The dissolution of a family is among the most difficult and emotional times an individual endures. However, one cannot ignore the important legal and financial issues that accompany divorce. It is important to work with an experienced attorney to ensure that you are protected.

Basic Considerations During Divorce

Rhode Island has both no-fault and fault grounds for divorce. No fault divorce is based on the allegation of irreconcilable differences or living apart for at least three years. Divorce based on the fault of one party requires proof of adultery, impotency, extreme cruelty or continued drunkenness. Although most people opt for no-fault divorce, a Providence divorce attorney can explain that the court can consider the grounds for a fault based divorce when dividing property or awarding alimony.

Property Division

The basic principle the courts follow is equitable distribution, which, as our attorneys will explain, is not necessarily an equal distribution. The court will consider all relevant factors including:

  • Length of the marriage
  • The conduct of each spouse
  • The needs of each spouse
  • The resources of each spouse
  • The financial contributions of each spouse during marriage

For those with substantial or complex assets (for example, family owned or closely held businesses), we can help discover, valuate and distribute assets. We also work with military families to navigate the divorce process when one party is deployed outside the state or overseas.

Child Custody

Typically, the court will award joint custody to both parents. In other cases, the judge may award sole custody to one parent and visitation rights to the other. Our team of lawyers can explain the standard the court operates under while fighting for the best interests of your child. In cases involving past incidents of domestic or family violence, the courts may deny or restrict visitation privileges.

Child Support

Rhode Island has established state guidelines regarding child support that most judges follow. Financial resources, income, ability to earn income and any disabilities the child may have are factors in addition to whatever the court deems relevant.


Either party may request alimony and the court will award or deny it based on necessity. A primary consideration is if one spouse gave up career or educational opportunities to maintain the marital household during marriage and how long it may take that individual to become self-supporting.

Divorce Can Be Complicated; We Can Help Simplify It For Your Family

Divorce involves decisions regarding many important legal rights. It is important to have the proper information. Call Robinson & Clapham, a divorce attorney team in Providence and Wakefield, at 401-400-3841 or 401-594-4365.