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Divorce Law in Rhode Island

How to Find a Rhode Island Divorce Attorney

The cost of living in Rhode Island is significantly higher than the national average. In fact, it’s 26% more. If you’re contemplating divorce, you likely have finances, legal fees, health insurance, marital property division, alimony, and your children on your mind. Often, not knowing what’s going to happen and being fearful is worse than actually going through something.

Worry is a misuse of imagination.

~Dan Zadra

To put your mind at ease and help you to sleep better at night, we’ll use this article, “How to Find a Rhode Island Divorce Attorney” to nutshell:

  • Rhode Island specific divorce law requirements;
  • What you need to know about divorce; and
  • Whether it’s in your best interest to hire a Rhode Island divorce lawyer and, if so, how to find one and how to prepare to work with him or her.

If you choose to work with a Rhode Island divorce attorney, he or she will be able to give you specific information and legal guidance for your individual family and financial situation.

Rhode Island Divorce Law Specifics

  • Rhode Island demands residency requirements be met in order to qualify to file for divorce in the state.
  • Divorce may be filed based upon either “no-fault” or “fault” grounds.
  • Rhode Island uses the terms, “plaintiff” and “defendant” to describe, first, the spouse who initially filed the divorce papers, and, second, the other spouse.
  • In Rhode Island, divorce papers are filed in the county family courts.
  • In some cases, alimony is available.
  • In Rhode Island property distribution will be based upon what’s “equitable” (i.e. fair) and child support will be based upon the Income Shares Model.

What You Need to Know About Divorce in Rhode Island

We suggest that you say, “yes”, at almost every opportunity and say, “no”, only when you really have to. Though it may feel counterintuitive, cooperation will actually save you a lot of money in legal fees and get you more of what you want.

So, in a nutshell,

  • Say, “yes, whenever possible.
  • Hire a divorce lawyer who will cooperate and is willing to work together with your spouse’s attorney to get you more of what you want and keep fees down.
  • Know that you absolutely will have to compromise. In divorce, no spouse gets all of what he or she wants. (Your spouse will have to compromise too.)
  • Hire a therapist to help you deal with the pain, worry, and changes that divorce brings.

Is it in Your Best Interests to Work with a Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer?

  • You may think that by avoiding legal fees, you’ll be saving money. This is likely not true. In fact, trying to be a do-it-yourselfer will likely cost you much more.
  • What will one (or two) mistakes cost you? Will it cost you tens of thousands of dollars? Will it cost you your house? What about time with your children? What about your retirement funds?
  • When you put the legalities of your divorce into your divorce attorney’s hands, you no longer have to worry. Instead, you can focus on your healing, new life, and children.

How to Find and Select a Rhode Island Divorce Attorney

Google has made it easy to find a lawyer. Just enter “How to Find a Rhode Island Divorce Attorney” into your search engine. You can also ask for referrals from loved ones.

Once you’ve found several Rhode Island attorneys, who focus their practice on family law and divorce law, then narrow down your list.

  • Always ask whatever questions you have about fees, the process, what to expect, communications, and timing.
  • Ask how the attorneys approach the process. Are they willing to work cooperatively to get you more of what you want and save you money? Or, are they offering to do “bad” things to your spouse? The latter will cost you gobs in emotions and money.
  • Select the attorney with whom you are most comfortable.

How to Prepare to Work with Your Divorce Attorney

When you’re getting ready to work with your divorce lawyer, these tips will get you started on the right track, saving you money, time, effort, and worry.

  • It’s okay to wait to file divorce until you determine that all reconciliation efforts have been exhausted.
  • Consult with a therapist or psychologist, who specializes in helping people going through divorce.
  • Make a list of questions and concerns to address with your divorce attorney; and, collect any information that your attorney has requested or suggested may be helpful such as financials (assets, debts, bills, and income).
  • Make a “wish list” (e.g. finances, living arrangements, and child related matters) and indicate those items that are your top priorities in the divorce and those items that aren’t as important.

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.

~Leo Buscaglia

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