Rhode Island Alimony Attorney

Family, Divorce and Criminal Defense Lawyer Susan T. Perkins

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Is Alimony Affecting You?

Divorce is a difficult time, and it can be even more difficult if you rely on your spouse to take care of you financially. Fortunately, alimony, which is sometimes called spousal support, is something that is either agreed upon by the couple during the divorce or ordered by the court. Alimony is something that you should keep in mind when discussing the terms of your divorce. If you’re concerned about receiving alimony or if there’s an alimony order against you and you need legal advice, it’s important to contact a Rhode Island alimony attorney as soon as possible. 

Alimony Considerations

Alimony or spousal support isn’t something that is simply granted because one spouse demands it. When an alimony order is put in place during a court proceeding, the judge will consider several things including:

  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Spousal conduct during the marriage
  • How healthy and how old the spouses are
  • The employment situation of the spouses
  • Job skill and ability of each spouse to work
  • Whether one spouse has custody of a minor child from the current marriage and is unable to work because of this
  • If one spouse was a homemaker throughout the marriage and would need to acquire skills to join the workforce so that they can provide for themselves
  • What the standards of living were during the marriage
  • How likely either spouse is to acquire property or income in the future
  • The ability for one spouse to pay alimony based on their assets and ability to create income

The process of obtaining alimony or paying alimony can become very confusing, especially after considering all of the above factors. Having the guidance of a Rhode Island alimony attorney can make all the difference. Working with a Rhode Island alimony attorney can also save you a great deal of money. For instance, in  Rhode Island, there are no set guidelines for how long alimony should last. The frequency and duration of an alimony payment should be discussed with an alimony lawyer before agreeing to the terms and conditions of an alimony settlement. 

Contacting a Rhode Island Alimony Attorney

An alimony order can significantly change the life of either spouse after a divorce. It’s important to understand Rhode Island alimony laws and work with an experienced Rhode Island Divorce Attorney. The law office of Susan T. Perkins can assist you with any questions you have regarding alimony and can help you form an arrangement that benefits you the most. Call (401) 324-2990 to learn more about what a Rhode Island alimony attorney can do for you. 

More About Alimony in Rhode Island 

When dealing with the emotional challenges of a divorce, it can be difficult to suddenly pivot your focus to create budgets and financial plans, and decide how you’re going to support yourself in the future. This is especially true if there is a child involved. It’s essential to discuss the possibility of spousal support with an alimony attorney. In addition to working with a divorce attorney that specializes in alimony, learning more about Rhode Island alimony laws can help. Below you’ll find some frequently asked questions and answers about alimony that can help you throughout your divorce proceedings. 

Is Rhode Island an alimony state?

Rhode Island is a state that does allow alimony, unlike other states that are considered community property states. It’s important to keep in mind that alimony is considered spousal support and is separate from child support or other payments that fall under a child custody agreement. For instance, if you’ll be receiving child support payments as per the conditions of your divorce, but you’re also in need of further financial support, you can legally request alimony payments as well. When it comes to financial support through both child custody and spousal support, the terms and conditions can be complex. It’s important to work with a Rhode Island alimony attorney if you’re considering this path after your divorce. 

Who determines if a spouse gets alimony?

Alimony can be determined by a couple agreeing to an alimony payment through the divorce proceedings, or alimony can be determined by a judge. In divorce cases where conflict is high and the division of property and assets is complicated, a judge is likely to step in to decide on alimony payments. However, if a couple is ending the marriage on good terms and can agree upon the frequency and duration of alimony, then the divorcing couple will determine the alimony terms. Regardless if your divorce is considered amicable or messy, it’s crucial to speak with a Rhode Island alimony attorney before making final decisions. 

What factors does a judge consider when ordering spousal support in Rhode Island?

A judge will consider quite a few factors when ordering alimony payments in Rhode Island (see full list above). Some of the key questions the judge will ask will include:

  • How long did your marriage last?
  • Was there any significant misconduct of you or your spouse that led to the divorce?
  • How old are you?
  • What’s your current health status?
  • Do you have skills that can be applied in the workforce?
  • What was your standard of living before the divorce? 
  • Do you have a child? If so, are you receiving child support?
  • Are you or your spouse likely to acquire property or income in the future?
  • Do you/your spouse have the ability to pay alimony? 

