A Rhode Island divorce attorney can make the divorce process sound
simple or complicated. Whether the attorney makes it sound simple or
complicated may depend upon whether the attorney has a particular goal
in mind or whether he or she simply is addressing a person with a
different level of education who does not want to be spoken down to and
therefore is comfortable with the more technical jargon or legalese
used in the legal profession.
For my part, I believe that it wastes the clients and the attorney's
time by complicating the process merely to justify the fee that is
usually requested after the process is explained. The process of
divorce itself is simple.
Here it is with all the technical jargon stripped from it.
A) You prepare the Divorce Packet which consists of these completed documents:
1) 2 Summons
2) 1 Divorce Complaint and 1 Copy (after it has been signed and witnessed).
3) 2 Nominal or Uncontested Track Notice Forms
4) 2 Automatic Orders
5) 1 Family Court Counseling Forms
6) 2 Children of the Marriage Forms
6) 1 Report of Divorce
7) 1 Notice of the Parental Video Requirement (if there are minor children of the marriage)
8) 1 Certified Copy of your Marriage Certificate on file with the Bureau of Vital Statistics
B) You file all these documents with the Family Court Clerk's
Office in the county in which you reside or in which your spouse
resides together with a check for $100 for the filing fee. In
Providence County you may have to wait a day or two before they
completely file your divorce because of the immense volume of domestic
matters they handle.
C) Once filed you get back various certified documents rom the court which need to be served upon your spouse.
D) You contact the sheriff's department or a constable ("process
server") where your spouse lives and have them serve the certified
documents upon your spouse. The process server will report that he or
she has or has not served your spouse on the back of the original
summons. Usually your spouse has been served.
E) You mail the Summons that has the Process Server's Notice of
Successful service on the back to the court where you filed your
divorce action making sure to note the "Nominal Date" that appears on
F) You try to reach an agreement with your spouse regarding all
aspects of your divorce, including placement of children, visitation,
division of assets, division of debt, health insurance, child support,
alimony and all other things relating to your marriage.
G) You appear at the court on the Nominal Date. If you have an agreement, or if your spouse does not show up and is defaulted, then you place on the record a short hearing . . . called a Nominal which
requires you to place on the record those things that are required by
law to establish jurisdiction, a marriage, a breakdown of the marriage,
inability to reconcile, alimony or waivers of alimony and the items
needed for a proper waiver of alimony and any elements of your
agreement with your spouse that you want the court to include in any
H) Within thirty (30) days after your Nominal Hearing you submit to
the Court an Interlocutory Decision Pending Entry of the Final Judgment
which outlines the courts findings of fact and decisions as set forth
by the judge immediately following the Nominal Hearing and specifically
states that all the orders of the court are effective but that the
parties are not divorced until the entry of Final Judgment of Divorce
is signed by the court.
I) On the ninety-second (92nd) day . . .
To Read the Full Article by Rhode Island Divorce Attorney Chris Pearsall click here.
Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire
PEARSALL LAW ASSOCIATES
571 Pontiac Avenue
Cranston, RI 02910
Phone: (401) 354-2369
Attorney Pearsall's practice is focused almost exclusively in the areas of Divorce and Family law.
NOTE: The postings on this website are NOT legal advice, DO NOT create an attorney/client relationship and are NOT a substitute for a detailed consultation with an attorney experienced in the state where you have your legal issue. This site is based on Rhode Island and is presented for the convenience of the internet public.
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