Rhode Island Divorce Laws

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Divorce laws are the combined set of rules and regulations that are used to govern a procedure of a divorce in any particular state. The laws are the tools to carry out any legal procedure. Though itis more of a family matter, it is to be handled according to the legal jurisdiction. Rhode Island laws elaborate the provisions and requirements for a legal process in a simple manner. They state the facts of a process and the manner in which dissolution should be planned by the spouses.

Laws regarding Child Support

In this state, the Income Shares Model is used to determine child support. Initially, the Court observes the court established guidelines to compute the child support. However, if the Court reaches a conclusion that this amount is inequitable to either parent or the child, then the Court considers the following issues to find out a reasonable amount of support for the child:

  • The requirements and economical resources that a non-custodial parent holds
  • The educational necessity and the emotional and physical state of the offspring
  • If the marriage was not dissolved, the standard of living the child would have enjoyed
  • The economical resources of the child

The Court uses its discretionary powers while issuing orders of education costs and child support for children who are still taking high school education during their 18thbirthday. This support continues for 90 days after the child graduates, but in no case after the 19th birthday. If the child has severe physical or mental impairment, the Court may issue orders to continue child support till the 21st birthday. The orders of the Court for child support are inclusive of orders to procure health insurance coverage for the child when parents can obtain it through their job at nil or a reasonable expenditure.

Laws regarding Child Custody

Initially, the parents are offered an opportunity to reach an agreement regarding custody of their children. However, if the parents fail to do so, the Court orders the natural parent who does not have custody of the children, the reasonable right of visitation, unless a cause is shown as to why such a right should not be offered. The child visitation rules are to be followed strictly to avoid any kind of legal offense which is punishable.

The Court expects that both the children and the custodial parent should comply with its orders. If noncompliance occurs for the first time, a motion of contempt may be filed by the non-custodial parent. The Court ascertains the non-compliance and defines the visitation of the non-custodial parent in detail. If noncompliance occurs for a second time, the Court regards this as a reason for an alteration in custody to the non-custodial parent.

Spousal Support

Spousal support is the basic necessity of a partner who is unable to support himself or herself. It is an amount provided to a partner to overcome the financial hurdles caused by a divorce and to achieve self-Independence. The support can be paid in advance or in the form of monthly installments. The Court is guided by the following issues when awarding alimony:

  • The requirements, liabilities and conditions of both the partners
  • The following attributes of both the partners:
    • Employability
    • Vocational skills
    • Sources and amount of income
    • Occupation
    • Station
    • Age
    • Health
  • The demeanor of the partners in the married life
  • The duration of marital life
  • The standard of living enjoyed in marital life
  • Considering the age and skills of a specific partner, the possibility of completion of education or training to become self-supportive
  • The expenditure and duration essential for the supported partner to attain the essential education and training to seek apt job
  • The duration for which a partner was absent from job due to the responsibilities of homemaking and the degree to which the experience, skills and education of this partner have become obsolete and consequently resulting in a decrease in earning capacity
  • Other factors which the Court finds proper and just

The other factors like property distribution and child visitation are too included in the laws. The detailed study of the laws is important while handling a complicated case of divorce. The residency requirements for legal process are a mandatory condition to be met. The residency conditions in Rhode Island are of six months. Thus a person should be a resident of the state for at least six months before filing for a divorce.

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