If you struggle to answer any of these questions, or if you’re not sure how to answer these questions in court, it’s vital to speak with a divorce attorney that specializes in alimony before the finalization of your divorce. Only an experienced Rhode Island alimony attorney can help you distinguish between the pros and cons of alimony and how it can benefit you the most. Contact the law office of Susan T. Perkins to learn more about how spousal support is determined by a Rhode Island court. 

How long can you receive alimony?

Under Rhode Island law, it is possible for alimony to last indefinitely. There are no set guidelines or laws regarding how long you can receive or be ordered to pay alimony. However, the Rhode Island family court standard for the duration of alimony payments should be considered a “reasonable length of time”. What is and what is not considered “reasonable” can be subjective. For instance, what one spouse may deem as “reasonable” may not be considered rational by the other. Let’s say one spouse has significant health issues, cannot join the workforce, and has lived off the other spouse’s income for the duration of a 20-year marriage, alimony payments without an end date may be considered reasonable. If one spouse has a high level of education, is completely healthy, there are no children involved, and the marriage only lasted 3 years, extensive alimony payments may be deemed “unreasonable”. It’s important to remember that alimony will be automatically terminated if the spouse receiving alimony payments remarries. As you can see, there are a lot of different variables that can contribute to how long alimony lasts. It’s highly recommended to speak with a Rhode Island alimony attorney to discuss how long you’d like your alimony payments to last after a divorce. 

How exactly is alimony calculated in the state of Rhode Island?

Alimony will be calculated by a Rhode Island judge who will consider the factors mentioned above, which includes things like the standard of living before the divorce, the length of the marriage, the conduct of the couple throughout the marriage, the spouse’s health and age, and the probability of the spouse receiving alimony to gain skills and rejoin the workforce to become self-sufficient and financially stable. This means that there are no two alimony cases that are the same. Once you consider all of these variables, it can be difficult to predict how a judge may lean when it comes to calculating alimony. A Rhode Island alimony attorney can help you work towards an alimony payment that benefits you and could be deemed as reasonable by a judge in court. 

What does a no-fault divorce mean in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island is a no-fault divorce state, which means that when filing for divorce, a couple doesn’t have to state fault. The divorce can simply be filed as no-fault grounds or, in other words, “irreconcilable differences”. However, just because assigning fault isn’t necessary by law for a divorce in Rhode Island, it doesn’t mean that divorces filed under fault grounds don’t happen all the time. Couples can divorce on grounds of adultery, extreme cruelty, neglect, or other fault terms. Also, just because a divorce is filed as “no-fault”, it doesn’t mean that fault grounds are irrelevant. For instance, a judge will consider the conduct of the spouses as a factor when determining alimony. All of these terms and conditions of fault can make the path towards alimony more complicated. Always speak with a divorce attorney that specializes in alimony when determining if you should file a complaint for divorce on fault grounds. 

Does cheating affect alimony

The Rhode Island family court actually takes adultery very seriously. Even though it is rarely prosecuted, adultery is still considered a criminal act in Rhode Island. Any proof of adultery can affect if someone receives or is ordered to pay alimony. For example, if a spouse files to receive alimony, a judge will likely not award alimony to that spouse if there’s proof that adultery was committed. If you suspect that your spouse has been unfaithful, it’s important to speak with a Rhode Island alimony attorney about how this can or cannot affect your spousal support. 

Why do I need a Rhode Island alimony attorney? 

If alimony is going to be a factor in your divorce, it’s essential to work with a Rhode Island alimony attorney. Considering that alimony may determine where you live, how you live, and your overall quality of life, it’s vital to speak with a divorce attorney with experience in alimony cases. If you’re receiving alimony or if you’re ordered to pay alimony, it can significantly change your life. You’ll need to work with a divorce lawyer who can provide strong legal representation, problem-solve, negotiate on your behalf, guide you through the legal process, and deliver the best possible results when it comes to alimony. If you’re looking for the path that benefits you the most, but you’re unsure of how to achieve it both financially and legally, it’s vital to speak with a Rhode Island alimony attorney. Contact the law office of Susan T. Perkins today to discuss the circumstances of your divorce and formulate solutions to any alimony problems you may encounter.

If you have more questions about marital assets, custodial parent, uncontested divorce, contested divorce, monthly child support and other related topics please call (401) 324-2990 Susan T. Perkins today to schedule a free consultation.