Random Rhode Island Family and Divorce Law FAQS

Rhode Island divorce attorney, David Slepkow answers some important questions and  RI divorce faqs concerning divorce law in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. David is an experienced  RI Family law and child custody lawyer with 18 years of experience in Providence Family Court.

RI divorce faqs

Health insurance after divorce

Why is there a 90 day waiting period in RI Family Law?

The intent of the law in Rhode Island is that parties may reconcile during the  3 months and decide to remain married.

Question: Is there any way to shorten the 3 month waiting period after the nominal RI Divorce hearing?

The 90 day waiting period is mandated by Rhode Island Law. A Final Judgment of Divorce cannot be granted by a Family Court Judge until 3 months after the nominal Divorce hearing. There is one exception to this rule  for divorce complaints granted based on the grounds of living separate and apart for a space of 3 years. These types of divorces  have a substantially lesser waiting period.

 I am in a hurry to dissolve my marriage, do I have wait until the nominal divorce hearing which is typically 65 days after filing?

The Husband and wife may waive the initial waiting period and the nominal could be substantially earlier than 65 days. Typically, this something  agreed to and requested by the divorce lawyers.

Can I file for  an absolute divorce in RI if we do not satisfy the 1 year  Residency Requirement?

No. Until either party satisfies the one year residency requirement, the only option is a Divorce from Bed and Board, complaint for Separate Maintenance or a Miscellaneous Petition for Custody, Placement or Child Support.

Do mothers automatically get custody of young children in a Child Custody case?

No. Providence Family Court and the other Counties such as Kent County Family Court use the best interest of the child standard in determining custody of a child.

Practical Tip: A mother who is a fit and proper person has a significant advantage in obtaining custody of a young child in RI Family Court.

What is the  Interest for Child Support Arrears in Rhode Island?

Twelve (12) percent

 What is a Divorce from Bed and Board and Future Cohabitation?

 It is something that should almost never be filed. In this type of case, the parties go though the entire divorce but in the end they remain legally married and do not obtain an absolute divorce. This is an outdated law that originated because RI is a heavily catholic state.

Why would a Husband or wife select a divorce from Bed and Board in Rhode Island?

That’s a very good question. The prime rationale for this would be religious reasons or perhaps health insurance reasons.

Will the State Of RI Child Support Enforcement waive  interest owed to the State  for Child support or Cash medical Contributions?

The State  of Rhode Island will only consider waive the amount of interest owed to Rhode Island and Providence Plantations for child support or cash medical contributions after the principal amount has been paid in full.

Can I get a divorce in Rhode Island  by signing papers?

No, absolutely not. A Nominal Hearing/ Trial is required  by statute to obtain a divorce.



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