Sometimes, divorce is the only option for both spouses. Most people imagine this as an unreasonably dramatic and complicated endeavor. However, the divorce process does not have to be this way.
Most people around the US file for an uncontested divorce. It is considered the easiest and fastest option. Let us take a look at how to file for an uncontested divorce in Rhode Island with the help of the Internet.
Some Basic Information
Rhode Island is a “no-fault” state, meaning that a couple can initiate a divorce simply by stating that they have irreconcilable differences that have caused a breakdown of the marriage.
There are also fault-based grounds for divorce in the state. They include:
- Extreme cruelty;
- Willful desertion;
- Continued drug and/or alcohol abuse;
- Inhuman treatment.
However, in the case of fault-based divorce, the plaintiff has to provide solid evidence to the court.
Currently, residents of Rhode Island can apply for a contested or uncontested divorce. There are some differences between these two options.
- A divorce becomes contested if the spouses disagree on at least one issue. The most common reasons for disputes are child custody, spousal support, property division, alimony, etc. A contested divorce takes much more time and requires the involvement of lawyers.
- If the couple agrees on all the terms, they can go forward with an uncontested divorce. This way of getting a divorce is much easier and more affordable because spouses avoid pricy legal counseling, lengthy negotiations, and additional court hearings. The partners just need to show the judge that they agree on all the terms and conditions.
Online Divorce Explained
When people hear the phrase “online divorce,” they may be confused and think they can go through the whole process while sitting in front of a laptop. This phrase refers to online platforms that can assist couples with filling out and generating divorce papers.
It is an excellent option for partners who want to prepare their legal documents without an attorney, saving them time and money. Creating an application for divorce online without legal knowledge is possible as these web services guide users through the whole process of filling out and generating their forms.
Steps for Filing for Uncontested Divorce
Let us take a closer look at the filing process in the state of Rhode Island.
Before filing for divorce, you have to meet residency requirements. Rhode Island requires that at least one of the spouses has lived within the state for at least one full year prior to beginning the legal process. It is also possible to initiate the divorce if the spouses have been separated and lived separately for a minimum of 3 years.
After the previous condition has been met, one spouse begins the process by filing a Summons and Complaint – a divorce petition. This form confirms the eligibility to file and highlights the matters you want the court to resolve.
If you and your spouse agree on all the terms, you should provide the court with a Divorce Settlement Agreement. This document includes settlements regarding property division as well as debts and assets.
These and other required forms are available at your local clerk’s office. It is advisable to get information about the needed documents from the clerk. However, online paperwork assistance services are an alternative to going in person.
Filing the Papers
After you have prepared all the paperwork, make several copies and bring them to the local clerk. After paying the filing fees, the process begins. If you are unable to pay, you can request a fee waiver.
Serving the Papers
The next step is to take a copy of the divorce papers and serve them to the other spouse. It can be done personally or by hiring a sheriff or a process server. The receiving party has 20 days to respond with an answer.
Finalizing the Process
After receiving the response, provide the papers to the court. It takes around 65 to 70 days for the paperwork to reach the judge. The next step is to appear at a nominal court hearing. If everything is fine with the documentation, the judge will ask each spouse some questions and approve the divorce.
However, you are not officially divorced right after the judge’s announcement. There is a waiting period of 90 before the final judgment becomes official.
Rhode Island’s uncontested divorce procedure is pretty similar to most other states. As it is possible to see, going through the whole process without an attorney is easy, even if you don’t have specialized education. After all, online divorce paperwork services can assist you with filling out your paperwork.