Rhode Island Alimony Finances

Rhode Island Alimony Finances

Rhode Island Alimony Finances

Rhode Island Alimony

Do you need alimony but feel like it’s impossible to get? Relax. We’re here to help. Leave it to Rhode Island's best alimony attorney

When it comes to obtaining alimony in RI, it’s easy to feel daunted. Rhode Island has a reputation for being stingy when it comes to alimony. Courts don’t award it as generously as they once did, and many people consider it to be an unnecessary institution from another era. However, that doesn’t mean alimony it’s impossible to obtain if you need it. Temporary alimony is a useful tool to help you get back on your feet after a difficult divorce, and you can still obtain rehabilitative alimony with the help of an expert attorney like Paul Ferns at your side.

If you’re worried about how you’ll support yourself financially after a divorce, read on to learn more about Rhode Island divorce laws and how you can obtain the alimony payments you need to get your life back on track.

Temporary alimony vs permanent alimony. Different types of alimony explained

According to the Rhode Island Supreme Court, “Alimony is a rehabilitative tool intended to provide temporary support until a spouse is self-sufficient, and is based purely on need.” Rehabilitative alimony payments are purely meant to get a spouse back on their feet, giving them the financial support they need until they can become self-sufficient. It’s not automatically awarded to a lower-earning spouse, and anyone applying for alimony must be able to prove that they need it.

Permanent alimony, while rare, is not completely unheard of. This type of alimony is typically only awarded to spouses that are unable to re-enter the workforce and otherwise unable to support themselves, for reasons like old age or disability.

What does the court look at when determining alimony payments?

The court will look at a number of different factors when deciding whether or not to award a spouse alimony, including:
  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The age, physical and mental health of both spouses
  • The current income level or earning ability of both spouses
  • The property each spouse brought to the marriage
  • The reason cited for divorce


Custody of children is another huge factor in alimony cases. While child support is a separate institution from alimony, the court may be more likely to award alimony to a spouse that also acts as the primary caretaker of any children involved in a divorce. If a spouse gave up their career to care for children full-time during the marraige, they may no longer have the skills needed to get a job in their chosen industry. Thus, the court is more likely to award that spouse rehabilitative alimony so that they can receive the proper training to re-enter the workforce.

How do you calculate alimony in RI?

In Rhode Island, there is no hard and fast formula for calculating alimony payments. However, you can get an idea of what your alimony payments might be by plugging you and your ex-spouse’s income into this handy ri alimony calculator. Remember that the length of your marriage also plays a role in alimony payments. The longer one spouse has been out of work, the more outdated their skillset is. Thus, the more likely they are to receive higher alimony payments.

Is alimony taxable? How much tax do I pay on alimony received?

Prior to 2018, Alimony was tax deductible for paying spouses, and receiving spouses had to list their alimony payments on their tax returns. The 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed this. Now, alimony is no longer a tax deduction for paying spouses, and receiving spouses are not obligated to report alimony payments on their tax returns.

However, for any divorce finalized in or before 2018, the old alimony laws still apply. If you were divorced prior to the implementation of the new laws, the paying spouse may report alimony as a tax deduction and the receiving spouse must report it on their tax return.

Can a working wife receive alimony?

While it is trickier for a working wife to receive alimony in RI than a non-working one, it’s not impossible. If you only work part time or don’t earn a living wage, it’s possible for the court to award alimony so that you can receive the training you need to obtain a higher paying job. The income of your ex-spouse will definitely be an important factor here, especially if you’re standard of living will change drastically from being entirely self-sufficient.

Can a husband receive alimony?

Yes! Gone are the days when alimony was purely for women. The rights of fathers and husbands are more prevalent in Rhode Island divorce laws than ever before. It’s possible for a man to receive alimony from an ex-spouse for any of the reasons laid out above. Although, it may prove to be a greater challenge than it would be for a woman. That’s why you need an expert RI divorce attorney at your side.

Coming to an agreement outside of court

While obtaining alimony in RI is an uphill battle, a court-ordered arrangement is not the only way to obtain alimony payments. The court will typically honor any alimony arrangement that you and your ex-spouse can agree on outside of the court. The quickest and easiest way to obtain alimony payments is to make an agreement with your ex before it even reaches a judge’s bench. That’s why you need a top-notch divorce attorney like Paul Ferns on your side throughout the mediation process.

Rhode Island Alimony Attorney Paul Ferns can help you get the alimony you need

If you’re filing for divorce in RI and need alimony to get back on your feet, Paul Ferns is here for you. Through his calm, measured approach Paul Ferns can help you negotiate with your ex-spouse for the alimony payments you need. His clients always appreciate the respect and courtesy he brings to a difficult situation, and he’ll work diligently to help you and your ex-spouse settle on an alimony payment plan that suits both your financial needs. Contact his office today to learn more about how he can help you. Don’t worry. You’re in good hands now.