A sheriff has served you! So now what? In an RI divorce, there are four general categories of issues that your lawyer will deal with, namely: Children, Division of Marital Estate, Alimony, and Temporary Issues. Understanding these categories will help break down the process. This, in turn, will help you understand where things you think are important fit in.
Four Major Issues
Division of Marital Estate: The first step is to identify the marital assets and/or debt. Issues such as inheritance or pre-marital assets are relevant here. Next, you must value the assets and/or debt. Bank statements, appraisals, credit card statements, and the like help here, for example. Finally, after you determine what to divide, and its value (positive or negative), you must divide the assets. The rule of thumb is to assume a 50/50 division and vary off of that based on certain factors that may apply. As an example, the issue of fault (i.e. affairs, abuse, etc.).
Alimony: Factors such as the length of the marriage, the ability of each party to pay support, and the needs of each party are relevant here. Also, the court makes a decision regarding alimony only after making its division of the marital estate first. In an RI divorce, the courts consider alimony as “rehabilitative,” as well. Because of this, the courts will not award alimony simply due to unequal incomes. Any lawyer seeking alimony, therefore, must have a plan for their client to use the funds to “rehabilitate” themselves. For example: completing an education, or time in employment to get a promotion.
Temporary issues: Often, you will need to deal with issues such as placement of children, support, restraining orders, and use of assets (who lives in the home) prior to the final hearing on divorce. These are “temporary” issues.
Experienced RI Divorce Attorneys
In reality, parties often try to focus first on the issues they can resolve easily, and let the difficult issues remain till the end. Often, mediation, either private or through the courts, is the next step to resolving difficult issues.
It is important to ensure your divorce lawyer understands these issues. All to often, a divorce can be overwhelming not just for you, but for your inexperienced attorney. There is no rule book that explains how to guide a client. But a good Rhode Island divorce attorney will focus on the big picture. So, time to resolve the case, and most importantly, the cost of resolving your divorce, are also very important considerations. It's a delicate balance.
Understanding Is Key to Resolving Your RI Divorce
Understanding how the courts in Rhode Island look at divorce is the key to helping you find solutions. Your solution must be meaningful, cost-effective, and in your best interest. The attorneys at Moyer Law, PC have decades of experience navigating RI divorce, let us put our knowledge to work for you. Call us today at (401) 305-2934.