Rhode Island Divorce Attorney
Filing for Divorce in Rhode Island
Divorce is a difficult experience for most people. The end of a marriage
not only has an emotional impact but a financial and practical impact
as well. Important decisions need to made regarding child custody, child
visitation, alimony, and the distribution of marital assets. You can potentially
make this experience easier for yourself and your loved ones by contacting
a divorce lawyer in Rhode Island who can provide you with emotional and
legal support throughout the process.
The Law Office of Patricia A. Sullivan has been providing quality divorce
and family law services for over three decades. In that time, my firm
has helped countless individuals achieve swift and amicable resolutions
to their divorce proceedings. If you are considering divorce, contact
me for a free initial consultation. I will thoroughly examine your case
and provide you with information regarding your legal rights, the court
process, and the fees involved with divorce. When you decide to proceed,
my firm will assist you in the following divorce-related areas:
Under our state's laws, courts award alimony as a specific amount,
for a specific period of time. In most cases, it is only given to the
receiving spouse if it is needed for rehabilitative purposes. It is not
intended to give the receiving spouse equal income to the supporting spouse,
but rather to give the receiving spouse enough time to become self-sufficient
Our state is what is known as an "equitable distribution" state.
That means that property is divided fairly amongst two individuals who
are getting a divorce. The property subject to distribution is any asset
that is acquired during the marriage and has appreciated in value (or
has the potential to). This includes residences, vehicles, furniture,
stocks, pensions, and debt.
Rhode Island courts assume that the parents of a child have both had an
impact, and input, into the raising of the child. In many cases, courts
will decide on child custody arrangements that allow both parents to contribute
to the child's upbringing, either through physical or legal custody.
The court's decision will always be based on the "best interests
of the child."
There are certain guidelines that our state follows when awarding child
support to a custodial parent. These guidelines address factors such as
each parent's income and the specific needs of the child. The parent
providing child support is expected to do so until the child turns 18
and graduates high school.
A contested divorce occurs when both parties are unable to come to an agreement
regarding one or more divorce issues. In contested divorce cases, it usually
becomes necessary for a court to intervene, and make decisions on behalf
of the two parties regarding issues such as child custody, visitation
rights, and property division.
Family courts in our state consider a number of factors when working towards
an equitable distribution of marital assets and debts. These factors include
the length of the marriage, the age of both parties, the income of both
parties, the conduct of both parties over the course of the marriage,
and whether or not either party engaged in a wasteful dissipation of assets
in anticipation of divorce.
In the past, fathers' rights were often disregarded in divorce cases
involving child custody or visitation matters. The law often sided with
mothers, viewing them as the primary caretakers of their children. Times
have changed now, and fathers have a much stronger chance of obtaining
custody and visitation arrangements that allow them to be an active part
of their children's lives.
If a couple is having relationship troubles but does not want to divorce,
they can obtain a legal separation instead. Like a divorce, a legal separation
addresses child custody, child support, alimony, and visitation, but all
assets and debts acquired by the couple are still considered "marital."
Military divorce proceedings are governed by both state and federal law.
These divorces are frequently more complicated than civilian divorces,
as they may involve issues that include flexible child custody or visitation
agreements, deployed spouses, distribution of military pensions or benefits,
and the 20/20/20 rule.
People who have divorced sometimes experience a change in circumstances
that call for modifications to their divorce agreements. A number of terms
in a divorce decree may be modified by a court, including those addressing
child custody and child support. Typically, the person requesting the
modification must be able to prove a substantial change in circumstances
that renders the existing terms unfair or no longer viable.
Traditionally, mothers have enjoyed more comprehensive rights in regards
to child custody and child support than fathers have. In recent years,
however, this balance has shifted, and fathers now enjoy equal rights
in many circumstances. If you are a mother who is seeking custody of your
child, or adequate child support, you will have a much stronger chance
of protecting your rights if you retain the help of a Rhode Island divorce lawyer.
A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, except that
it is drafted and put into effect after a couple has already married.
The agreement defines the rights of both individuals, including those
related to the handling of debt, property division, and potential future
spousal support obligations.
A prenuptial agreement can be very beneficial to two people who have not
yet legally wed. Through a prenup, the two parties can define how property
is divided in the event of divorce and establish provisions for spousal
support. A prenup can also protect the inheritance of children belonging
to the spouses from earlier marriages or relationships.
After a divorce, a custodial parent may decide to relocate a substantial
distance away from the other parent. Relocation may prove beneficial to
the custodial parent and the child, especially in cases where the new
place of residence provides an increased standard of living. However,
relocation can also weaken the relationship that the other parent enjoys
with the child.
In an uncontested divorce, there is agreement between both parties in regards
to divorce terms such child custody and asset division. Generally, uncontested
divorces are less time consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining
than contested divorces, as there is no need lengthy negotiation between
the parties, or costly litigation in family court.
In a divorce in which children are involved, a family court judge will
usually approve, or decide on, a child custody arrangement and visitation
schedule that is beneficial to the child and the child's parents.
The schedule generally includes when and where the noncustodial parent
can visit with the child and for how long. Visitation time for vacations
and holidays may also be addressed.
The Advantages of Working With My Firm
Divorce cases have the potential to become contested very quickly. One
small disagreement between the two parties can result in expensive and
lengthy litigation in court. My firm is dedicated to finding amicable
solutions for those navigating the divorce process. In representing you
in your divorce proceedings, I will work diligently towards helping you
find solutions that will increase the likelihood of a positive outcome
to your case.
Contact a Rhode Island divorce attorney
for comprehensive assistance in all aspects of your divorce case.