Understanding Rhode Island Marital Property Division and Alimony Law

Pawtucket Divorce Lawyers

Rhode Island and Massachusetts family law judges want to ensure that both parties are treated fairly when it comes to the distribution of marital assets in divorce. The court tries to make a "fair and equitable" distribution of property but that doesn't always mean a 50/50 split.

What seems fair to one person may not seem fair to another. When possible, it's best to reach an agreement with your spouse about the division of the marital estate. You are more likely to be happy with the decision if you came to it together than if you leave it to the judge to decide.

At The Family and Consumer Law Center of Claude Lefebvre, Christopher Lefebvre, P.C., we help our clients understand what's most important to them and then we work to achieve it.

  • Do you want the divorce to be done as fast as possible? Then you'll want to minimize fights over property.
  • If you want to keep the family home for the children you may have different options available to you. For example, you may choose to give up your interest in a pension to retain the house. Or you may negotiate a property settlement agreement that stipulates you have the home until the children are grown and then you will sell it and divide the proceeds.

There are a lot of ways to arrive at a fair marital property division. Our divorce lawyers have handled more than 2,400 Rhode Island divorce cases so we've seen it all. We can help you craft a mutually acceptable property settlement agreement. Call 401-728-6060 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Financial Disclosures

One of the first steps when filing for divorce in Rhode Island [link to The Divorce Process in Rhode Island] or Massachusetts is to prepare an accurate financial disclosure. This paperwork needs to be complete. Any property that isn't disclosed can't be considered in the settlement agreement. At a minimum, the financial disclosure will include:

  • The marital home, other real estate and time shares
  • Bank accounts
  • Investment portfolios and brokerage accounts
  • Inheritances and future inheritances
  • IRAs and pensions, some of which may require the use of a Qualified Domestic Realations Order (QDRO) so that the pension can be divided. An individual's pension and IRA could be a marital asset. The portion of the pension that accumulated during the marriage is marital property. Any money in the pension before the marriage is kept by the earner and not divided.
  • The value of a family business or an interest in a business partnership

Don't forget to list ALL of the marital debt, including car loans, credit card debt, medical debt and even student loans if you were a student during the marriage. These will need to be divided equitably as well and in consultation with you we determine the correct balance for your situation and goals.

Alimony in Rhode Island and Massachusetts Divorce

Our divorce attorneys work with clients in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There are many similarities in divorce law between these two states, but there are also areas of difference. Alimony is one of them.

In Massachusetts there is a presumption of alimony when certain conditions exist. Some instances where this is true is in longer marriages, where there are older spouses, or where a spouse hasn't worked for a number of years. Rhode Island does not have a presumption of alimony. If a spouse receives spousal support – and that is not typical – it will be "rehabilitative" alimony, awarded for a short period of time.

That doesn't mean your case won't involve alimony, but at our firm we provide you with a realistic outcome of your case based on what usually happens in cases similar to yours. We find that a divorce can be accomplished faster and cheaper if people go into the process with knowledge and realistic expectations.

Having handles hundreds of divorce cases in Rhode Island and Massachusetts we've seen it all. We use that extensive experience to save our clients money and time. We also insure that your are treated fairly and recieve what is rightfully yours.

Keep your eye on the goal of getting through this difficult time as quickly as possible so you can move on with your new life. We'll help you get there. Contact our Pawtucket or Providence law office at 401-728-6060 (toll-free at 800-851-1829).

Our office is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. evening, and Saturdays appoinments upon request.
We are located in historic downtown Pawtucket, just off Route 95.

We accept all major credit cards.

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The bankuptcy, family Law and consumer protection lawyers at The Family and Consumer Law Center of Claude Lefebvre and Christopher Lefebvre, P.C., have offices in Pawtucket and Cranston, Rhode Island. The firm represents clients throughout Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts' communities including Providence, Warwick, Attleboro, Seekonk; and communities in Bristol County and Norfolk County, MA.
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