Rhode Island Divorce Laws, Attorneys & Family Lawyers RI


Rhode Island has divorce rate of 3.0% per 1,000 of the total state population. The low divorce rate makes it the state with the 6th lowest divorce rate in the nation. According to Rhode Island divorce laws one can request a petition for divorce on both no-fault and fault basis for divorce. The no-fault divorce only requires a statement upon which the marriage is broken and for fault divorce evidence must be laid before the court.

Annulment in Rhode Island is rare; grounds for annulment must be proved which are quite difficult to verify. Thus court has made the annulment process more severe for the reason not to be attempted by anyone.

Rhode Island’s qualified and skilled lawyers are there to guide you through the complex course of a divorce process.

DIY divorce online
Table of Contents show page contents

Divorce Grounds in Rhode Island

Rhode Island has following divorce grounds:

No-Fault Divorce Grounds in Rhodes Island

Following are the no fault divorce grounds in Rhodes Island:

Irreconcilable Differences

If you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences which can not be bridged, both of you can claim divorce under this divorce ground in Rhodes Island.

Separation without Cohabitation

Physical separation between you and your spouse for three years or more, without cohabitation, entitles both of you to a divorce decree under this divorce ground in Rhodes Island.

Fault Divorce Grounds in Rhodes Island

Fault divorce grounds in Rhodes Island are:


Adultery is the involvement of a married person in sexual intercourse with a partner other than his/her legal spouse. Adultery is the most common divorce ground in Rhodes Island.

Extreme Cruelty

Physical or verbal torture by a spouse is a legal divorce ground in Rhodes Island. Divorce courts grant divorce under this divorce ground to the affected spouse.

Willful Desertion

Willful desertion for a period of five years is a fault divorce ground in Rhodes Island. If you and your spouse have been living separately for five years or more, both of you are entitled to a divorce decree.

Habitual Drunkenness

Habitual drunkenness is another legal fault divorce ground in Rhode Island. If you do not want to live with a spouse who is a habitual drunkard, you can obtain divorce on this ground for divorce.

DIY divorce online

Excessive Use of Drugs

In case, your spouse is addicted to drugs or is using drugs excessively, you can file a petition for divorce in Rhodes Island.

Neglect & Refusal

If your husband can afford and still is not providing for you for at least one year, you will be granted divorce if you file for a divorce decree. This ground will be valid only if your husband has not been providing subsistence for one year prior to your filing for divorce.

Misbehavior and Wickedness

Any kind of misbehavior or wickedness by your spouse which somehow violates the marriage covenant, entitles you to divorce under this divorce ground in Rhodes Island.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for detailed information regarding divorce grounds in Rhodes Island.

Rhode Island Divorce Laws

Rhode Island has following divorce laws:


According to Rhode Island divorce laws, the plaintiff seeking divorce, must be a resident of Rhodes Island state and has resided in this state for a period of one year before the filing of the complaint.

The divorce would be filed in the region in which the plaintiff resides or in the county in which the defendant resides if he or she meets the 1 year’s Rhodes Island residency requirement.

Documents Required for Filing Divorce

According to Rhode Island divorce laws, the essential documents needed to start and finalize a divorce are:

  • Complaint for Divorce
  • Final Judgment of Divorce

There are anywhere from ten to twenty other documents that may be required throughout the filing process.

Distribution of Property

If the parties have not stipulated to a property settlement, the Rhodes Island divorce court will determine value of the property, if any, to be assigned.

Change of Name or Restoration of Name

The female spouse, whom dissolution is decreed, can restore her median name upon request.

Mediation Counseling

The Rhode Island divorce court may, as to issues of custody and visitation, direct the parties to participate in mediation in an effort to resolve their differences.


As believed according to Rhode Island divorce laws, not all cases entail support from one spouse to the other. The support obligation financially for a temporary or permanent basis is decided on a case-by-case basis as agreed to by the parties or at the court’s discretion.

Child Custody

In Rhode Island State, the divorce court decides whom the child custody is to be awarded. It should also define reasons on behalf of which the right of visitation is taken away. The Rhodes Island court mandates obedience with its order by both the custodial parent and the children. In the event of disobedience, the non- custodial parent may file a motion for contempt in family court. Upon a finding by the divorce court that its order for visitation has not been complied with, the court can exercise its discretion in providing a remedy.

Child Support

After calculating support based upon court established formula and guidelines, the court, in its discretion, finds the order would be inequitable to the child or either parent. Rhodes Island divorce court if makes findings of fact, can order either or both parents owing a duty of support to pay an amount reasonable or necessary for the child’s support after considering all relevant factors.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for comprehensive divorce laws information in your state.

Rhode Island Annulment Laws

Annulment is a complicated procedure and the annulment grounds are relatively difficult to prove as compared to divorce. Basically, annulment is a legal process to terminate an already illegal marriage. Like divorce both the spouses can remarry after getting annulment. Divorce is comparatively cheap and simple, that’s why people prefer divorce over annulment. The grounds for claiming Rhode Island annulment set by Rhodes Island annulment laws are:

Underage Marriage

If a person has not attained the legal age of marriage which is specified in the marriage laws, s/he can not get married in Rhodes Island. Such marriages can be annulled under Rhodes Island annulment laws.

Bigamy and Polygamy

Bigamy means having two spouses at a time. If you have entered into another marriage without divorcing your first spouse, your marriage won’t be recognized by the Rhodes Island marriage laws. Both polygamy and bigamy are valid annulment grounds according to Rhodes Island annulment laws.

Mental Incapacitation

You can obtain annulment under Rhode Island annulment laws, if your spouse is mentally ill, either permanently or partially, and the illness is affecting your married life.


Annulment can be obtained under Rhodes Island annulment laws, if you have been forced or threatened into a marriage.

Rhode Island Divorce Laws-Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a divorce?

    A divorce is the ending up of a marriage. It is the decree of the court that the husband and wife have dissolved their marital relations and are no more man and wife.

  2. What are the residency requirements for Rhode Island?

    According to Rhodes Island divorce laws; there are three residency requirements which should be fulfilled to file a Rhode Island divorce: * The spouse must be a domiciled resident of Rhode Island for at least 1 year. * One of the spouses must be living in the state. * You must provide at least two testimonies to the court that you are residing in the state since the last 1 year.

  3. Why has Rhode Island divorce law imposed residency restrictions?

    The reason for imposing restrictions on residency is to prevent the out of state people coming in Rhode Island to use the courts for divorce purpose only.

  4. What are the main issues that are covered in Rhode Island divorce?

    Following are the major issues that are considered during a Rhode Island divorce: * Division of assets * Division of liabilities * Child custody * Spousal support (alimony)

  5. Do gift items come under marital assets?

    No. gift items like, birthday, anniversary or holiday gifts do not come under marital assets for equitable distribution.

  6. How does the court divide the marital assets?

    First of all, the court separates the non-marital and marital assets of both the spouses. After that the court divides the marital assets of the parties according to an equitable proportion, so that both the parties get justice in distribution.

  7. How will the divorce court decide the child custody issue?

    The point which is considered by the court is the interest of a child, whether the child want to live with the mother or with father. The court then assigns the custody of a child either solely or jointly to the parents.

  8. Who is liable to pay for child support?

    According to Rhode Island divorce laws, the non-custodial spouse who has only the visitation rights is liable to pay for child support.

Start your divorce online without any legal fees - click here!

DIY divorce online

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This