Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer

You’ve tried everything, but your marriage just can’t seem to work. Let Rhode Island Divorce Attorney Susan T. Perkins help you untie that knot. 

Divorce Lawyer RI Susan T. Perkins is experienced in marital dissolution, complex property division, child custody, child support, maintenance, alimony, property division, relocation, and more.

Pick the Best Divorce Lawyer In Rhode Island

Marriage is a legal relationship between two people, but when it doesn’t last ‘till death-do-us-part, many legal matters can arise quickly and unexpectedly. It doesn’t matter if your divorce is considered easy or complex, you’ll need an experienced Rhode Island divorce lawyer to help you find your way to a settlement that’s agreeable to all parties involved. 

Divorce Attorney Susan T. Perkins has the experience to understand any legal issues that may arise during your divorce. She uses her creativity and flexibility to discover new ways to problem-solve. She also has the dedication, patience, and compassion to help you cope during this potentially stressful time. As a divorce lawyer, it’s her job to reduce stress related to your divorce and family law matters. 

Susan T. Perkins is the kind of divorce attorney that will vigorously represent your case, no matter the circumstances. Whether your case calls for litigation through court appearances, collaboration, or mediation, Perkins has the skills and experience in divorce and family law to help guide you through the divorce process. A dissolution of marriage can be an emotional event in people’s lives. It necessitates an attorney who understands the intricacies of divorce and is sensitive to this fact. 

Divorce and Family Law Resources 

The divorce process can be confusing and complex. Rhode Island divorce attorney Susan T. Perkins wants all of her clients to have access to the information they need so they feel confident about moving forward with their divorce. That’s why she provides updated resources on common divorce law terms, family law proceedings, and other legal matters that are typically associated with divorce. Below you’ll find information on: 

  • Differences Between Contested Divorce and Uncontested Divorce
  • Mediation in Rhode Island
  • Tools for Preparing for Divorce 
  • Divorce FAQs

Differences Between Uncontested Divorce and Contested Divorce in Rhode Island 

There are two types of divorce: uncontested and contested. 

Uncontested Divorce 

An uncontested divorce, or collaborative divorce, is one in which both sides are in agreement and simply need the guidance of the courts and divorce attorneys to iron out the fine details. An uncontested divorce will not go to court and terms are instead settled between the two parties and a lawyer. This type of divorce will likely move quickly through the court system and will cost less than a contested divorce. 

Contested Divorce 

A contested divorce, or traditional divorce, is one in which the two parties do not see eye-to-eye on the divorce terms. A contested divorce is typically emotionally charged in nature and requires a skilled divorce attorney to successfully mediate the situation. In the event of a contested divorce, the process will be similar to that of any typical lawsuit where one party sues another.

The divorce will then proceed in three stages: commencement, discovery, and settlement or trial. With a skilled and experienced divorce attorney, you’re likely to see your contested divorce reach a settlement before a trial occurs. 

Rhode Island divorce attorney Susan T. Perkins is licensed to practice law in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. She cares about her clients and listens to what they want. Regardless if you end up facing a contested divorce or uncontested divorce, she will be there for you and keep you fully informed about your case. 

Mediation in Rhode Island 

If you and your spouse want to divorce, but you also want to avoid a bitter divorce, discuss the possibility of mediation with your lawyer. Mediation is seen as an alternative to going to divorce court and it accomplishes the same goals: splitting assets, agreeing on child custody, child support, alimony, and many other factors. Mediation provides an environment that’s more open to collaboration and compromise and much less hostile than a court trial. Mediation tends to lead to faster resolutions and costs much less. 

If you’re more interested in being divorced than getting a divorce, contact Rhode Island divorce attorney Susan T. Perkins to discuss the path of mediation. 

