Uncontested Divorce in Rhode Island

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The rate of divorce has been rapidly increasing over the past few years across the globe, with the United States and Europe taking the leading positions. Russia, Belarus, Cayman Islands, Moldova, Ukraine, USA, Bermuda, Cuba etc, have higher rates compared to any other nation in the world. Although in the US, different states have different divorce rates, laws and procedures, the overall rate is also increasing. It has been observed that most of the divorcing couples choose an Undisputed separation with the aim of saving time and money and avoiding stress. In Rhode Island, located in the New England region of the nation, many separating couples go for such dissolution. They discuss all the ongoing issues and reach to a mutual agreement. Throughout the whole process, they are free to take the help of the mediator or lawyer. Requirements, procedures and every other matter related to uncontested divorce in Rhode Island are the territory of the state government.

In order to fight a dissolution, you should be aware of the basic legal formalities and the important aspects of your case. For your help, we present here important information regarding an uncontested divorce in Rhode Island.

General Information

  • The residency criterion for filing an uncontested case is that anyone of the spouses must live in the state for a period of one year before filing for the case.
  • If the complaint is not based upon the Defendant's residence, the papers can be filed in the Plaintiff's residence. But if the complaint is based upon the Defendant's residence, it should be filed in the county where the Defendant resides or in the Providence County.
  • The action is filed in the Family Court.
  • The grounds are No-fault, that is, 'irreconcilable differences' or living separate and apart from each other without cohabitation for a period of three years. Other general grounds include:
    • Adultery
    • Willful desertion for a period of 5 years (or less, if the court thinks so)
    • Bigamy
    • Impotence
    • Abandonment and presumed dead
    • Gross neglect
    • Cruelty or inhuman behavior

Various forms of Uncontested Divorce in Rhode Island

No children and no assets

The divorcing parties do not have any joint debt, children, real estate or assets. Consequently, there is no need of a property settlement agreement. This situation can be regarded as a truly undisputed dissolution. In such a scenario also, the lawyer has sufficient work to perform. The divorcing parties must attend the nominal case hearing in the court. As this type of cases demands the least amount of time from the lawyer, it is one of the least expensive one. The lawyer may charge a flat fee as there are no issues that are to be resolved.

Children and Property distribution involved

The divorcing partners agree considerably on several issues like debt issues, real estate issues, automobile issues, alimony, child visitation, child custody, child support and property division. The role of the lawyer is to prepare the property settlement agreement. When assets are to be divided, then qualified domestic relation orders, promissory notes, mortgages, deeds etc, are prepared by the lawyer. Thus, depending on the situation, the payment due to the lawyer and thereby the expenditure of the case varies.

An actually minimally contested Uncontested Divorce

In case of visitation, the divorcing partners agree that there would be a reasonable visitation, but cannot work out the exact dates and times. It may happen that the divorcing partners agree on child custody and child support on most, but not all particulars. Thirdly, the divorcing spouses may accept that the marital residence must be sold as quickly as possible through a licensed Realtor. However, they may not reach a consensus regarding the listing price of the residence or the manner in which the proceeds of the sale should be bifurcated.

All the above cases are examples of uncontested dissolution that are actually minimally contested. In these cases, the lawyers become more involved in negotiation and they try to settle the issues of conflict. The attorneys also draft a property settlement agreement that describes the various issues. This sort of marital termination is more exorbitant than a true mutual case.

Track of Uncontested Divorce

When a Plaintiff files for divorce, he or she has to mention the track that he or she wishes. There are two tracks in Rhode Island - the nominal track and the contested track. An undisputed case must be attached to the nominal track.

After it is put on the nominal track, the court clerk schedules a nominal hearing about 65 to 70 days from the date of filing. On this date, if any issues are not resolved, the attorneys request the Judge to hold the case till the issues are resolved. In course of time, if the issues remain unresolved, this fact is intimated to the court clerk or the Judge and the track is changed to a contested one.

After reading all this information about uncontested divorce in Rhode Island, you can prepare your documents and complete the legal formalities more easily. Note down all the points that are relevant in your case and act accordingly.

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