Rhode Island residents seeking out a divorce usually want to know exactly how long it takes before they are single and no longer married. The simple answer is that there is no simple answer. It all depends on certain factors that have led to the development of Rhode Island’s ‘track system.’
There are two separate tracks that divorces can fall under in Rhode Island. The person filing for divorce can decide from either a ‘nominal’ track or ‘contested’ track. In a nominal track divorce, a couple is pretty much splitting up on amicable terms.
In a nominal track divorce, a hearing date is usually set about 11 weeks from the time the petition for divorce is filed. Nominal track divorces lead to nominal track hearings and in these cases, defendants are not disputing the terms of the divorce.
Nominal track divorces filed under irreconcilable differences have a 90-day wait period before the Final Decree of divorce, which declares the parties no longer married. But there is even a quicker way, if the couple has lived separately for a time of at least three years. In those cases, couples only need to wait 20 days after the nominal hearing to get their Final Decree.
A contested track divorce takes a bit longer as those hearing dates usually fall 13 to 16 weeks after the petition for divorce has been filed. A divorce is classified on this track when there is a minimum of one issue that cannot be resolved by the couple. This then puts the final decisions in the hands of the court.
This is the part of the process that could elongate a divorce. There is a need to produce witnesses, testimony and proof. Timetables could be as short as a day but could also extend to several months.
While the divorce process is unfolding, there may also be a need to appear in court regarding temporary orders in the areas of child support, child custody, visitation rights and even contempt. These temporary orders are upheld until the divorce can be final.
No matter which track you take, divorce is never an easy time for families. A Providence divorce lawyer at Calvino Law Associates can help you through what can be a complex process. Lean on our years of experience as we strive to get North Kingston and Providence couples through their divorce as quickly and productively as possible.