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Rui P. Alves


Rui is an experienced Rhode Island and Massachusetts litigator and advocate in family law, criminal law and government relations matters in both state and federal court. He concentrates his practice on helping individuals and corporations craft solutions for complex issues related to domestic relations, criminal defense and government affairs.

Rui is a native of Portugal and speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish. He is former legal counsel to the Rhode Island Senate’s Committee on Finance.


  • Roger Williams University School of Law (J.D.)
  • Northeastern University (B.S. in Criminal Justice)

Bar Admissions

  • Rhode Island
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Rhode Island
  • Five Star Avvo Rating: “I had a very complicated domestic case that lasted over a year. Rui was very knowledgeable and strategic in all aspects of the case. The custody portion was very emotional, and Rui was able to find amicable solutions in which the children were put above the fray. He was there with wise counsel and referrals helping to set up outside support systems.” More
  • Five Star Avvo Rating:”I hired Rui to assist me in a defendant position. He always kept the line of communication open and followed through with what he said he was going to do. More importantly he cares and is understanding. If you need someone to support you in a time of need, Rui is that person.”
  • Five Star Avvo Rating: “In the summer of 2017 I needed a lawyer to assist me with my divorce. Over the next 6-9 months Rui was fantastic to me in that he was helpful, understanding, kind, honest and supportive towards me. It was a difficult time for me and he showed compassion towards me yet created a backbone of strength that I did not feel i possessed at the time. He had my best interest at heart. Rui is incredibly intelligent and a good man.”
  • Five Star Avvo Rating: “I hired Rui Alves when my husband suddenly filed for divorce. The case involved two states and crossed international borders. I was afraid of the outcome considering my husband’s dishonest and dubious behavior. Rui guided me step by step and helped me calmly and successfully move through the entire process until the whole case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Rui never left one stone unturned or any angle unexplored. He was always one step ahead of the game.” More
  • Five Star Avvo Rating: “Rui, led a team to represent me in a defendant position. The situation was complicated due to some misclaiming from the plaintiff. Rui overcame all objections professionally and put together a plan to resolve all issues as well as negotiationing a fair settlement. Rui Alves is a highly qualified attorney and a credit to himself, the lawyer profession and Barton Gilman LLP.”
  • Five Star Avvo Rating: “I hired Rui when I was charged with speeding 40 MPH over the speed limit. When I went to my arraignment, the court wouldn’t offer me the benefit of using my good driving record because the alleged speed was so excessive. I hired Rui after the arraignment. He was honest about the outcomes I could expect considering the severity of the alleged speeding offense. It wasn’t a slam dunk case for him and he let me know, however we ultimately prevailed. Rui convinced the city to be reasonable, especially considering they only clocked my speed. In lieu of a trial, I was able to rely on my good driving history through his legal counsel and negotiations with the city.”
  • Five Star Avvo Rating: “Mr. Alves was a a very respectful, & determined lawyer. He did not make me any promises, but told me the facts pertaining to my case along with possible outcomes. He kept to his word, and did not make down after multiple court dates. He got me exactly what I deserved in my child support case. I will be using him in the future.”
  • Five Star Avvo Rating: “In a very emotional and scary time in my life, attorney Alves was very helpful, considered and informative. He explained and guided me through the process as I was scared to lose my children. If you want to sit down with an honest and trustworthy lawyer, Attorney Alves is the person for you.”
  • Five Star Avvo Rating: “Rui approached my situation with empathy and professionalism. He kept a constant line of communication, and was always available to answer any questions. He is highly motivated, and extremely driven – he accepts nothing less than success. If you find yourself in a situation where you need a lawyer, Rui is the lawyer you want in your corner.”
  • Five Star Avvo Rating: “Rui was extremely helpful, considering my lack of legal knowledge. He was upfront and honest about everything and didn’t give me any false hopes. Exceeded my expectations with everything. He’s confident and friendly. His office staff are great too!”
  • RI Criminal Defense- Client was charged with felony larceny of property in Rhode Island Superior Court and faced up to 10 years in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. Obtained dismissal of charge against client.
  • RI Child Custody/Relocation – Successful relocation of minor child from Rhode Island to Massachusetts. Mother had primary physical custody of minor child in Rhode Island. After numerous hearings, Father was awarded primary physical custody of minor child and permission to relocate child to Massachusetts.
  • MA Child Custody – Successfully represented Mother in Massachusetts and Rhode Island child custody proceedings to have minor children returned to her custody and possession. Father removed minor child from Massachusetts to Rhode Island without permission from Mother or Court and filed custody proceedings in Rhode Island. Obtained Emergency Order in Massachusetts to have minor child returned to Mother immediately and awarding Mother sole legal and physical custody of child. Obtained dismissal of Father’s complaint in Rhode Island.
