Divorce in the State of Rhode Island can be filed using "no-fault" grounds. It is generally the preferred grounds for filing in the Rhode Island Family Court typically because it tends to keep the divorce matter more amicable and in the event there is a trial there is no particular need for the court to declare the divorce based upon the fault of either party which lessens the need for the court to hear testimony about the conduct of the parties.
However, there are various additional grounds that you may use to file for divorce. They are set forth in Rhode Island General Laws §15-5-2 - Additional Grounds for Divorce.
This statute reads as follows:
§15-5-2 - Additional Grounds for Divorce.
Divorces from the bond of marriage shall also be decreed for the following causes:
(3) Extreme cruelty;
(4) Willful desertion for five (5) years of either of the parties, or for willful desertion for a shorter period of time in the discretion of the court;
(5) Continued drunkenness;
(6) The habitual, excessive, and intemperate use of opium, morphine, or chloral;
(7) Neglect and refusal, for the period of at least one year next before the filing of the petition, on the part of the husband to provide necessaries for the subsistence of his wife, the husband being of sufficient ability; and
(8) Any other gross misbehavior and wickedness, in either of the parties, repugnant to and in violation of the marriage covenant.
It is important that you are aware that these grounds for divorce exist in Rhode Island Domestic Relations law. You should keep in mind that for each of these grounds, the evidence required order to prove your case to the court is not only different but it is usually also more difficult.
Ask yourself this question before you choose one of these "fault-based" grounds for divorce,
"Do I want to make my divorce harder to prove to the court?"
A Quick Tip from The Rhode Island Divorce Coach:
Think long and hard before you file for divorce based on fault-based grounds. Rememember that the harder it is to prove your case, the more difficult you make it for yourself for the court to award you the divorce.
Need help understanding the Rhode Island divorce process or procedure? Or do you need to understand the law itself and your legal rights and alternatives before, during or after a divorce?
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