Oceans Apart in the Ocean State? Divorce in RI Explained by DoNotPay
If divorce is the only way out, the best outcome you can hope for is that it is as quick, painless, and inexpensive as possible.
As Rhode Island residents, you and your spouse can file for a no-fault divorce that will minimize the time and the expense of the process.
DoNotPay is here to help with all the information you need for uncontested divorce in RI.
Rhode Island is a so-called “no-fault” state, meaning that you don’t have to prove your spouse guilty of anything to secure a divorce.
If you have decided that divorce is your only option, you can proceed by proving that:
- The marriage has broken down due to irreconcilable differences
- You and your spouse have lived apart for at least three years
The easier route is the claim of irreconcilable differences, and both you and your spouse must be prepared to attest to this in front of a judge.
To satisfy RI divorce laws from the residency perspective, one or both of you must have lived in Rhode Island for a year before the divorce papers are filed.
If you can fulfill all the requirements and have reached an agreement on how your divorce should be settled, the path to an uncontested or friendly divorce is open. You should be able to:
Rhode Island does not allow you and your spouse to file joint uncontested divorce papers.
This means that one of you will have to file for divorce, and the other will have to respond. The process is as follows:
- Filing a complaint
- Serving the papers
- Agreeing on a settlement
The clerk of your county court will provide you with a complaint form and a verification document to fill out.
The complaint form asks the court to grant you and your spouse divorce and contains your personal details. The verification form ensures that at least one of you fulfills the legal requirements to file for divorce in RI.
These two forms should be accompanied by a list of your:
- Joint and individual assets, liabilities, income, and expenses
- Children or dependents
- Shared business interests, if relevant
Once you have filed your complaint, you will have to pay the filing fee of $120. You will receive a copy of your divorce papers and a summons for you to issue to your spouse.
You need to have the summons and the paperwork delivered to your spouse, who should sign that it has been received.
You will need to use the county sheriff or an authorized private constable to serve the summons, and they may charge a nominal fee.
Your spouse should respond in writing, stating that they do not intend to contest the divorce.
Once the divorce process has been set in motion, you and your spouse can draw up a divorce settlement agreement.
This document sets out how your responsibilities and finances will be divided once your divorce has been finalized.
It should include the following details:
- Custody, childcare, and child support details, if you have minor children
- Alimony payments
- Division of shared assets and liabilities
- Settlement of shared business interests
Your divorce settlement agreement is the most important document in the process and will determine whether a judge is happy to grant an uncontested divorce.
If you and your spouse agree on everything, you should be able to have the divorce finalized without needing a lawyer. Even if there are minor points on which you can’t agree, you may still be able to avoid the expense of an attorney by relying on a state-approved mediator to help you negotiate a mediated solution.
There is no such thing as an out-of-court divorce settlement in RI.
You and your spouse will have to appear at least once before the judge in your county court to testify that:
- Your marriage has broken down irretrievably
- You agree on the need for a divorce
- You are both happy with the settlement agreement
The judge will also verify that the arrangements you have made for the custody and care of any children are in the best interests of the minors.
Once the judge is satisfied, your divorce will be granted after a mandatory 90-day waiting period.
You can draw up a divorce settlement agreement using several routes in Rhode Island, as follows:
|Divorce Settlement Agreement Sources||Explanation|
|County court||Your county court may be able to provide you with a settlement agreement template for you to fill out. If you are unfamiliar with such documents, you may find it complicated, though—meaning you might have to engage a lawyer to help you fill it out|
|Lawyer||A lawyer can draw up a settlement agreement for you, but the considerable expense may be unnecessary if you and your spouse agree on your settlement|
|Online||Several companies offer online templates for you to fill out on your own, but many of these are generic and do not take account of Rhode Island requirements. You may also find they do not cover all the points you and your spouse need to have included in your agreement|
DoNotPay can solve all these problems—we can prepare a watertight and comprehensive divorce settlement agreement for you in no time!
DoNotPay is here to keep your divorce simple, quick, and painless!
Our Divorce Settlement Agreement product has been designed to take the hassle and expense out of drawing up a customized agreement. You can tailor-make the document to your specifications and avoid expensive lawyers and inadequate online services!
Here’s how to use our feature:
- Sign up with DoNotPay in your web browser
- Click on our Divorce Settlement Agreement product
- Fill in the details you want to be included
Once you are happy that everything you need has been included, you can finalize your settlement agreement and print it out. You and your spouse should sign it in the presence of a notary.
Although certain tasks require you to get a lawyer’s assistance, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars for their service. With DoNotPay, you can avoid figuring out the legal jargon and have peace of mind dealing with bureaucratic tasks the easy way.
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