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Uncontested Divorce Attorneys in Rhode Island

Divorce can be challenging, but choosing to file for an uncontested divorce often proves to be the least complicated path. The Law Offices of Howe & Garside, Ltd., understands that reaching a mutual agreement in a divorce isn't always easy. 

As reported by Forbes, while 90% of divorces ultimately become uncontested, many initially start as contested cases. Over time, however, parties frequently find common ground and reach a mutual agreement, simplifying the overall process. 

If you believe you and your estranged spouse can come to an agreement, The Law Offices of Howe & Garside, Ltd is ready to assist you through the process.  

The family law attorneys at the firm understand that the end of a marriage is an emotionally challenging time. They provide professional and empathetic legal assistance for those seeking an uncontested divorce in Rhode Island.  

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a legal process that allows couples to end their marriage without the need for lengthy court battles or extensive negotiations. It's a pathway that can be chosen when both parties can agree on all the terms and conditions of the divorce, thus eliminating the need for court intervention. 

In Rhode Island, a no-fault divorce is often the easiest path to an uncontested divorce. This involves claiming that the marriage has irreconcilable differences, or that the couple has been separated for three years without reconciliation. 

In an uncontested divorce, both parties reach a mutual agreement on key aspects such as: 

  • Division of assets and debts 

  • Child custody and visitation rights 

  • Child support 

  • Alimony 

This kind of divorce can be achieved through various means including negotiation, mediation, or collaborative law. Each method aims to resolve the issues amicably and satisfactorily for both parties involved. 

It's important to note that while the process may seem straightforward, it often requires the assistance of a family law attorney. The team at The Law Offices of Howe & Garside, Ltd. ensures that all the legal requirements are met and the necessary paperwork is accurately filed. 

Qualifying for an Uncontested Divorce 

To qualify for an uncontested divorce, both parties must be in agreement on all major issues, such as child custody, child support, division of assets, and spousal support. Furthermore, they must be willing to work together to create a fair and reasonable settlement that meets the needs of both parties and any children involved. The Law Offices of Howe & Garside, Ltd provides comprehensive legal advice to help clients work through these complex matters. 

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What is the Process of an Uncontested Divorce?

In Rhode Island, the process for an uncontested divorce involves several steps: 

  • Filing for a No-Fault Divorce: The first step is to file for a no-fault divorce, citing irreconcilable differences or a separation of at least three years without reconciliation. 

  • Obtaining Forms: The necessary forms for filing for divorce in Rhode Island are available from the family court clerk's office or online on the Rhode Island Judiciary website. 

  • Serving the Divorce Papers: After filing the complaint and other forms, the papers need to be served on the defendant, along with a summons provided by the court. 

  • Filing an Answer: The spouse who is served has to file an answer to the complaint. 

  • Attending a Hearing: Rhode Island requires a hearing before a judge for an uncontested divorce, where both spouses explain and answer questions about their divorce settlement. 

  • Waiting Period: There is a three-month waiting period from the time of the judge's decision until the divorce decree can be finalized in Rhode Island. 

  • Final Judgment: After the waiting period, a "Decision Pending Entry of Final Judgment" form needs to be filed, and within 180 days, the final judgment can be entered. 

Joint Petition

A joint petition is a legal process often used in uncontested divorces. It's a method indicating that they agree on all the terms and conditions of their separation. The process involves both spouses jointly filing a petition with the court and requesting a dissolution of their marriage. This signifies to the court that there's no disagreement about any aspect of the divorce, making it a faster and more cost-effective option. The Law Offices of Howe & Garside, Ltd offers comprehensive legal advice to decide the best course of action. 

How It Differs from a Contested Divorce

In contrast to a contested divorce, which involves disagreements over key issues like child custody or asset division, an uncontested divorce sees both spouses reaching an agreement without court intervention. This creates a less adversarial process, allowing the couple to have more control over the outcome. It's typically faster and less expensive as it avoids extensive litigation. 

What are the Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce?

Choosing an uncontested divorce comes with several benefits: 

  • Cost-effectiveness: Uncontested divorces tend to be less expensive since they don't require extensive court proceedings or litigation. 

  • Time-saving: Resolving the divorce through mutual agreement can expedite the process and avoid lengthy court battles. 

  • Reduced stress: Uncontested divorces generally involve less conflict and emotional strain compared to contested divorces. 

  • Control over the outcome: Both parties have more control over the terms of the divorce settlement, allowing them to tailor the agreement to their specific needs and preferences. 

  • Privacy: Uncontested divorces are typically private as they don't involve public court hearings. 

  • Cooperative co-parenting: When couples can reach an agreement amicably, it sets a positive tone for future co-parenting and reduces potential conflicts.

Uncontested Divorce Attorneys in Rhode Island

The Law Offices of Howe & Garside, Ltd can provide valuable assistance in navigating the process of an uncontested divorce. Their experience provides a smoother and more efficient process, saving their clients time, money, and unnecessary stress. They proudly serve clients across various locations in Rhode Island, including Newport, Lincoln, Providence, Warwick, Bristol, Westerly, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, and more. Contact the firm today to schedule a consultation.