  • RI Federal Criminal Defense – Client charged by Federal Indictment with six (6) felony counts including Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, two (2) counts of Bank Fraud, two (2) counts of Aggravated Identity Theft and False Statement to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Client was facing up to thirty (30) years in Federal prison and fines in the amount of $1,000,000. After zealous advocacy Client received a sentence of no jail time, two (2) years’ probation and no fines.
  • RI Divorce – Successfully represented Rhode Island business owner in divorce proceedings. Obtained Final Judgment in favor of client awarding them 100% interest in corporation and an equitable division of remaining marital assets.
  • MA Paternity/Child Support – Successfully represented purported Father in Massachusetts paternity and child support matter. Judgments entered against Father deeming him biological Father of minor child and making him responsible for child support and health insurance obligations. Father learned via paternity test that he was not biological father more than a year after judgments entered against him. Successfully obtained relief from prior Judgments declaring non-paternity and terminating child support and health insurance obligations.
  • RI Divorce/Child Custody – Successfully defended Husband against Wife seeking sole custody of minor children and portion of Husband’s interest in family business. Obtained Final Judgment awarding Husband joint custody of minor children and retaining all ownership interest in business.
  • MA Criminal Case – No Probable Cause. Successfully defended client at Magistrate’s hearing to prevent client from being charged with a felony.
  • RI Divorce/Child Custody – Successfully represented serviceman in United States Armed Forces stationed abroad in divorce proceedings. Obtained Final Judgment awarding him joint custody of minor children and equitable division of marital assets.
  • RI Divorce/Child Custody – Successfully defended Husband against Wife who filed fault-based divorce seeking sole custody of minor children and an award of all right, title and interest in marital home. Obtained Husband an award of joint custody of the minor children and an equal (50/50) division of equity in marital home.
  • MA Alimony Modification – Successfully represented ex-Wife in Alimony Modification proceedings. Negotiated lump-sum payment of alimony in full satisfaction of arrangement to Wife.
  • MA Divorce/Contempt – Successfully litigated on behalf of Wife to obtain Judgment for Civil Contempt against Husband during divorce proceedings. Introduced evidence to Court, cross-examined Husband and presented legal arguments to obtain Judgment awarding Wife significant financial award including award of attorney’s fees and costs.
  • RI Child Custody/Relocation – Successful reunited minor son with father. Father who lives in Africa was able to obtain full custody of his minor son. Father was able to relocate to his son from Rhode Island to Africa.
  • MA/RI Child Custody/Relocation – Mother moved out of Massachusetts to a southern state without notice or giving father any information on relocation of their two minor children. Obtain emergency court order to return the children to father in Rhode Island. After trial, father allowed to have the children live in Rhode Island with mother obtaining visiting time. Mother ordered to pay father child support.
  • RI Child Custody/Relocation – Successful relocation of minor daughter from Rhode Island to Massachusetts. Mother lost custody of minor daughter in Massachusetts, allowing father to have the daughter in Rhode Island. Daughter was then relocated back to Massachusetts with mother.
  • MA Child Custody/Support – Mother allowed to move to Massachusetts from Rhode Island with her newborn child. Court agreed that Massachusetts was the proper Court. Father was ordered to pay child support.
  • RI Child Support – Represented mother in divorce action where husband was claiming he earned very low income. After first court date, mother was receiving child support based upon her husband’s real income, not the very low income he claimed.
  • MA Child Custody/Support – Mother wanted permission to relocate with child to Rhode Island. The parties had shared legal custody of the child. After successfully obtaining a guardian ad litem, mother was allowed to relocate to Rhode Island and awarded sole legal custody of the minor child. Father was ordered to pay child support.
  • MA Child Custody/Support – Father wised to relocate his two minor children to Rhode Island. Mother has physical custody of the minor children in Massachusetts. After a two day trial, children were allowed to permanently relocate to Rhode Island to Rhode Island with father. Mother was ordered to pay child support.
  • Professional Excellence in the Law in Adoption, Marital and Family Law, Rhode Island Monthly (2019-2021)
  • Super Lawyers Rhode Island Rising Star (2009–2015)

Rui served as a senior criminal clerk in the Rhode Island District Court.

  • President of the Board of Directors, Samaritans of Rhode Island
  • Member, Rhode Island Bar Association

Legal Lowdown Podcast – Episode #24 – COVID-19 Impact on Family Law


COVID-19 has impacted so many aspects of our lives, but none more important than our families. In this episode, Rui Alves talks about the compounding effect COVID-19 has had on families that have separated, divorced or sharing child custody.



Legal Lowdown Podcast – Episode #25 – How are Assets Divided in MA Divorces?


Divorce can be a major challenge from an emotional standpoint, but also from a financial and logistical one as well. In this episode, Rui Alves joins us to discuss the finer points of how assets are viewed by the courts in Massachusetts and how one could expect them to be divided in a divorce proceeding.