Ways to Get Divorced

In Rhode Island, there are several different paths to obtaining a divorce. You and your spouse can agree to attend mediation, either privately or through the court, and work out your issues with a neutral third party. It is in your best interest to have an attorney review any proposed document or settlement prior to your consent to the same to ensure that you understand fully what you are agreeing to. Once an agreement has been reached, you will need to appear before a judge in order to make it legal.

You can also proceed through the court system as either a contested (not in agreement) divorce or an uncontested (in agreement) divorce. Divorces which are settled without the need for a hearing or trial are called “nominals”. Contested divorces can take months or even years to resolve – even longer if you do not have experienced representation to advise you and advocate for your rights and best interests. Uncontested divorces can be resolved very quickly, often in less than 6 months depending on the court’s scheduling and willingness of the parties to come to a global agreement.

Click here to learn about the types of divorce.

There are NO guarantees in the process of obtaining a divorce and attorneys cannot promise any specific outcome. Both parties have the right to change their mind up until the final signature by the judge making the divorce legal – this does not guarantee any changes but can cause delays. It is always wise to consult with a competent divorce attorney to ensure that the path you are taking for your divorce is the best fit for your unique situation.

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Divorce process

  • Legal representation vs pro se (representing yourself)
  • Filing and serving your spouse
  • Being served by and responding to your spouse
  • What to expect at your court hearing

Ways to get divorced

  • Mediation
  • Uncontested divorce
  • Contested divorce
  • Nominal

Types of divorce

  • Fault
  • No-fault
  • Common law marriage
  • Legal separation

Divorce with children

  • Custody (legal decision making)
  • Placement (primary residence)
  • Relocation (moving out of RI)
  • Parenting plan (visitation, holidays, etc.)
  • Child support (implication, modification, termination)
  • Paternity

Pleadings (legal documents)

  • Marital or property settlement agreement
  • Pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement
  • Motions (requesting your ex-spouse do something)
  • Objections (in response to your ex-spouse’s motions)
  • Discovery process
  • Restraining or no contact orders

Divorce with financial components

  • Legal representation vs pro se (representing yourself)
  • Filing and serving your spouse
  • Being served by and responding to your spouse
  • What to expect at your court hearing

Post-divorce needs

  • Enforcing court orders
  • Motions for modification (make changes) or to adjudge in contempt (not doing what agreed to)

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