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January 2014

RI General Laws § 15-5-12 Domicile and Residence Requirements

Current through Public Law 534 of the 2013 Legislative Session (Posted 01-22-2014)

§ 15-5-12. Domicile and residence requirements

(a) No complaint for divorce from the bond of marriage shall be granted unless the plaintiff has been a domiciled inhabitant of this state and has resided in this state for a period of one year next before the filing of the complaint; provided, that if the defendant has been a domiciled inhabitant of this state and has resided in this state for the period of one year next before the filing of the complaint, and is actually served with process, the requirement of this subsection as to domicile and residence on the part of the plaintiff is deemed satisfied and fulfilled. The residence and domicile of any person immediately prior to the commencement of his or her active service as a member of the armed forces or of the merchant marine of the United States, or immediately prior to his or her absence from the state in the performance of services in connection with military operations as defined in subsection (c) of this section, shall, for the purposes of this section, continue to be his or her residence and domicile during the time of his or her service and for a period of thirty (30) days after this. Testimony to prove domicile and residence may be received through the ex parte affidavit of one witness.

(b) Every word importing the masculine gender only shall be construed in this section to extend to and include females as well as males.

(c) The term "services in connection with military operations" shall be construed in this section to include persons serving with the American Red Cross, the Society of Friends, the Women's Auxiliary Service Pilots, and the United Service Organizations.

Once I file for Divorce in Rhode Island can I move out of the state?

Picture of Attorney Christopher Pearsall
Atty Chris Pearsall

Authored By:  Christopher Pearsall, RI Divorce Attorney
a.k.a.  " The Rhode Island Divorce Coach ℠ "

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QUESTION:  I have lived in Rhode Island for the past 7 years.  I want to move to West Virginia.  Can I file for divorce and then immediately move to West Virginia?
ANSWER:  Yes.  For jurisdiction Rhode Island law requires that you be a resident that is continuously domiciled in Rhode Island for at least one year immediately before filing for divorce.  See R.I. General Laws § 15-5-12(a).

You have clearly met the 1 year requirement and Rhode Island law does not require that you remain living in the state after you file the divorce.
Keep in mind that you will still be required to have the divorce served on your spouse and you would have to prosecute your divorce in this state which would require you to return here for at least one hearing.  If you don't follow through on these things then the court might dismiss your divorce filing.