Rhode Island divorce lawyer, David Slepkow answers numerous questions about divorce law in Rhode Island. David Slepkow is an experienced Providence Family Court attorney / RI divorce lawyer who has represented clients in hundreds of divorces in RI.
What is the residency requirement to obtain a Rhode Island divorce?
Either the plaintiff or defendant must be a domiciled inhabitant and resident of the State of RI and Providence Plantations for one year next prior to filing their complaint for divorce. For certain members of the military, residency is determined by meeting these requirements before entering military service.
Plaintiff and / or Defendant can relocate out of Rhode Island after the filing of the complaint without RI losing jurisdiction over the divorce cause of action. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ri-supreme-court/1563952.html
Is RI a no-fault state?
Yes. That means that fault is not required to obtain a divorce. Irreconcilable differences is enough. However, fault grounds, such as adultery, can still be grounds for divorce in RI. Even if husband or wife files a no fault, irreconcilable differences divorce, fault can still play a significant role in a determination of equitable distribution of assets and debts.
What type of alimony state is Rhode Island?
RI is a “rehabilitative alimony” state. This means that the most important concepts are the needs of the spouse seeking alimony and the ability to pay by the payor spouse. The RI Supreme Court Stated “Alimony is a rehabilitative tool intended to provide temporary support until a spouse is self-sufficient, and is based purely on need.” Berard v. Berard, Supreme Court of Rhode Island. Michael J. BERARD v. Patricia A. BERARD. No. 99-365-Appeal. Decided: April 28, 2000 Present WEISBERGER, C.J., and LEDERBERG, BOURCIER, FLANDERS and GOLDBERG, JJ.Marc B. Press, Lise M. Iwon, Wakefield, for Plaintiff. Patricia J. Berard, Pro Se.
“Alimony should be ‘payable for a short, but specific and terminable period of time, which will cease when the recipient is, in the exercise of reasonable efforts, in a position of self-support.’” Thompson v. Thompson Supreme Court of Rhode Island. John M. THOMPSON v. Giselda M. THOMPSON. No. 2006-292-Appeal, 2007-245 Decided: June 25, 2009 Present: GOLDBERG, Acting C.J., FLAHERTY, SUTTELL, ROBINSON, JJ., and WILLIAMS, C.J. (ret.).Lauren E. Jones Esq., Providence, for Plaintiff. Jerome V. Sweeney, III, Esq., Pawtucket
Is there a cooling off period after the nominal divorce hearing?
Yes. There is a minimum period of three months until the final judgment of divorce can be entered. This three-month period cannot be shortened.
Do I have to wait 65 days to complete my nominal divorce trial in RI?
No. If you are looking to get the RI divorce quicker, then you should really retain a Rhode Island divorce lawyer who can tell you tactics to attempt to obtain a shorter period of time,
Are gifts and inheritance marital property in RI subject to equitable distribution in a RI divorce?
No. Gifts and inheritance are not marital property and cannot be assigned by a Providence Family Court judge. The appreciation of a gift or inheritance during the marriage is also not marital property in Rhode Island. If gifts or inheritance is commingled with marital assets or accounts then transmutation from non-marital to marital property can occur.
Are lottery winnings during the course of the marriage marital property in RI?
Yes. Even if you hit the lottery after the nominal date but before entry of final judgment, the lottery winning is marital property. This is a good reason to put an after acquired property provision into a property settlement agreement.