In the state of Rhode Island, overturning an official Decree of Divorce, rendered by a Judge after a testimonial hearing, requires an appeal. This must be done within a short and specified timeframe, after the entry of the Order of Divorce. An agreed upon, or Nominal divorce cannot be appealed.

Unfortunately, the appeal process is costly and drawn-out because the RI Supreme Court will need to thoroughly review the lower Courts decision before it will decide to overturn the same. These appeals are usually unsuccessful except in the case of exceptional and compelling circumstances as the Supreme Court will give the Lower Court Judge a lot of discretion.

However, this does not mean you are stuck with a court decision, or agreement forever. When the terms of your divorce or custody agreement no longer fit your present circumstances, petitioning the Court for modification can help alter the terms accordingly.

Below are common examples of situations that warrant a divorce modification.

1. Moving out of state or a long distance from an ex-spouse.
2. A needed increase or decrease of alimony. Spousal support is not mandatory in the state of Rhode Island. It depends upon the income and situation of the spouses.
3. Substantial increase or decrease of income for former spouse under a child support order.
4. A child is not being properly supervised by parent or current partner of parent due to psychological or substance abuse problems.
5. A teenage dependent becomes difficult to manage and increased custodial or financial assistance is required to address the issue.
6. Division of property is found to have been unfairly divided due to NEW information that was not previously known and could not have been discovered by you.

If you have questions regarding a divorce modification or custody modification within the state of Rhode Island, contact us today.