This article explains the Rhode Island divorce process from pre- filing considerations through trial including Rhode Island divorce law strategy.
Finding a Rhode Island Divorce attorney / lawyer
The first step in obtaining a divorce is finding a Rhode Island Family Lawyer who you are comfortable with. Some attorneys charge for the first consult. Many attorneys give free initial consultations. I have always taken the position that the initial consult should be free.
It is important to ask the proposed lawyer about his or her experience to handle your case. It important to determine the hourly charge and the amount of any retainer or fee.
Cost of Rhode Island Divorce
It is usually difficult to determine how much a divorce will cost . However, it is a good idea to get an estimation of the potential fee. This will never usually be more than a estimation because the cost of the divorce usually depends on many factors. Important factors could include how quickly a settlement is reached, the number of motions, the amount / nature and complexity of assets to be equitably divided, the amount of documents involved, the animosity of the parties to each other, the waiting time while you are in court and many other potential issues.
The longer it takes to reach a settlement, the more the divorce will cost. The lawyers will spend a lot more time working on the case if it is contentious. If there is no settlement and the case goes to trial or the day of trial, the divorce could get extremely expensive. If everything is agreed or nearly agreed to and the parties are amicable then the divorce should take a lot less time and therefore be less expensive.
Uncontested divorces in Rhode Island should be much less expensive then contested divorces. However, there are many different types of uncontested divorces. There are uncontested divorces with no real assets and uncontested divorces with assets to divide. If the divorce is uncontested and there are assets then the lawyer may need to prepare a deeds, property settlement agreement, qualified domestic relation orders etc. Therefore, the cost of an uncontested divorce could vary depending on the circumstances. For example if a lawyer has to draft a property settlement agreement , the lawyer will devote more time to the case.
I believe that a fair price for an uncontested divorce from soup to nuts in Rhode Island with no assets and no property settlement agreement is about $900 flat fee plus costs. The typical costs are a filing fee of $100 and service of process fees of approximately $45.
Intake process and drafting Rhode Island divorce Documents
After you have retained the lawyer, there is an intake process in which the lawyer gets the basic information so that he or she can properly represent you. The lawyer typically drafts the divorce documents and you sign them in front of him/her or another notary. These documents include a divorce complaint, DR(6) financial statement, statement of children of the marriage, counseling statement, report of divorce, summons and automatic divorce order etc. It is important that the DR6 form otherwise known as financial statement is accurately filled out.
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