Divorce Law

Whether you are looking to Divorce Lawyer in RI or a Massachusetts divorce lawyer, who you choose as your lawyer can be one of the most important decisions. Call my office today to discuss your options and what is important to you in the Divorce process. If you issues relate to child custody or division of property, you should be fully informed before you make very important decisions. The break-up of a marriage is an unfortunate situation. In the best possible outcomes, finances are unbalanced, families are displaced and futures are shattered. In the worst situations, homes are lost or fought over, domestic violence occurs, and children are torn apart by the adults fighting for them. Striving to remain aware, and focus on moving through this difficult time needs to be paramount in the minds of the adults who are separating. Working together with a qualified family law attorney can help.

Contact Rhode Island Divorce Law and Attorney Rui Alves for a FREE initial consultation at: (401) 942-3100 or EMAIL rpa@alveslaw.com now.


Rhode Island Divorce Law

In order to file for a divorce in the State of Rhode Island, the party filing the divorce case (Plaintiff) must be a resident of the state of Rhode Island for at least one year before filing the paperwork. If one of the parties lives out of state, special circumstances apply and should be discussed with a reputable family law attorney. The parties did not need to be married in Rhode Island to file for a divorce in RI.

If both parties agree to the division of the marital estate (any property, tangible or intangible, acquired during the marriage), as well as, if there are minor children, agreeing to custody, placement and support issues, the parties may file what is called a nominal divorce. The process for filing this type of RI divorce petition involves filing the necessary documents with the clerk of the Family Court, obtaining service on the opposing party (Defendant), appearing for a hearing, and filing the necessary documents to finalize the divorce within a specified time frame. In this type of divorce proceeding, if all goes well and as agreed, the parties can be legally divorced within a period of 3 months from the date of the hearing.

If there are any areas where the parties do not agree however, a contested divorce must be filed instead. A contested divorce takes much longer to conclude, and involves a great deal more than a nominal divorce proceeding. The parties may need to visit the courthouse for more than one hearing, in some cases even a trial. The necessary documents are involved and difficult to understand without the assistance of a professional divorce attorney. And the entire process can take up to a year, rather than months to conclude. Contested divorce cases may require extensive discovery.  Discovery can take the form of depositions, request for production and interrogatories.


Massachusetts Divorce Law

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a different procedure as well as forms unique to the Commonwealth. If you are a resident of MA then you will need a professional MA Divorce Attorney to help you with the process.

In Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, all parties must go through a preliminary agreement process. This process involves the settling of any difficulties or issues that the couple may have prior to their divorce being granted a hearing date. MA Divorce proceedings require the divorcing couple to come to agreements in the areas of equitable division of property, child custody, child support, spousal support if applicable, financial issues, and any other areas of contention.

If, after the preliminary settlement period, the couple is unable to reach a mutually agreeable decision, the matter is set down for hearing and the lengthy trial process will begin.
Ninety-five percent of couples divorcing in the Commonwealth settle their cases and move into the process of filing finalization papers. For the 5% who cannot reach an agreement, the road is a long and difficult one to settlement.

The added stress and financial burden for a family, especially those with small children, cannot be underestimated. Any divorce proceeding will be a very difficult time for family members. Having a competent, understanding RI or Massachusetts divorce lawyer to help you through the process, will leave you free to focus on recovering from the experience, and moving forward with your life.