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Benefits of 
an online divorce

Benefits of an online divorce

Why Choose Divorce.com?

Divorce.com is a simple and convenient solution to get legal paperwork for an uncontested divorce. This service was created to help couples save time and money on expensive lawyers while preparing for their DIY divorce.

Divorce.com allows spouses who agree on all issues to get the court-required forms online in only two business days. They don’t need to have any specific knowledge of the legal system to complete the paperwork. Divorce.com will create all the documents according to the circumstances of each divorce case.

The process for obtaining the court forms includes the following steps:

  • Complete a brief questionnaire to see if you can apply for the service.
  • Answer more questions to provide the system with information about your divorce and marriage.
  • Check and correct your answers, if necessary, and submit them.
  • Receive the papers in a PDF format in just two business days.
  • Download, print, and sign the forms before taking them to the proper courthouse.
Rhode Island divorce forms

Rhode Island Divorce Forms

Filing for divorce requires collecting the court forms, according to the state standards and each couple’s situation. For example, the papers for spouses with amicable and contested divorces differ, as do the documents for couples with and without minor children.

Some basic forms may be found at the self-help centers, while others must be obtained in court. The essential documents are listed below:

  • Complaint for Divorce (FC-56)
  • Summons in a Civil Action Form (AO 440)
  • Affidavit of Non-Military Service (FC-52)
  • Child Support Case Registration and Payment Form (CSS-1)
  • Child Support Guideline Worksheet (FC-78)
  • Waiver of the Service of Summons (AO 399)
  • Consent Order (FC-76)
  • Cover Sheet (FC-75)
  • Entry of Appearance (CC-11)
  • Notice of Pre-Trial Conference (FC-6)
  • Statement Listing Children (FC-59)
  • Statement of Assets, Liabilities, Income, and Expenses (FC-5)
  • Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis
  • Process Receipt and Return (Form USM-285)
  • Marital Settlement Agreement (Forms RI-DO-10, RI-DO-10A, RI-DO-11, or RI-DO-11A)
  • Final Judgment (FC-45)

Several forms from the list above (e.g., a Statement of Assets, Liabilities, Income, and Expenses) are confidential and won’t be publicly available after a divorcing couple files them.

Divorce forms preparation

Divorce forms preparation

How to Fill Out Divorce Forms in Rhode Island

Filling out divorce forms is the second important task to start a divorce successfully. Unfortunately, it can be complicated and make the spouses filing for divorce without a lawyer feel overwhelmed with the paperwork.

Here are a few main steps to complete when filling out the blank court forms:

  • Read the questions in the forms and decide what information you need to collect to answer them.
  • Look up any unfamiliar terminology in legal dictionaries or online resources, such as libraries and Rhode Island General Laws.
  • Negotiate the divorce terms with your husband or wife before putting them into the documents (for uncontested divorces).
  • Fill out the blanks with the required personal information and the proposed terms.
  • Review your answers and correct them, if necessary, before going to court.

The plaintiff must remember that some forms need notarization, which is signing the papers in front of a notary public. The district clerk won’t accept divorce documents if they are filled out incorrectly or lack notarization (not all forms need it).

Collecting the court forms and filling them out is much simpler using Divorce.com. This service will generate state-specific divorce papers matching each couple’s situation, in just two business days.

In addition, the service will provide the spouses with detailed instructions on filing their case with the court.

Filing for
Divorce in
Rhode Island

Steps to Consider

Residency Requirements

Spouses can file for divorce in Rhode Island if they meet the state’s residency requirements. It is a mandatory condition for all couples that allows the courts to establish jurisdiction over divorce cases.

The judges in Rhode Island can grant a divorce if either spouse has lived in the state’s territory for one year before filing divorce papers. If one spouse is absent from the state while serving in the military, they are also considered residents of Rhode Island.

Grounds for Divorce

Rhode Island provides several grounds (legal reasons) for divorce. One of them is no-fault, and the other eight are fault-based. A no-fault divorce is possible if the spouses allege “irreconcilable differences.”

The fault-based grounds are as follows:

  • Adultery;
  • Impotence;
  • Extreme cruelty;
  • Willful desertion for five years;
  • Habitual drunkenness;
  • Drug use;
  • Neglect and refusal to provide support;
  • Any gross misbehavior.
Initial Filing

The filing process begins when one spouse (a plaintiff) submits a packet of divorce forms to the court clerk. The initial papers include the original Complaint for Divorce, Cover Sheet and one copy of each document.

The plaintiff must pay the filing fee before the court clerk can place a date and case number on the documents. The proper courthouse to file the papers is a local court in a county where a plaintiff or a defendant lives.

Filing Fees

The court fees for filing divorce papers in Rhode Island are $120-$160, depending on the county. Other costs may include the sheriff’s services and copies of forms.

If a plaintiff can’t afford to pay the fees, they can request to waive or delay them by filing an Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. Additionally, to be eligible for the fee waiver, the plaintiff must prove that they have income less than 150% of the state poverty level.

Serving the Respondent

After the plaintiff files the divorce documents with the court, the clerk will issue a Summons. The copies of the Complaint and the original Summons should be delivered to the defendant. The plaintiff must follow the rules of civil procedure to serve the defendant properly.

If a divorce is uncontested, the non-filing spouse may sign the Waiver of the Service of Summons. Otherwise, the plaintiff must send the papers through certified mail or by hiring a sheriff or a private process server, and file the proof of service with the court.

