What are the residency requirements to obtain a Rhode Island divorce?
In order to file for divorce you need to have been a domiciled inhabitant and resident of Rhode Island for one year prior to your filing of the complaint for divorce. If you have not been a domiciled inhabitant and resident of Rhode Island for one year prior to filing your complaint for divorce, you can file based on your husband's / wife's residency for one year prior to the filing. It does not matter if you change your residency or move out of town the next day so long as you were a resident on the date of the divorce filing and for one year prior!
Are there any exceptions for active duty Military Personnel.
(There are exceptions for people in the armed forces (army, navy, air force, marines, military) who are stationed in other states or countries)
Can I move out of Rhode Island After filing for divorce?
Even if you move the day after filing, you still meet the residency requirements. If you do not qualify to file for divorce in Rhode Island you should look for a Divorce attorney /lawyer in another state that you might qualify to file.
Is it necessary to prove compliance with the residency requirements at the nominal divorce hearing in order to obtain a divorce?
In order to prove residency, it is sufficient, if both parties appear at the nominal court date and testify that at least one of the parties was a domiciled inhabitant and resident of Rhode Island for one year prior to the filing of the complaint for divorce. The Family Court will typically waive the requirement for additional witness if both husband and wife attend the nominal court date and testify that at least one party had the requisite residency as set forth above.
If only one party attends the nominal court date then you need one of the following in order to obtain a divorce (a) two additional witnesses in court to testify to the one year residency of the Plaintiff or Defendant (b) one witness in court to testify to the one year residency of the Plaintiff and an affidavit from a different witness attesting to the person's residency. (This affidavit form can be easily obtained by the clerk of the Rhode Island Family Court.)
What if the requirements are not met?
If you do not meet these requirements to prove residency your divorce case may be dismissed or you may be given additional time to obtain the necessary witnesses or affidavit.
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