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Divorce is not always easy because there are so many legalities involved in the process. Child custody, property settlements and parental responsibilities are some of the legal issues that come into the picture when getting a divorce. It can be mentally and emotionally taxing and the last thing you want to do is struggle with the process. A divorce lawyer comes in handy during this trying phase of your life. The divorce attorney represents and guides you through the process, making it easier for you to handle. But to enjoy a smooth process, you must find yourself a reliable attorney.

1. Talk to friends and relatives

2. Know what your needs are

3. Do your research

4. Create a budget

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Alimony is payments that one spouse may be ordered to pay another spouse for support as a result of a divorce. In Rhode Island Divorce, some spouses qualify for alimony from the other spouse. Alimony is also known as Spousal Support or Spousal Maintenance.

R.I.G.L 15-5-16 delineates the factors that the Rhode Island Family Court Judge should use in determining whether a Husband or Wife Qualifies for Alimony payment from the other spouse.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court Stated "Alimony is a rehabilitative tool intended to provide temporary support until a spouse is self-sufficient, and is based purely on need." Berard v. Berard The Rhode Island Alimony statute is set forth below. You should contact a Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer to get legal advice concerning your case.

Generally, Alimony is awarded for a specific period of time, in increments which are usually weekly or monthly. Alimony could be awarded as a result of a Divorce settlement. If a party requests alimony or is unwilling to waive alimony and the parties cannot agree to an alimony award, then alimony may be awarded at the divorce trial.

Temporary Alimony may be awarded by the Rhode Island Family Court towards the beginning of the RI divorce. This temporary Alimony award will stay in effect until the final decision by the Rhode Island Family Court Judge at the RI Divorce Trial.

The intent of alimony is rehabilitative in nature. "alimony should be 'payable for a short, but specific and terminable period of time, which will cease when the recipient is, in the exerciseof reasonable efforts, in a position of self-support.'" Thompson v. Thompson

Alimony is usually awarded on a temporary basis but can be awarded on an indefinite and (perhaps what turns out to be permanent) basis if the facts justify indefinite alimony. The Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that "Alimony may be awarded even for an indefinite period as long as the trial justice considers all the statutory factors."

Indefinite alimony may be ordered in a case where a party is seriously disabled or as a result of old age is unable to work. Indefinite alimony could also be awarded in a plethora of different factual circumstances.

The Court must look at "The health, age, station, occupation, amount and source of income, vocational skills, and employability of the parties" in making an alimony determination.

Another important issue, perhaps crucial issue, is whether or not the parties enter into a property settlement agreement in the divorce. In order for the alimony to be completely non modifiable, the alimony must be agreed to in a Property settlement agreement. The Court has no power to modify a property settlement agreement. A Court can only enforce or interpret a property settlement agreement. In the event of impossibility of payment, the Court could award equitable relief, equitably reforming the contract between the parties. Please contact a Rhode Island Divorce Attorney concerning whether or not it is advisable to draft a Property Settlement agreement in your case.

Proper drafting of a Property Settlement Agreement and Alimony provisions in a Property Settlement Agreement is beyond the scope of this article.

The length of the marriage is a very important factor that the RI Family Court Judge looks at in determining Alimony. The Court also needs to hear testimony concerning the party requesting alimony plan to become self supporting and self sufficient.

The Court can also look at the relative ability of both spouses to earn income and or acquire assets and property in the future.

If a person is ordered to pay alimony and does not pay alimony, the other person can file a contempt motion. If a person is found in willful contempt of a Court order they could be jailed until they purge themselves of the contempt. Rhode Island Family Court judges take failure to comply with their alimony orders very seriously. If the Alimony award is modifiable, either party could file a motion to modify the alimony based on a substantial change in circumstances.

Rhode Island legal Notice per the Rhode Island Rules of Professional Responsibility:

The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all Lawyers / Attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.

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Venue and jurisdiction may strike you as about as interesting as watching paint dry. However, knowing what they mean may help you understand the divorce process a little better. The more information you have, the more control you will have over your own divorce case.

Jurisdiction addresses the court's authority to rule on certain matters. This power can result from the court's location. Each judge has a certain county or area in which she has authority. Any dispute that fits what the legislature has mandated as the job of that court would come before that judge unless there is a change of venue. Any court in the state that has been given the same authority can rule on any case in the state that is similar.

You can ask that your case be "venue" away from the judge who normally hears divorces if you are not confident that he will give you a fair hearing. Several alternative judges will be offered, and you will have to strike or eliminate one. Next, your ex will choose one to eliminate, and the one remaining will sit on your case.


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