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What Constitutes Grounds for Divorce in Rhode Island?

There are many factors to consider when making the decision to end a marriage; one which may be to determine if there are sufficient legal grounds or not. Since 2010, all 50 states in our country, including Rhode Island, recognize no-fault divorce grounds, which means that all you need to do is state formally that the marriage has ended.

The first step in making this claim is to submit a complaint to the court. In this complaint or petition, you need to state formally that your marriage is over. This is considered no-fault. You do not need to elaborate or provide details on why the marriage has ended, the idea behind no-fault is that neither spouse can legally blame the other for the end of the marriage. There are times when it is important to file a fault divorce. I’ve discussed this in my post from February of 2013 which can be accessed via this link.

But what happens if one spouse has left Rhode Island to live somewhere else during this separation? People often wonder if this will this make divorce more challenging. This situation is quite common here in Rhode Island, being such a small state and with so many people having friends or family members living just over the state line in Massachusetts.

Residency, as it relates to filing for divorce in Rhode Island, is mostly a concern only for the person filing for the divorce. The spouse’s residence in or away from Rhode Island is not the critical element. It is important to know that the person filing the petition for divorce needs to be a resident for more than one year in the jurisdiction of the court where the petition is filed. It is also important to know that the court will not hold the first hearing for the divorce until 60 days following the filing of paperwork with the court.

For more information on no-fault or fault divorce actions or to discuss residency concerns, contact an experienced divorce lawyer.