To obtain a divorce in Rhode Island, you must reside in the State for at least one (1) year prior to filing. However, if you have not lived in the State for the requisite time, you may file for separation. Rhode Island courts generally grant all divorces on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences” whether or not other grounds are alleged.
Rhode Island General Laws § 15-5-12 outlines the domicile and residence requirements for obtaining a divorce in the State of Rhode Island:
(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.