Rhode Island Divorce Law

Complete Overview of of the Rhode Island Divorce Laws

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Important Rhode Island Divorce Guidelines to File for a Divorce

Rhode Island Residency Requirements For Divorce

Residency requirements stipulate that one spouse must have been a resident of Rhode Island for at least one year before filing Rhode Island divorce papers.

Grounds For Divorce In Rhode Island

Common grounds in an uncontested divorce in Rhode Island are:

  • irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.

Common fault based grounds for divorce in Rhode island are:

  • adultery;
  • impotence;
  • alcoholism/substance abuse;
  • willful desertion for five years;
  • gross neglect;
  • extreme cruelty.
Rhode Island Child Custody

The courts will lean towards joint custody for it allows for both parents to be involved with the decisions making in a child’s life. However the courts will make a ruling on what is the best interest of the child whether it is joint or sole custody. Also, joint custody does not necessarily mean equal time between parents.

Factors to consider in making child custody decisions include:

  • age and sex of the child;
  • safety and well being of the child;
  • character and experience of the parents;
  • desires of a mature child.
Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines

Rhode Island has adopted child support guidelines which apply in virtually every case, unless circumstances dictate otherwise. The child support calculation takes into consideration the gross income of both parties, and certain child related expenses. Child support will continue until the child reaches the age of majority, and may be extended through his or her secondary education.


After filing Rhode Island divorce papers, a divorce proceeding will generally be heard in the same county as where the plaintiff is residing.


At any point in before or during the divorce process the couples may submit their contested issue to a period of mediation. If they can reach an agreement on all the contested issues they may proceed with the divorce on an uncontested basis.