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Divorce in Rhode Island

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Nicknamed the Ocean State, Rhode Island has access to expansive waters of the Atlantic, and you might need to acquaint yourself with a few divorce laws if you notice your love has been watered down.

You can obtain a divorce in Rhode Island if either you or your spouse has lived in the state for at least one year before filing your divorce complaint.1

Rhode Island is both a fault and no-fault divorce state. A judge can grant you a no-fault divorce without considering the fault of either spouse on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.” A judge can also issue a divorce decree based on fault-based grounds such as impotence, adultery, extreme cruelty, desertion of five years, willful neglect of duty, excessive use of morphine, opium or chloral; or engaging in “gross misbehavior.”2

Rhode Island is an equitable distribution property state, and only property acquired during the marriage is subject to division. Rhode Island divorce laws attempt to divide marital property in a manner believed to be fair and equitable. The judge will consider factors such as economic misconduct, contributions to a partner’s education and non-monetary contributions during the property division case.3

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1RI ST § 15-5-12

2RI ST § 15-5-2,3.1

3RI ST § 15-5-16.1

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