Grounds for Divorce in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island Divorce cases the vast majority of cases are filed on the grounds of irreconciable differences. However, RI Family Law allows various additional grounds for a  divorce. These grounds must be proven at trial or nominal hearing  in order for theFamily Court judge to grant a divorce based on these grounds.

Commentary: It is very rare to see a Divorce actually granted on any of these grounds in this day and age. However, I do see quite a few  divorces based on living separate and apart for a space of three years.

§ 15-5-2  Additional grounds for divorce. – Divorces from the bond of marriage shall also be decreed for the following causes:

(1) Impotency;

(2) Adultery;

(3) Extreme cruelty;

(4) Willful desertion for five (5) years of either of the parties, or for willful desertion for a shorter period of time in the discretion of the court;

(5) Continued drunkenness;

(6) The habitual, excessive, and intemperate use of opium, morphine, or chloral;

(7) Neglect and refusal, for the period of at least one year next before the filing of the petition, on the part of the husband to provide necessaries for the subsistence of his wife, the husband being of sufficient ability; and

(8) Any other gross misbehavior and wickedness, in either of the parties, repugnant to and in violation of the marriage covenant.

History of Section.