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October 2012

What is the effect of an Affair in a Rhode Island Divorce Proceeding?

Affairs have different levels of effects in Rhode Island Divorce cases depending upon (1) the timing of the affair in comparison to the length and timing of the affair during the marriage, (2)  the length of the marriage, (3) whether the marital affair caused the offending spouse to accumulate date based on the affair, (4) whether the marital affair caused the offending spouse to deplete the marital assets because of the affair, (5) the length of the marriage before the affair, (6) the level or proof of the affair, (7) the trial judge's concept of fundamental fairness and to what degree the affair should play in the equitable distribution of the marital assets and debts, (8) whether it can be proven that the affair was the actual cause of the breakdown of the marriage, (9) the lengths to which the offending spouse went to conceal the affair, (10) in some instances whether the affair is known to the minor children and how it has affected those children.

You will not find these specific factors enumerated in a Rhode Island Domestic Relations law on divorce cases.  

Affairs, as you can tell, may have a variety of different effects on divorces.  Affairs affect everything from the Minor children in a Rhode Island Divorce Proceeding to the measure of equitable distribution a party may receive of either the marital debts or the marital assets.  The affair in the end must be proven and it should be proven to be the cause of the breakdown of the marriage before a disproportionate share is given based upon the affair.  Yet every case is different.

As a general rule of thumb if you admit to an affair during a divorce and the offending spouse has created debt or depleted marital assets because of the affair, then expect that a settlement will probably involve the offending spouse taking on more of the debt or receiving less of the assets if a settlement is to be reached in most cases unless the nonoffending spouse is extremely generous or forgiving.

My ten (10) practice tips are a practice guideline and as I have stated they are NOT statutory....they are practical based upon my experience over more than a dozen years as a lawyer practicing exclusively in the area of Rhode Island Divorce and Family law.  

It is and has always been my practice and policy to provide down to earth information to both my clients and to the general public. Sugar coating things by relying only on Rhode Island statutes and expecting each judge to rule identically from another when this is not required because of judicial discretion (i.e. Judicial Judgment during a trial) is neither practical nor helpful to divorce practitioners or consumers.

Practical information is more helpful and gives you a better idea on what you can reasonably expect either as a new divorce practitioner or as a client or a person representing yourself.

All My Best to You on Your Journey Through The RI Family Court,
Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall - "The Rhode Island Divorce Coach"™ 

I'm an Affordable RI Divorce Lawyer practicing in Providence, Kent, Washington and Newport Counties and I am here to help you when you need me.

Call me now for your reduced-cost Legal Advice Session at (401) 632-6976.

Feel free to call and find out the major difference between the typical "free consultation" and a Legal Advice Session.  They are like night and day!  You'll be surprised at the difference.