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Frequently Asked Questions

Common Concerns Regarding Divorce & Family Law in Providence, RI

Are you considering filing for a divorce from your spouse? Perhaps you are searching to have more time with your children then your custody arrangement allows? Whatever the case may be, obtaining the help of a skilled Providence family law attorney is in your best interest if you wish to see results in your case. With years of experience, I, Steven G. Wright, Esq. have helped countless individuals and families, protecting their rights and fighting for what is in their best interest. Below are some common questions and concerns that individuals may have regarding divorce and family law in the state of Rhode Island. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to reach out to my firm! We offer free initial consultations to all clients.

How is child support determined?
When a couple decides to end their marriage, it is their responsibility to determine what is in the best interest of the child. If the spouses cannot come to an agreement on their own, then the court will determine what is best for the children. Once custody is decided upon, then support will be determined based on the factors and needs of each family. Factors the court will consider include each spouses' income and the amount of time they will spend with the child. This process may take time because of the many details associated with the children and their best interest.

If my spouse and I are on good terms for our divorce, do we still need an attorney?
Though television often portrays divorces as a war-zone of conflict, families often go through a divorce on much simpler terms. It is common for two people to agree that they are ready to move on and want to make the process as pain free as possible. Though it is possible to do on your own, enlisting the help of a divorce attorney is still encouraged. In matters of an uncontested divorce, I can still help you and your spouse draft the agreements for your divorce to make sure every topic is covered. Meditation is a common option for couples who are willing to compromise and work together in a divorce.

How does domestic violence affect a divorce?
Rhode Island law encourages the court to always put the best interests of the child first. If there is any evidence of domestic violence, the judge will use discretion when determining child custody arrangements. If there is a repeated pattern of domestic violence, the abusive parent may lose all parental rights.

Why would divorce mediation be beneficial for me and my spouse?
Mediation can be an incredibly effective way to negotiate the terms of a divorce without unnecessary conflict and court litigation. The process puts you in control, rather than leaving the terms and conditions up to a judge. Mediation is also advantageous for couples looking to resolve their differences and part on good terms, especially if children are involved.

Will I have to pay alimony?
Alimony, also called spousal support, is not required in Rhode Island. However, depending on your circumstances, the court may order spousal support for a certain length of time. They will consider things like the length of your marriage, the employment of you and your spouse, your standard of living, children, and the ability to pay alimony.

My spouse and I saved a lot in our retirement fund. How will that be divided?
During your divorce, anything that is considered marital property will be divided equitably by the court. Equitably does not always mean fairly, however. Retirement accounts are considered marital property and the court will take into account the age and health of both parties, your occupations, and the contributions made to the retirement fund.

What is legal separation?
Rhode Island refers to legal separation as "a divorce from bed and board." This means that both spouses are technically still married, but are not living together. Legal separations typically last for one year and are a way for spouses to consider divorce without the influence of each other.

For more information on how a Providence family and divorce lawyer can help you, contact my office!

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