Making the Tough Times a Little Easier Schedule a Free Phone Consultation

Do I Really Need A Divorce Attorney?

Gene Kirzhner Jan. 23, 2023

People never get married thinking their relationship has an expiration date, which may be one of the reasons that when contemplating divorce, most people feel overwhelmed by the enormous consequences it will have on all aspects of their lives.

In Rhode Island, the applicable law regulates two types of divorce: uncontested and contested. An uncontested divorce happens when the spouses agree on all divorce-related issues, such as the division of assets, child custody, visitation arrangements, or alimony. On the other hand, a contested divorce is one in which the spouses disagree on some issue(s) (even just one), and they must ask a court to decide on it within the context of the divorce.

With this in mind, hiring an experienced divorce attorney for legal guidance during divorce proceedings is non-negotiable. There are cases where divorces can be extremely turbulent and take any amicable settlement off the table. For instance, if there is a history of domestic violence, child or substance abuse, or sexual abuse, hiring an attorney is the best way to protect your rights.

In these cases, the divorce attorney’s expertise and understanding of the applicable regulations, court rules, and case law will be critical to obtaining a positive outcome for you. Moreover, if your spouse hires an attorney, you should follow suit. Even if you think you can represent yourself in your divorce, as in any other legal proceeding if the opposing party has an attorney and you do not, you will probably not get a good result.

Furthermore, a divorce attorney is not only necessary during contentious contested divorce proceedings. Although some spouses may be able to communicate adequately and negotiate an uncontested divorce settlement on their own, a divorce attorney will need to step in and draft the necessary divorce documents, including:

  • Divorce Agreement

  • Parenting plan

  • Custody/visitation agreement

  • Ensuring the execution of all agreements

Rhode Island Family Court allows uncontested divorces to be granted a hearing in roughly 80 days after filing the divorce petition. If both parties agree that there is no possibility of reconciliation and sign a waiver seeking accelerated processing, the court may grant the divorce immediately.

In Rhode Island, divorce may be granted simply because of irreconcilable differences that have led to the disruption of the marriage. However, divorce proceedings cannot be initiated unless one of the spouses has resided in Rhode Island for a period of at least one year.

The Trusted Help You Need

Divorce proceedings can be emotionally demanding and legally complex. The Law Offices of Howe and Garside, LTD are more than prepared to handle these types of situations, including cases involving child custody matters, substantial assets, or even domestic violence. We have years of experience in divorce procedures and will do everything we can to help you make the right decisions for your best legal outcome.

Our attorneys will assess your legal concerns and handle your case with the attention it deserves. Contact us today or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

The Law Offices of Howe and Garside, LTD provides highly-experienced legal solutions in Newport, Lincoln, Middletown, Portsmouth, Warwick, Greenwich, Kingstown, Tiverton, and the surrounding Rhode Island communities.

The Law Offices of Howe and Garside, LTD

55 Memorial Blvd. Suite 5

Newport, RI 02840