Cutting The Knot: Rhode Island Divorce 101
Sometimes a marriage just is not working anymore, and it is time to separate. Preferably, as amicably as possible. This means getting a divorce, and in Rhode Island, this requires a few key steps. This article outlines the divorce procedure and process in Rhode Island and answers several basic questions about it, including:
- How can you start divorce procedures in Rhode Island?
- How long can you anticipate a divorce taking in the state?
- Is court required as part of the divorce process, and do you need your own attorney?
What Steps And Conditions Are Needed To Get A Divorce In Rhode Island?
While entering into a marriage is extremely simple, dissolving one is a bit more complex. To file a divorce in Rhode Island, you must first fulfill certain criteria and follow certain steps.
First, you or your spouse need to have been a resident of the state of Rhode Island for at least one year before you file.
Second, you need to file a complaint, which explains why you are getting the divorce. Then, you need to file a financial form, and finally, you need to file the marriage certificate.
Essentially, those are the key documents you have to file. You might need to file additional documents if you have children, as that can also complicate the procedure somewhat.
How Long Does It Take To Finalize A Divorce In Rhode Island?
Once you have correctly filled all the necessary documents (an attorney can help avoid errors and speed up the filing), the court will set the initial hearing date.
Assuming everything goes smoothly, you will need to wait at least a minimum of 90 days from the time the hearing is first held for the divorce to be finalized. In very rare cases, the longest it is likely to take (barring intense legal battles) is two years.
Can I Avoid Going To Court For A Divorce Case In Rhode Island?
At some point, one or both of the parties will need to be in court to be heard. Many times, you will be in and out of court quickly and relatively painlessly. It may even be a remote hearing, but that is still considered to be a court appearance. Regardless of how quick and easy it might seem, it is best to have an attorney present to guide you through the process and prepare and review the documents that you will need to sign.
If Both Of Us Agree To All Divorce Terms, Do We Both Still Need A Divorce Attorney?
What appears to be the easiest sort of situation can have hidden depths. The consequences of a divorce decision will impact the rest of your life. And not all problems come from intentional deception.
Even if you trust the other person 100% and are in total agreement, it is vital to have independent lawyers to represent each spouse. This will avoid any conflict of interest or accusation of unfairness later. It also provides one more pair of experienced eyes to review the document to ensure it is error or unintended-consequence-free, and that each side is being properly represented.