Rhode Island Divorce Laws 1

Divorce Law Basics in the State of Rhode Island

Also See: Rhode Island Marriage Laws

Statute: Rhode Island State Divorce Code (Title 15, Chapters 15-5): rilin.state.ri.us

No-Fault Grounds:

  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Living separately without cohabitation for 3 years

At-Fault Grounds:

  • Impotency
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Willful desertion for five years or for a shorter period of time in the discretion of the court
  • Continued drunkenness
  • Habitual, excessive and intemperate use of opium, morphine or chloral
  • Neglect and refusal by the husband to provide for his wife for at least oneyear
  • Any other gross misbehavior and wickedness, repugnant to and in violation of the marriage covenant

Residency: Plaintiff must be a resident of the state for at least 1 year prior to filing Counseling Requirements: The court shall require the parties to attend mediation to resolve conflicts regarding custody and visitation Property

Distribution: Rhode Island relies on “equitable distribution” so the court will distribute the marital property “in an equitable manner if the parties can’t agree on their own. Separate property (property acquired prior to the marriage, as a gift or through inheritance) is not included in property distribution. Fault is considered.

Alimony: Alimony may be awarded to either party at the discretion of the court. Fault is considered.


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