How to Prepare for a Divorce in Rhode Island 

If you’re still in the early stages of your divorce, it can be helpful to take a few steps to prepare yourself for your upcoming divorce proceedings. Here’s a list of actions you can take and documents you can collect to protect yourself and make your case stronger: 

  • Gather financial information – Start collecting relevant and up to date financial statements. 
  • Open a P.O. Box – This way you can be sure all of your mail is being sent to a secure location. 
  • Begin Saving Money – Even if you work with the least expensive divorce lawyer, going through the divorce process will put a strain on your finances. 
  • Open New Bank Accounts – You’ll want to first establish independent banking accounts before you begin to untangle your finances from your spouse’s. 
  • Get New Credit Cards – It’s important to begin building a new line of credit. You’ll also want to do this in case your accounts are frozen due to divorce proceedings. 
  • Print a Credit Report – Having a snapshot of your current credit report can help your divorce attorney be able to spot any suspicious activity as you move forward. 
  • Inventory of Your Property – Make a list of all the property that you went into the marriage with. The more detailed this list is, the easier it will be for your divorce lawyer to ensure that you leave the marriage with that property. 
  • Change Your Estate Plans – If you pass before your divorce is final, your spouse may receive all or most of your estate. 

If you have questions about preparing for your divorce in Rhode Island, Susan T. Perkins is here to help. As an experienced Rhode Island divorce lawyer, she knows what you need to do now to eliminate any potential problems that can arise later. 

What You Need to Know About Divorce in Rhode Island 

To help you become more informed about divorce proceedings, family law, mediation, child custody, child support, and many other factors that are often involved with divorce, review our frequently asked questions about divorce in Rhode Island. 

Here are some general answers to common questions and concerns about divorce:

Do I need a divorce lawyer in Rhode Island?

Many people will ask if it’s necessary to hire a Rhode Island divorce attorney when faced with the possibility of a separation. While it is possible to represent yourself in your divorce, it’s never recommended. Even when the divorce appears to be amicable and both parties agree on things like living arrangements, child support, division of property, and other details, it’s always smart to have legal representation. 

There are a few reasons why it’s important to hire an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney to handle your divorce. First, you shouldn’t have to go through the divorce process alone. There’s no question that divorce can be stressful, scary, and incredibly emotional. Even when you know that a divorce is the best path for you and your soon-to-be ex-partner, it can still stir up feelings of confusion, regret, anger, or sadness. This is not the ideal state of mind to be in while you’re trying to file the necessary paperwork, negotiate, and agree on the terms and conditions of your divorce. Second, filing for divorce can be a complicated process. Any mistakes made on paperwork can set your divorce back and create a lot of obstacles. If you don’t have any previous legal experience, your best approach is to allow a trusted Rhode Island divorce lawyer to handle this for you. Lastly, filing for divorce and handling the legal tasks associated with divorce can be very time-consuming. Most people going through a divorce don’t have the extra hours in the day to devote to complex paperwork and negotiations that a divorce involves. 

If you know that you’re ready to move forward with your divorce, contact our law office to schedule a free consultation. We can discuss your circumstances and come up with a legal strategy that works for you. Remember, you don’t have to go through your divorce alone. Call the best Rhode Island divorce attorney Susan T. Perkins today. 

How much does a Rhode Island divorce attorney cost?

This is an important question. In order to properly budget your divorce and feel financially secure moving forward, you need to know how much a Rhode Island divorce attorney costs. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, simply because every divorce is different. The more complicated a divorce is, the more it can cost. For instance, if you and your soon-to-be ex-partner have multiple properties, share a business, have children, live in different cities, or are approaching a highly contested divorce, it can be costly. On the other hand, if you haven’t been married that long, you have no children, no shared credit, and you’re approaching an uncontested divorce, it will be a lot less expensive. 

Your best approach is to contact a trusted and experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible so you can discuss your budget and formulate a path to divorce that’s effective and affordable. 

Take advantage of a free consultation appointment at our Rhode Island law office so you can get a better idea of how much your divorce will cost. Call the best Rhode Island divorce attorney today to learn more about the financial implications of a divorce. 

How do I choose a divorce attorney? 

Even though divorce is common and it happens every day in Rhode Island, not every divorce, or divorce attorney, are the same. You should consider a few key things when choosing the right Rhode Island divorce attorney. First, you want someone who specializes in family law and divorce in the state. Second, you want to make sure that they have extensive experience in divorce proceedings. Going with a divorce lawyer with little experience in family law can be a risky move. You never know when an uncontested divorce can suddenly turn ugly. You want to be sure you’ve hired someone that can tackle any obstacle that comes your way. Lastly, you want to choose a divorce lawyer that’s compassionate, understanding, and effective. You want a divorce attorney that’s available to you and can answer all your questions. Remember that divorce can be an emotional time for everyone involved. Make sure that you’re hiring an attorney that is dedicated to your case and has the patience and emotional capacity to be there for you throughout the process. 

