Rhode Island Prenup Info & Divorce Statutes
Rhode Island Prenuptial Agreements
What to include in a valid Rhode Island Prenup?
For a RI prenup to be considered valid in the eyes of the law, it must be drafted under specific requirements that include:
- A written contract
- Lawful terms
- Signatures from both parties (HelloPrenup recommends that you initial each page!)
- Signed voluntarily (without being under duress, intimidation, deceit, etc.)
When creating your prenup, make sure to include and understand this proper terminology so there is no confusion about your prenup and total clarity for all.
What to exclude from your Rhode Island prenup
Your prenup could be a risk if you include any of the following provisions:
- Child custody or child support
- Excluding the right to counsel
- Incentive to commit illegal acts
- Incentive for divorce
- Unfair, unjust, or deceptive terms
It’s best to avoid these subjects so that you can verify that your prenup will be valid and enforceable.
Statutes & terms to understand for a valid Rhode Island Prenup
*Psst! We created a “prenup encyclopedia” that breaks down the general prenup terminology (so your brain doesn’t have to). Read through the terms prior to getting into the statutes 👇
Unofficial term for property “acquired during the marriage”
Marital assets are any property or income that is acquired during the marriage by either party. These assets will be subject to equitable distribution based on a number of factors (see link below). Though the assets may have be acquired and shared “equally” it is still up to Rhode Island courts to decide how the equity will be distributed based on what is considered to be fair.
“property held in the name of one party”
Rhode Island courts are hesitant to assign property or an interest in property held in the name of one of the spouses, if that property was held by the spouse prior to the marriage. However, the court may assign the income derived from said property during the marriage, and may also assign the appreciation in value of that property as marital property. Long story short? If you don’t want any of your separate property, appreciation of that property, or earnings from that property to be considered part of the marital estate subject to division, get a prenup!
Official term: Alimony
How does Rhode Island view alimony? Rhode Island “alimony” is defined as payments for the support of either the husband or the wife, and is designed to provide support for that spouse for a reasonable length of time in order to enable the recipient of the alimony to become financially independent and self-sufficient. Rhode Island courts can award alimony for an indefinite period of time when they deem that it is appropriate based upon a variety of factors, including the length of marriage, employability of the parties, etc. The factors for indefinite alimony in Rhode Island can be viewed here. .
General Provisions: Assignment of Property
Rhode Island follows an equitable distribution theory of property division, but like all states, has it’s own individual laws. Rhode Island calls this process “Assignment of Property.” That means that the assets and debts that you and your spouse acquired will be split in an equitable manner (if you haven’t already determined this split in a prenuptial agreement!) The courts in Rhode Island consider many different factors when deciding how to divide marital property in an equitable manner, including the length of the marriage, contributions to the marriage, the ages of the spouses, the employability of the parties, the health of the parties, among others. Read up on Rhode Island’s equitable distribution theory here:
Rhode Island “No Fault” Divorce
Rhode Island is a “no-fault” divorce state – which means that couples married within this state do not need to provide any sort of evidence that a divorce is needed (from either party for any reason). Irrespective of the fault of either party, a divorce can be granted by way of “irreconcilable differences” which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.
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No commitment necessary.
(Not speaking about your marriage – commitment is absolutely necessary there).