When a couple divorces, Rhode Island divides their property through its equitable distribution laws. Each spouse can reasonably expect to receive a fair share of the marital property. This does not necessarily mean half. 

When a divorce involves taking ownership of valuable assets, the division may require careful planning and consideration. If two spouses cannot decide upon an equitable division on their own, a family court judge could decide for them. The decision is typically based on what constitutes a fair split of their assets. 

Taking sole ownership of a couple’s home

A couple may decide that a family’s primary residence should remain in the ownership of the spouse taking custody of the children. If the custodial parent can afford to maintain the home, its taxes and the insurance, the arrangement may work without the need for a judge’s input. 

When a spouse requires financial assistance to maintain a home, however, a court order may provide the necessary funds. As noted by Kiplinger magazine, preparing a budget ahead of time could help in planning for a home’s mortgage and utilities. 

A spouse may also request the court to award enough child support to cover the cost of living expenses, education and health care. 

Requesting control of a business or income-producing asset

Married spouses who ran a business together may wish to sever their working relationship during a divorce. Understanding how it would affect each family member could determine the outcome. 

A couple may need to engage in several discussions before deciding on who will take control of a business or real estate portfolio. Without each spouse effectively communicating his or her needs, a Rhode Island judge could become the individual making the final decision.