Rhode Island divorce attorney Susan T. Perkins doesn’t only have years of experience in divorce and family law, but she also knows the many challenges that clients face when going through a divorce. Call our law office today to talk to the best divorce attorney in Rhode Island. 

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is when both parties agree that the marriage should be terminated. Both parties have also agreed on all aspects of the division of property, alimony, and child custody.

Is there a special process for an uncontested divorce in Rhode Island?

No. In Rhode Island, you simply file for a no-fault divorce. When in court, you explain that you agree on all issues regarding your divorce. One spouse claims “irreconcilable differences”.

Even if both spouses are at fault for causing the marriage to fail, the fault is not considered by the court at all.

Why should you choose mediation in Rhode Island?

After you’ve reviewed the process of mediation above and you have a better idea of what mediation involves, you can decide if it’s the right choice for you. To help you make that decision, here are a few benefits of going down the path of mediation for your divorce:

  • Economical for both sides
  • Quicker settlements
  • More predictable and collaborative than a trial 
  • Less hostile than going through the courts
  • Includes comprehensive agreements that more likely lead to compliance on both sides

While mediation can be a positive, effective, and amicable way of handling a divorce, it’s also not for everyone. However, if you believe that you’re ready to explore mediation for your divorce, contact an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney today.  

What’s the difference between divorce and a legal separation?

While a legal separation and a divorce are technically different, they are very similar in the sense that they both involve legal contracts that define the terms and conditions of a separation. If you’re trying to decide between a legal separation or a divorce, you should ask yourself a few questions. For instance, are you prepared to live apart from your spouse? Are you prepared for the finality and permanence of the dissolution of your marriage? Do you still have feelings for your spouse? Do you believe that reconciliation is possible? 

These are the types of questions a Rhode Island divorce attorney might ask you to make sure that you feel confident and prepared to move forward with a divorce. If you’re feeling unsure about ending your marriage, but you believe you need time apart, a legal separation may be a better choice for you. A legal separation gives you space and time to explore the possibility of a divorce, without finalizing the dissolution of your marriage. Working with a divorce lawyer through a legal separation can also help you protect yourself and your assets. 

What does it mean to be a “no-fault” divorce state? Is Rhode Island a no-fault divorce state? 

Yes, Rhode Island is a no-fault divorce state. 

There are a lot of common misconceptions out there about what “no-fault” actually means in a divorce. Some people are led to believe that a no-fault divorce means that the separation of assets gets split right down the middle and each party gets half of their estate. This is not the case. No-fault simply means that in order to file for a divorce in Rhode Island, you don’t have to prove grounds of fault. You can say there are “irreconcilable differences” and both parties have agreed to take responsibility for the marriage coming to an end. 

What are the requirements for a no-fault divorce in Rhode Island?

There are a few minimal requirements to file for a no-fault divorce in Rhode Island. These are:

  • Both spouses must have been living in Rhode Island for more than one year before the divorce.
  • Irreconcilable differences have caused the marriage to be beyond repair,
  • OR you and your spouse have been living separately for more than three years.

Is Rhode Island a 50/50 divorce state?

Rhode Island is not a 50/50 divorce state or “community property” state. This law sees marital property as “community property” and when couples divorce in a community property state, all assets are automatically divided 50/50. 

Since Rhode Island is not a 50/50 divorce state, you’ll need to take an inventory of all of your shared property, accounts, assets, debts, investments, and negotiate on how all of this will be divided after the settlement of your divorce. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to work closely with a Rhode Island divorce attorney with experience. The division of assets and the negotiation process can be complicated and emotional. It’s important to work with a divorce attorney that you trust and has a vast amount of experience in negotiating. 

Is adultery illegal in Rhode Island?

Yes, adultery is still considered a crime in Rhode Island and the adulterer can receive a fine, typically set around $500.00, for breaking their marriage contract due to engaging in a sexual relationship outside of the marriage. However, this type of misconduct is rarely prosecuted. Infidelity is often taken into account throughout the negotiation phase of a divorce or if the divorce goes to trial, but it’s not often cited as a criminal offense. 

Can one spouse stop paying for household expenses?

