When couples contemplate divorce, they will often ask how long will it take to get a divorce in Rhode Island. Most people will want to know the timeline to prepare themselves. If you’re in a relationship with a lot of conflicts, you’ll probably want your divorce to be quick. You know it will be difficult, you just want it to be fast. Much like ripping off a band-aid. Unfortunately, just because you want your divorce to move quickly doesn’t mean it actually will. There are a lot of factors that go into the amount of time it takes to get a divorce in Rhode Island. Below you’ll find an explanation of these factors and a general timeline of the divorce process.
Filing for Divorce
The first step in the divorce process is filing for divorce. Filing for divorce is also called filing a “complaint for dissolution of marriage”. You can file alone and fill out all of the necessary documents by yourself, or you can hire an attorney to help you through this stage. This is when a person states the reason why they’re filing for divorce. Rhode Island is a no-fault divorce state. This means that you don’t necessarily need to provide a specific reason for the divorce beyond “irreconcilable differences”. Once your paperwork is complete, you’ll submit it with the county clerk. Rhode Island has a fast track system for uncontested divorces in their family courts. After a divorce petition is filed, you’ll receive a divorce hearing date of approximately 75 days after filing.
Uncontested Divorce vs Contested Divorce
The next stage of divorce is when things can either slow down or speed up. If you want to get a divorce in Rhode Island and both you and your spouse agree on the terms, your divorce is considered an uncontested divorce. However, if your spouse disagrees with the divorce or you can’t find common ground, it’s considered a contested divorce. Of course, an uncontested divorce will move much quicker. Rhode Island Family Courts can finalize an uncontested divorce within 75-90 days. Contested divorces can immediately slow down the second an unwilling spouse is served with divorce papers. Even if both parties are ready and willing to get a divorce in Rhode Island, there’s still the division of assets, child support, child custody, and a plethora of other issues to deal with. Contested divorces with high financial stakes can sometimes take years to complete.
Couples will often go through mediation to sort out all of these details if they’re not ready to finalize the divorce at the date of the hearing. Mediation is when you meet with a neutral third party, referred to as the mediator, to negotiate on certain items. It’s the mediator’s job to help both parties find a compromise. Rhode Island Family Courts will always encourage divorcing couples to settle their disagreements through mediation. The purpose of mediation is to settle these differences and avoid a trial. Divorce trials can be long, emotional, and expensive. Your divorce will be finalized much quicker if you can agree to the terms and conditions through mediation.
Divorce trials in Rhode Island are actually quite rare. Again, the family courts in this state go to great lengths to ensure couples a fair shot at an amicable divorce. There is a high number of divorce hearings, but not divorce trials. In order to get a divorce in Rhode Island, you should be open to negotiating and compromising. This is especially true if children are involved. This perspective can help your divorce move along smoothly. Unfortunately, their system isn’t foolproof. There are still a small number of contested divorces that will go to trial. At this point, the length of your divorce will completely depend on you and your ex. If you have no willingness to compromise, your divorce will be long and arduous. Finding a way to agree on the terms is the only way to finalize the divorce.
For More Information on How to Get a Divorce in Rhode Island
If you’re contemplating divorce, your first step should be to contact an experienced Rhode Island Divorce Attorney. Even if your divorce is considered uncontested and amicable, you’ll still need a legal expert to help with filing your divorce petition. In addition, it’s always smart to have a divorce lawyer to review the division of your assets. You want to make sure that you’re financially secure moving forward. A divorce lawyer can assess the terms of your divorce to make sure that you’re settlement is fair. Of course, if you believe you’ll be dealing with a contested divorce, a divorce lawyer will be absolutely necessary. A contested divorce can quickly turn into a legal nightmare if you’re dealing with it alone. Reach out to a trustworthy divorce lawyer today to learn more about how divorce works and how long a divorce should take.