In Stanzler v. Stanzler and Allard v Allard the Rhode Island Supreme Court set forth the theory that underlies the Rhode Island Equitable Distribution Statute. The equitable division statute governs distribution of sssets in a Rhode Island divorce.
Stanzler v. Stanzler:
“It is well established that the intent of property division is to provide a fair and just assignment of the marital assets, D’Agostino v. D’Agostino, 463 A.2d 200, 203 (R.I. 1983), on the basis of the joint contribution of the spouses to the marital enterprise. Wordell v. Wordell, 470 A.2d 665, 667 (R.I. 1984). Property division, however, does not require an equal division of the property, Casey v. Casey, 494 A.2d 80, 82-83 (R.I. 1985), and is subject to the concept that nonmonetary, as well as monetary, contributions may enhance the marital partnership. Wordell, 470 A.2d at 667. In dividing property, a trial justice must decide which assets are marital property, consider the contribution of each party, and then distribute the property. Lancellotti v. Lancellotti, 481 A.2d 7, 10 (R.I. 1984). Finally we note that a trial justice’s assignment of property will not be overturned unless it constitutes an abuse of discretion. Centazzo v. Centazzo, 509 A.2d 995, 997 (R.I. 1986).”
Allard v Allard:
“Our equitable-distribution statute requires us to examine the nature and the quality of the assets of the marital enterprise and each spouse’s contribution to that enterprise before a division of property equitable to both parties is made. Thompson, 642 A2d at 1162; Stevenson, 511 A.2d at 965 n. 4. The Family Court justice is vested with broad discretion to divide the marital property justly and fairly between the parties, and unless he or she misconceives material evidence or is otherwise clearly wrong, this court will not disturb his or her findings on appeal. Thompson, 642 A.2d at 1162; Stevenson, 511 A.2d at 964.”
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“Legal Child Support and Income The average amount of child support received by the 4.2 million custodial parents who received at least some of the support they were due ($5,140) represented 16.1 percent of their average annual individual income in 2009 ($32,000). Child support represented 8.8 percent of income for the 1.7 million parents who received part of the full support they were due and 20.8 percent for the 2.4 million custodial parents who received all child support that they were due. The poverty rates among these groups were not statistically different from each other (about 24 percent). Child support represented a higher proportion of income for some lower income parents. For example, among custodial parents below thepoverty level who received full payments, the average child support received in 2009 represented 62.6 percent of their average annual individual income.31” Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2009 Consumer Income Issued December 2011 P60-240 Current Population Reports By Timothy S. Grall http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-240.pdf
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