No. When a complaint is filed, court orders are put into effect that maintains the “status quo”. For example, one spouse may not stop depositing their paycheck into a joint household account. No one may remove funds from joint accounts. All bills, rents, mortgages, and other expenses must continue to be paid until the judgment is final.

How do I file a divorce complaint in Rhode Island?

It is best to consult with a Rhode Island divorce attorney, who will provide you with all the necessary paperwork. Your lawyer will also file the paperwork with the courts for you. Many forms can also be found online here.

What forms need to be filed?

Your lawyer will file several forms with the court. If you do not have a lawyer, you will have to file them yourself. Remember, the clerk is not allowed to help you. The required forms are:

  1. A complaint
  2. A DR6
  3. Two statements listing the children of the divorce
  4. A family services counseling report form
  5. A report of divorce
  6. A copy of the marriage certificate
  7. The summons
  8. Filing fee

What is a DR6?

A DR6 is a form that must be filed with your divorce papers. It is a “Statement of Assets Liabilities Income Expenses”. Both parties are required to fill out this form. It covers all income, assets, and expenses.

Do I have to serve my spouse with divorce papers in an uncontested divorce in Rhode Island?

Yes. The spouse must be served by a local sheriff or constable. Normally, this will be handled by your lawyer’s office. A copy of the papers must also be filed with the sheriff’s office.

How long do I have to wait for a court date?

After the complaint is filed, the clerk will schedule a court date for approximately 75 days afterward. In some cases, the judge may waive the waiting period. To do this, both parties must sign a waiver stating there is no chance of reconciliation.

Is there a waiting period in Rhode Island?

Yes. If the grounds are “irreconcilable differences”, there is a waiting period of 90 days after your court appearance. If the grounds are living “separate and apart for at least 3 years” there is a 21 day waiting period.

What are the residency requirements to get a divorce in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island does have residency requirements that need to be met to file for divorce. The Rhode Island residency requirement states that either you or your spouse must prove that you’re a resident of the state and either you or your spouse have resided in the state for at least one year before you can file for a divorce.

How is child support calculated?

Rhode Island has a set calculator based on income to determine child support obligations. It takes into account the amount each parent earns and the costs of child care and medical insurance.

What about school tuition?

If your child goes to a private school in Rhode Island, that is a matter settled out of court. In RI, a judge can’t order a spouse to pay tuition because it is an optional expense.

Do most divorcing couples get joint custody of children in Rhode Island?

Yes, provided both spouses are fit and proper parents. Joint custody refers to making major decisions about the child, like schooling and medical decisions. However, joint custody doesn’t necessarily mean that a child splits their time 50/50 between parents.

What is placement?

Placement means the child or children reside with one parent. The other parent receives all reasonable rights of visitation.

Do grandparents have rights in Rhode Island?

When children are involved, sometimes a divorce can get messy. Some parents might feel as though they don’t want their children to visit with grandparents or relatives of their ex-spouse for a variety of reasons. However, in these cases, grandparents and relatives of the children can file for a petition through the Rhode Island Family Court to have visitation rights with their grandchildren. Overall, the grandparents or relatives will have to prove to a judge that spending time with the children is in their best interest. 

Should I ask for alimony?

In Rhode Island, alimony is rarely awarded. If it is, it is usually only for a very short period of time.

How do I find a Rhode Island divorce lawyer?

Contact an experienced Rhode Island divorce lawyer here for a free consultation.

Rhode Island Divorce Attorney Susan T. Perkins

The Law Office of Rhode Island Family Attorney Susan T. Perkins is open 24 Hours. If you’re ready to discuss your case, it’s recommended to contact the best divorce attorney in Rhode Island as soon as possible. The best results are often achieved when you consult with your divorce attorney earlier rather than later. 

Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Office

Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer

Rhode Island Family Lawyer Susan T. Perkins, Esq.

462 Broadway
Providence , RI

Phone: (401) 324-2990

To know more information about divorce forms, divorce mediation, marital assets, spousal support, divorce proceeding, restraining order, personal injury or any other related information to your legal matter. Call Rhode Island Family Law and Criminal Defense Attorney Susan T. Perkins to schedule a free consultation to discuss your family law matter.

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Susan T. Perkins is a family law attorney and also practices criminal law in RI, MA and CI.

If you need Legal Advice About Your Divorce Case call (401) 324-2990 today the law firm of Susan T. Perkins to schedule a Free Consultation