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Dividing Property in a Rhode Island Divorce

Who Gets What Assets?

When a Rhode Island couple decides to get a divorce, one of the first things they need to figure out is how to divide their property. This can be a daunting task, especially if a lot of property is involved. In Rhode Island, we have what is called "equitable distribution." It is important to understand how equitable distribution works to ensure you are getting what you deserve in your divorce. Read on to learn more.

What is Equitable Distribution in a Rhode Island Divorce?

Equitable distribution is a system that the state of Rhode Island uses to divide property between spouses in a divorce. It is fair but not always equal. This system considers several factors, including the marriage's length, each spouse's income and assets, and whether one spouse contributed financially to the marriage more than the other.

What Property is Divided in a Rhode Island Divorce?

Generally, any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is divided in a divorce. This includes both marital property and separate property. Marital property is any property that was acquired during the marriage, while separate property, on the other hand, is any property that was acquired before the marriage or by either spouse individually. There are some exceptions to this rule, however. For example, if one spouse inherits money or property from a family member during the marriage, that money or property will not be considered marital property.

What is Commingled Property?

Commingled property is a bit more complicated. Generally, commingled property is any property that was acquired by combining marital and separate funds. It can be challenging to determine how to divide commingled property, but an attorney can help you figure it out.

How is Equitable Distribution Determined?

There is no one formula for determining equitable distribution in Rhode Island. Instead, the court will look at several factors to decide how to divide the property fairly. Some of these factors include:

  • The length of the marriage

  • The income and assets of each spouse

  • Whether one spouse contributed more to the marriage than the other

  • Whether either spouse has children from another relationship

  • The age and health of each spouse

  • Whether either spouse needs rehabilitative alimony

When spouses are getting divorced, the court will consider how they behave during the proceedings. If one spouse acts unreasonably or tries to take advantage of the other, the court may award that spouse a lesser share of the property. For example, if one spouse refuses to cooperate in the divorce proceedings or is hiding assets, the court may award that spouse less property in the divorce.

Why is it Important to Have an Attorney in a Rhode Island Divorce?

If you are getting a divorce in Rhode Island, having an attorney by your side is vital throughout the process. An attorney can help you understand your rights under equitable distribution laws and can help you get the best outcome in your divorce. Divorce is not something you want to try on your own; the help of an experienced attorney can make all the difference.

If you're preparing to go through divorce or have questions about the process, know that the team at Assalone Lombardi, LLC is here to help. It may feel like it will take a village to resolve the issues surrounding your divorce; fortunately, we are your village.

Learn how we can help with the various aspects of your divorce case or schedule a consultation by calling (401) 589-5599 or by visiting our website.