Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer

Family Law Attorney Representing Spouses in Rhode Island

Divorce is formally known as dissolution of marriage. Unfortunately, not every relationship lasts as long as the couple initially intended, and divorce can raise many complex and emotional concerns. The spouses may dispute the division of property, for example, and they may need to devise a custody arrangement for their children. If you are considering ending your marriage or responding to divorce papers, you should consult Rhode Island divorce lawyer Stephen Levesque. He will handle the process with care and discretion. Stephen P. Levesque is the Host of the weekly talk show Legal Tips every Sunday on 630 WPRO.

Common Issues in a Divorce

If you are getting divorced in Rhode Island, you will need to have lived in the state for a minimum of a year. The court will need to decide that the marriage is irretrievably broken, or it will need a showing that the spouses have lived apart for a minimum of three years. The final divorce decree can take 30 days to three months to obtain.

During a divorce or even during a marriage, a number of legal issues may arise. Among these is child custody. Physical custody involves where a child lives, and it can be divided between the parents. Legal custody refers to the parents’ capacity to make important life decisions for their child. The court will look at the best interests of the child in these situations. Factors that may be considered when determining their best interests include the wishes of each parent, the child’s reasonable preferences, the relationship of the child to parents and siblings, the moral fitness of each parent, the stability of the child’s home environment, and the physical and mental health of the child and family members.

Other issues that may come up during a divorce include property distribution, child support, and alimony. A divorce attorney can guide Rhode Island residents through each of these matters. Property distribution is the process of dividing up property rights and obligations between the spouses while they are divorcing. The spouses may agree upon property division in a property settlement, or it could be determined in court. Rhode Island follows an equitable distribution rule, whereby the property acquired while a couple was married is usually subject to a fair division during the divorce.

Nominal Divorce

In Rhode Island, there are two types of divorce: nominal or contested. In a nominal divorce, the spouses divorce without a judge’s help. This could be appropriate if your spouse and you are on good terms and simply want to make sure that you get a divorce as rapidly and free of stress as possible. Nominal divorces are often faster, more affordable, and less stressful on family members.

UCCJEA Hearings

Under Rhode Island General Laws sections 15-14.1-1 et. seq., Rhode Island has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act (the “UCCJEA”). Rhode Island divorce attorney Stephen Levesque understands the complexities of this law, which specifies that once a state has issued a first child custody order, it continues to have exclusive jurisdiction as long as one parent still lives there. In other words, if a Rhode Island court issued the first child custody order, it will have continuing exclusive jurisdiction as long as either of the parents continues to reside in Rhode Island. A custody case will need to be determined in the home state.

There are different ways to decide which state is a child’s home state. The law examines the home of the child and the parents. The home state is where a child lived with a parent or a person serving as a parent for six consecutive months. When a child is younger than six months old, the home state is the state where they have lived since birth. If a child has not lived in Rhode Island or any other state for a minimum of six months, jurisdiction will go to the state with the most direct relationship to the child.

Retain a Seasoned Divorce Lawyer in Rhode Island

Divorce and other family law matters can be challenging. Family law disputes may become especially heated, and the effects of a family law proceeding can last a lifetime, making it important to consult a seasoned attorney. If you wish to file for divorce in Rhode Island, you should call the Law Offices of Stephen P. Levesque at (401) 490-4900 or contact us through our website. Based in Cranston, we represent people throughout Washington County, Kent County, and Providence County.

Client Reviews
"Attorney Levesque answered my phone call immediately and was especially informative with regard to my problem. I am still in the initial stages of formulating a plan and I won't hesitate to have Stephen handle my situation." Eliza W.
"Words cannot express our gratitude for the way in which you capably and competently represented us in court last Tuesday. You are an outstanding attorney with a unique sensitivity to your client’s personal and legal affairs. We are proud to say that Stephen P. Levesque is our lawyer! Once again, thank you." William R.
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"We just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for helping us get our lives back in order financially. There were many sleepless nights. We thank the Lord for people like you that are out there to help people like us." Andrea L.