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Rhode Island Marital Property Laws

Nearly everything a married couple acquires during the course of a marriage is considered marital property and thus subject to division if the couple gets divorced. Even if each party pays for goods from separate bank accounts, these goods still fall under the category of marital property. Some property -- including inheritances, goods acquired before the marriage (or acquired with money obtained before the marriage), and personal gifts -- are referred to as separate property and not subject to division. States differ on how marital property is divided, ranging from community property to equitable division (the latter considers the means and needs of each party and other, more practical concerns).

Rhode Island Marital Property Laws at a Glance

See the following chart for information about Rhode Island marital property laws (including the factors considered by family courts) and FindLaw's Divorce and Property section for additional articles and helpful resources.

Community Property Recognized? No
Dower And Curtesy Dower and curtesy abolished (§33-25-1)
Factors Considered by the Court When Dividing Marital Property
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The conduct of the parties during the marriage;
  • The contribution of each of the parties during the marriage in the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation in value of their respective estates;
  • The contribution and services of either party as a homemaker;
  • The health and age of the parties;
  • The amount and sources of income of each of the parties;
  • The occupation and employability of each of the parties;
  • The opportunity of each party for future acquisition of capital assets and income;
  • The contribution by one party to the education, training, licensure, business, or increased earning power of the other;
  • The need of the custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects taking into account the best interests of the children of the marriage;
  • Either party's wasteful dissipation of assets or any transfer or encumbrance of assets made in contemplation of divorce without fair consideration; and
  • Any factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper.

Note: State laws may change at any time with the enactment of newly signed legislation or other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact a Rhode Island divorce attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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