Frequently Asked Rhode Island Divorce Questions

Picture of Attorney Christopher Pearsall

Atty Chris Pearsall

Authored By: Christopher A. Pearsall, RI Divorce Attorney a.k.a. “The Rhode Island Divorce Coach “

1. What is the residency requirement that must be met in the State of Rhode Island before you can file for divorce?

Answer: To file for divorce in Rhode Island you or your spouse must me a resident and continuously domiciled inhabitant of the state for at least one year before you file your complaint for divorce.

2. Do I have to be married for any particular length of time before I can file for a divorce in Rhode Island?

Answer: No. You can be married for any length of time and still file for divorce as long as you meet the state’s residency requirement.

3. Do I file for divorce in Rhode Island if that is the state that I got married in?

Answer: No, not necessarily. You can only do so if you or your spouse have met the residency requirement for filing a divorce in Rhode Island.

4. How long does it take to get divorced in Rhode Island?

Answer: Typically an uncontested divorce can be completed in Rhode Island in about 5 1/2 months.

5. Is there any way a person can get a divorce faster than 5 1/2 months in Rhode Island?

Answer: Yes, if the spouses have been living separate and apart for a period of at least 3 years then a divorce can be completed in about 3 1/2 months.

6. Am I required to have a lawyer to get divorced?

Answer: No. You have the legal right to represent yourself. However, it is always advisable to get legal advice from a lawyer who regularly practices divorce in Rhode Island so that you are fully aware of your legal rights, options and alternatives.

7. What is the Rhode Island Family Court Filing fee for a divorce?

Answer: The filing fee as of February 6, 2016 is $140.75 plus a technology surcharge if you pay using the court’s computerized system of $4.57.

8. How much does a divorce cost?

Answer: There is no set fee for how much a divorce will cost. The fees for divorces vary from attorney to attorney and case to case. The only set cost is the court’s filing fee and technology surcharge.

9. Why do the fees for divorces vary so much?

Answer: Every attorney is different just as every case is different. The more experienced an attorney is the more likely it is that the attorney may charge more for his or her services. The more complicated the case is or the more difficult your spouse is, the more time and effort it may take on your attorney’s part and therefore it could cost more.

10. What is an Uncontested Divorce?

Answer: Generally, many lawyers consider an uncontested divorce one in which the parties have already reached a fundamental agreement that resolves all aspects of the dissolution of their marriage before the divorce filing takes place. It is typically a divorce in which neither party files any motions or sends out any documents known as “discovery.”

11. What is Discovery?

Answer: The law provides for different legal tools that can be used in a case to essentially “discover” the important aspects of the case before it goes to trial or in order to evaluate settlement offers from an informed position. The primary legal tools are interrogatories, requests for production of documents and things, requests for admissions, depositions and subpoenas.

Related articles