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Glossary of Terms

In the preliminary stages of divorce, the process might seem confusing or foreign to you. Below is a process of terms provided for your benefit, in order to help you better understand Rhode Island divorce law.

Abandonment
This is when, in plain terms, one spouse walks out on the other. Depending on the nature of the situation, this could be considered grounds for divorce.

Adultery
This strictly refers to sexual intercourse outside of the marriage, which can also be grounds for divorce.

Alimony
Spousal support after the divorce.

COLA
Cost of living adjustment.

Custodial Parent
The parent that continues to live with the child.

Joint Legal Custody
When both parents continue to collaborate on all decisions for their child or children.

Joint Physical Custody
When the child or children continue(s) to spend time living at both parents’ houses.

No-Fault Divorce
A divorce in which neither individual has engaged in any wrongdoing.

Non-custodial Parent
The parent that the child or children does not live with.

Uncontested
Term used when both individuals have resolved their issues in regards to the divorce.

Visitation
When a parent who is not awarded custody still has a legal right to see his/her child.