L. § 15-5-3.1
|What are the basic steps to getting a divorce in Rhode Island? |
The basic steps for filing for a divorce in Rhode Island are as follows:|
- The Plaintiff reviews and signs, and files the initial divorce documents with the Family Court Clerk.
- The Plaintiff then has the Defendant served with the divorce documents and provides him/her with the documents he/she needs to complete and file.
- Both spouses and a witness (who can testify that at least one of the parties live in Rhode Island for at least one year prior to the filing of the Complaint for Divorce) attend the divorce hearing.
- After waiting the required 90 days after the divorce hearing, the judge finalizes the divorce by signing the Final Judgment.
|How much is the filing fee in Rhode Island? |
The filing fee charged by the Court is NOT included in the DivorceWriter price. The filing fee is typically $100.00 in Rhode Island.
|What documents are included in the self-prepared Rhode Island DivorceWriter package? |
The following documents are included in the Rhode Island DivorceWriter pacakge:|
If you select a Rhode Island divorce with children, you are selecting the non-children forms as well as a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, Statement Listing Children of the Marriage, and a UCCJEA Affidavit.
- Complaint for Divorce
- Marital Settlement Agreement
- Statement of Assets – Plaintiff
- Family Services Counseling Unit Form
- Report of Divorce
- Nominal Track Notice
- Entry of Appearance
- Answer to Complaint for Divorce
- Statement of Assets-Defendant
- Decision Pending Entry of Final Judgment
- Final Judgment
|How long does it usually take to finalize a divorce in Rhode Island? |
A divorce hearing cannot be schedule sooner than sixty (60) days from the date the Petition for Divorce was filed. |
R.I. G.L. § 15-5-14
The divorce is finalized ninety (90) days after the judge signs the Final Judgment.
|How do I serve my spouse with the divorce papers in Rhode Island? |
Plaintiff finds an adult (who will not be serving as a witness at the divorce hearing) to personally serve the divorce papers on the Defendant. If the Plaintiff cannot find anyone to personally serve the Defendant, Plaintiff may have the Sheriff/Deputy Sheriff serve the Defendant.
|Do we have to be separated to get a divorce in Rhode Island? |
No. The parties do not have to be separated in order to get a divorce in Rhode Island.
|Can I change my name in Rhode Island divorce proceedings? |
Yes, the Wife may change her name in Rhode Island divorce proceedings.|
R.I. G.L. § 15-5-17
|Does Rhode Island require divorcing spouses and/or their child(ren) to attend a class or seminar on coping with divorce? |
No, Rhode Island does not typically require divorcing spouses and/or their child(ren) to attend a class or seminar on coping with divorce, unless a judge decides it is necessary.
|CUSTODY, VISITATION, SUPPORT|
|We already have a child support order issued by a judge. Will we be able to keep the same amount? |
Customers who already have a child support order issued by a Court have the option to enter that information in this portion of the interview. In order to list a prior support order, the customer can do the following:|
- Select “no” to using the payment calculation.
- Enter the existing support amount in the space provided for monthly payment amount.
- Enter the following as the reason for deviating from the state calculation: "There is a prior child support order under Case No. (enter case number) that was issued by (enter court name) on (enter date of order)." (Note that the information will be transferred to the applicable documents exactly as it is entered by the customer.)
|What are the different types of custody in Rhode Island? |
The different types of custody in Rhode Island are:|
Joint Legal Custody--both parents have responsibility and involvement in major decisions regarding the child’s welfare including matters of education, medical care and emotional, moral and religious development.
Joint Physical Custody-the child(ren) reside with and are under the supervision of each parent in such a way as to assure the child(ren) frequent and continued contact with both parents.
Sole Legal Custody- one parent has the sole right and responsibility to make major decisions regarding the child’s welfare including matters of education, medical care and emotional, moral and religious development.
Sole Physical Custody- the child(ren) reside with and are under the supervision of one parent, commonly subject to reasonable visitation by the other parent.
|When can a child support order be modified in Rhode Island? |
A child support order can be modified in Rhode Island if the party requesting the modification can show a substantial change in circumstances. Some examples of a substantial change in circumstances include: the loss of employment, a decrease in income earned, an increase in income earned, the emancipation of the youngest child, an increase in the needs of the child, or a change of custody.
|What if my spouse and I have agreed to use a child support amount that is different from the standard amount set by the Child Support Guidelines? |
DivorceWriter shows the child support calculation under the Rhode Island child support guidelines. |
The customer chooses whether to use the guideline calculation or to deviate from that calculation by entering a different child support amount. If the amount is a deviation from the basic support obligation, the customer will explain the reasons for the deviation in the Marital Settlement Agreement and/or Child Support Worksheet. The court will decide whether or not to approve the deviation.
|How is child support calculated in Rhode Island? |
Rhode Island has adopted the income shares model to determine the weekly child support order. It is based upon the philosophy that children are entitled to the standard of living based upon both parents' monthly income.