What are the residency requirements when filing for divorce in RI?

Many people believe they must file for divorce in the state where they were married. While this is not true, there are location and time requirements that apply to every couple filing for divorce. If these requirements are not met, the divorce case may be dismissed. RI residency requirements for divorce

RI Residency Requirements for Divorcing Spouses

Under Rhode Island law, no complaint for divorce will be granted unless the petitioner has lived in Rhode Island for a period of one year before filing. After residency is established, the divorce must be filed in the county in which the filing petitioner resides.

If you have not lived in Rhode Island for at least one year, you have a few options:

  • Have your spouse file. If you are on good terms with your spouse and your spouse has been living in Rhode Island longer than you have, he may meet the necessary residency requirements and can file the paperwork instead.
  • File in another state. Each state creates its own period of residency for divorce proceedings. If you and your spouse have recently moved from a different state, you may qualify for divorce under that state’s laws.
  • Wait. If neither you nor your spouse have lived in Rhode Island for at least one year and do not qualify for divorce in another state, you will have to wait until residency has been established before a complaint can be filed. However, you may begin the process of filling out your documents and paperwork while you are waiting through a period of residency.

At Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum, we take each family law case seriously and work hard to achieve each client's goals. We understand that a fair divorce settlement includes sufficient resources and time with your children, and our attorneys can advise you on your next steps and help you make choices that can protect your future. Please get in touch with our legal team today via our online contact form.