Waiting Period

Divorcing couples in Rhode Island must wait 75 days from the moment they filed the paperwork until they can schedule a final hearing. This waiting period usually lets the defendant file the response papers and set a discovery process.

After the initial hearing and final judgment, the spouses are not immediately divorced. Instead, the court has a 90-day waiting period for the divorce decree to become final.

Finalizing a Divorce Case

All spouses must attend a court hearing, even if their divorce is uncontested. At the hearing, the judge will address all the key issues, such as property division and children, and hear from all the witnesses.

If the parties have a mutual settlement agreement, the judge will review the proposed terms and approve or reject them. After reviewing all other filed documents, the judge will sign the Final Judgment form. The spouses may receive certified copies from the court clerk.

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It was a perfect way to prepare for an uncontested divorce. I answered a few questions and got my papers in a matter of days. The filing instructions were also very helpful.

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Uncontested divorce 
in Rhode Island

Uncontested Divorce in Rhode Island

An uncontested (or amicable) divorce means that the spouses resolved the conflicts regarding property division, children, alimony, etc. If both parties agree on all issues, they can file a Joint Petition for Dissolution and finalize their divorce sooner than couples with contested cases.

Getting an uncontested divorce also means fewer divorce expenses, since the divorcing couple can proceed without an attorney. Moreover, these couples usually have more control over the divorce results and experience less court involvement.

The only obstacle is paperwork. For example, the spouses need to come up with a mutual settlement agreement and discuss all terms of a divorce, such as:

  • Property division, including all assets, cash, debts, real estate, etc.
  • Child custody arrangements and child support
  • Alimony and insurance, etc.

Completing the paperwork for an uncontested divorce may be faster and more convenient if you use Divorce.com. This platform will generate and fill out all the state-specific divorce documentation in only two business days.

Preparing court papers with Divorce.com is easy, affordable, and fast.

Child custody

Getting a Divorce with Children in Rhode Island

Child custody

Every divorce proceeding involving minor children must address the issues of child custody and visitation. Rhode Island family courts typically decide these matters with the child’s best interests as a priority.

Rhode Island family law provides several types of custody that a judge may award to one or both parents:

  • Joint legal custody: both parents are involved in making decisions about the child’s education, health, religion, etc.
  • Sole legal custody: only a primary custodian decides how to raise a child without asking the other parent.
  • Joint (shared or split) physical custody: a child shares residential time between the parents.
  • Sole physical custody: A child lives with a custodial parent while the other has reasonable visitation rights.

The spouses may develop a mutual parenting plan and submit it to the judge for revision. In addition, it’s common to consult a divorce mediator to resolve child custody disputes.

The judges in Rhode Island will also consider the following factors when making or approving the proposed arrangements and issuing any court orders:

  • The child’s and each parent’s wishes;
  • The child’s relationships with the parents, siblings, and other significant people;
  • Each party’s physical and mental health;
  • The child’s home environment and their adjustments to the school and community;
  • The moral fitness of each parent;
  • The willingness of each parent to let the child have frequent contact with the other parent, etc.

The courts do not consider the parent’s gender as a factor. Thus, men and women have equal chances to get custody rights.

Child Support

Child Support

Rhode Island state laws require that one or both parents financially support the children they have together after a divorce. Usually, the ex-spouse with less parenting time must pay their share to the custodial parent to be spent on the child.

The amount of support is calculated using the Child Support Worksheet. The information required to determine the financial obligation is the adjusted gross incomes of both parents and the number of minor children.

Child support must also include medical and dental expenses and the cost of health insurance.

Support obligations end when a child reaches 18 or emancipates. However, if they have turned 18 and are still enrolled in high school education, support extends to their 19th birthday or graduation from high school.

Divorce Without a Lawyer in Rhode Island

Divorce Without
a Lawyer
in Rhode Island

Spouses pursuing uncontested divorces often choose to proceed without legal representation and, thus, decrease their expenses. Getting a divorce without an attorney can save thousands of dollars because lawyers’ fees in Rhode Island are pretty high - $100-$450 an hour.

A lawyer-free divorce also gives a married couple more freedom to make joint decisions about their divorce. For instance, they can divide the property in a manner that seems fair to both parties and not wait for the judge’s decision.

However, representing a divorce case pro se (without an attorney) is potentially complicated. First, couples with many unresolved issues might get an unfavorable outcome, so they should at least try mediation before choosing a contested divorce.

Second, the next complication is the legal paperwork. Even couples without disputes must collect and file the appropriate court forms to start their divorce.

Fortunately, you have a simple way to prepare the legal paperwork online - Divorce.com. This service will help you generate customized documents for your uncontested divorce in only two business days. In addition, you’ll receive a set of step-by-step instructions guiding you through the filing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to get divorced in Rhode Island?

Uncontested divorces in Rhode Island take 3 to 6 months on average, while contested ones might take up to 12-18 months.

Can I get a free divorce in Rhode Island?

A free divorce in Rhode Island is possible if a plaintiff proves that they can’t afford to pay the filing fee and file an Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis.

How do I file for divorce in Rhode Island?

A plaintiff must file a Complaint for Divorce and a Cover Sheet with the family court in the county where either spouse lives.

How much does a divorce cost in Rhode Island?

The median price tag of a contested divorce is $15,000-$20,000. However, you can significantly decrease the costs if you decide to proceed without a lawyer and prepare the court papers at Divorce.com.