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

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

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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.