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What are the requirements for a Rhode Island divorce?

The decision to divorce is a big one, and not one that may couples in Rhode Island will rush into. However, once the decision to divorce is made, couples may seek to have the matter resolved as quickly as possible.

First of all, in order to be granted a divorce in Rhode Island, there are residency requirements. Individuals seeking a divorce in the state must have resided in the state for at least one year before the divorce proceedings can begin.

In addition, individuals seeking a divorce in Rhode Island must state what grounds the divorce is on. Most of the time a couple will claim irreconcilable differences as the reason for seeking a divorce. Other grounds for divorce include extreme cruelty or adultery.

After the couple settles all their divorce legal issues such as property division, spousal support, child support and child custody, they will seek to finalize the divorce. After an individual files for divorce and their spouse has been served with a summons, sixty days must pass before a hearing can be scheduled, if the divorce is uncontested. A Family Court Judge must sign off on the divorce, but not until at least three months and one day have gone by since the hearing for the divorce was held. If a divorce is contested, these timeframes can extend significantly.

Individuals in Rhode Island seeking a divorce should make sure they understand the necessary requirements for doing so. This post cannot serve as legal advice for any one person's situation. Consulting with a Rhode Island divorce attorney may be necessary, so that no crucial step is overlooked.

Source: Rhode Island Bar Association, "How Divorce Law Affects You," Accessed Jan. 11, 2016

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