Rhode Island Divorce & Finances

The process of dividing joint finances during a divorce can be uncertain, and may produce a lot of anxiety for both parties. You might have a number of questions about what happens. How will your property be divided? What will the effects be on your taxes? Do you have estate planning issues to resolve? Will the court award spousal support payments (or alimony), and if so, what will be the amount and duration of these payments? The following headings address some specific Rhode Island laws relating to divorce and finances.

Rhode Island Property Division/Equitable Distribution/Debts:

Rhode Island is an “equitable distribution” state. Marital property will thus be distributed on terms considered to be fair. Note that “fair” does not necessarily mean equal. In the equitable distribution adjudication, the court will consider, among other things, the contributions of each spouse to the marital estate, the total value of the properties of the parties, the economic circumstances of each party, any misconduct that may have occurred, and the amount of spousal support awarded.

Rhode Island Spousal Support:

Spousal support, ordered by the court, is a regular payment by one party to their ex-spouse after a divorce. Whenever the court issues a divorce decree, the court may also issue an order at that time that either the husband or wife pay support to the other spouse. Spousal support may only be ordered in Rhode Island if the court finds that it is necessary, but a divorce in itself does not create any automatic obligation for either spouse to support the other. Where the court does grant spousal support (also called “alimony” or “maintenance” in Rhode Island), it does so on a case-by-case basis and in consideration of many factors, including:

  1. The financial resources of the party seeking support;
  2. The time and input of resources necessary for the party seeking support to find appropriate employment and sufficient education/training for that employment;
  3. The established subjective standard of living during the marriage;
  4. Marriage duration;
  5. Physical and emotional condition of the party seeking support;
  6. The ability of the proposed supporting spouse to meet his/her own needs while meeting those of the other spouse; and
  7. The conduct of the parties during the marriage.

Rhode Island Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
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