Divorce In Arkansas

Divorce In Arkansas | How to Get a Divorce & Process (Guide) 2024

Unfortunately, the conclusion of many marriages is divorce. Nevertheless, the financial stability of those involved need not end when a marriage ends. If you are fully aware of the laws in your state and strictly follow them, you may be able to plan your divorce so that you won’t need to rebuild your finances in addition to your personal life.

Though each state has its limitations, it’s crucial to do some research and ensure you’re following the rules at all times. You can manage the financial effects of a divorce with the aid of a nearby financial expert.

Divorce has the legal impact of ending the couple’s marriage as of the day the divorce judgment is approved by the court. Both you and your spouse are free to get married again after a divorce. Other decisions about child custody, child support, and your financial situation, such as the division of marital property and assignment of debt, may also be made by the court at the time of your divorce. This article will explain to you about divorce In Arkansas.

Residency Requirement In Arkansas

Residency. You or your spouse must have lived in Arkansas for at least 60 days before to filing for divorce and for at least three months after the judgment has been entered in order to do so.

Period of Separation. You and your husband must have lived apart for at least 18 months before you can file for a no-fault divorce. It is required that you separate “voluntarily,” yet this only applies to one of you.

Parents Name
Wages & Income
Non-Custodial Parent
Custodial Parent

For instance, it is irrelevant if your husband approves of the separation if you move into your own home. Throughout the 18-month separation period, you and your husband must not have lived together at any point. The 18-month window resets if you split, then live together once again (even for a day), and then separate once more.

How To File Divorce In Arkansas

In order to start the divorce process in Arkansas, a petition must first be submitted to the court. If the divorce is uncontested, you and your spouse can come to a written divorce agreement, after which you and a witness of your choice will testify in court to have the divorce officially granted.

In the event that you and your husband are unable to come to an agreement, a hearing will be required to decide the temporary issues in your divorce. After that, a date will be requested for the final hearing, and that date will be chosen based on the dates that are open on the court’s calendar.

You must be eligible for divorce in Arkansas if you have lived there for at least sixty (60) days prior to submitting your divorce petition to the court clerk. In addition, regardless of when you and your spouse came into an agreement, you must wait a minimum of thirty (30) days after filing the petition before the divorce is actually granted.

There may be additional elements to take into account when deciding where to file your divorce case if one of the problems in your divorce is the custody of minor children.

Covenant Marriage

A man and a woman may contract a covenant marriage by declaring their intend to do so on their marriage license application and signing the required declaration of intent. You can submit a Complaint for Divorce stating the grounds and requesting a divorce decree to get a divorce from a covenant marriage. The plaintiff is the spouse who submits the divorce complaint. The defendant is the spouse who is the subject of the divorce complaint.

Grounds for Divorce

Divorce can be obtained in Arkansas with or without fault. The couple must have lived apart for at least 18 consecutive months in order to be eligible for a no-fault divorce. The clock resets if a pair spends even a single night together throughout that period.

For a fault divorce, you can claim the following grounds:

  • Impotence
  • Conviction of a felony
  • Abusing alcohol for at least a year
  • Cruel treatment endangering the life of the other spouse
  • Causing intolerable humiliation, embarrassment, or shame
  • Adultery
  • Incurable insanity
  • Failure to support the other spouse, despite a legal obligation

Legal Separation 

Courts in Arkansas will honor divorce decrees. A separation agreement, which you and your spouse must sign in order for it to be enforceable, governs your relationship from the time you separate until the court grants your divorce.

The contract defining the terms of the separation is known as the agreement. You can make decisions in the separation agreement regarding some matters that could be incorporated into the divorce decree. A written separation agreement that is signed by both parties is required for it to be enforceable.

Property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support can all be outlined by spouses in legally binding terms. Although the court must always take the best interests of the kid into account in decisions involving child support and custody, it is not required to uphold the separation agreement’s terms relating to the children. A separation agreement should not be confused with a divorce, and it is vital to keep this in mind.

What You Need For a Legal Separation

A lawyer is not required by law to draught a separation agreement for a person. It would be best to have a lawyer on your side, though, as a legal separation can involve complex problems, including child custody, maintenance, alimony, and property division.

It’s critical that you comprehend the restrictions on what can be said in the agreement. To satisfy the judge, it helps if you are familiar with the structure and terminology of the agreement.

The judge will need to hold a hearing to resolve your issues (property, debt, alimony, child support, child custody, visitation, insurance, tax, etc.) if there is no separation agreement or other sort of solution.

It can take a lot of time, effort, and effort to complete this. Judges that favor marriage agreements have them on their lists. A judge cannot list specific requirements in an agreement, but it can in an agreement. As a result, you and your spouse might have more control over the outcomes you seek from the legal process.

Grounds for Separation

In a covenant marriage, there are tougher conditions for divorce than in a typical union. For a judgment of judicial separation to be granted, you must demonstrate that your spouse violated at least one of these grounds:

  • adultery;
  • felony;
  • abuse of you or one of your children, whether physical or sexual;
  • living separately from you for a minimum of two years;
  • intoxication on a regular basis for a year;
  • brutal and barbaric treatment that puts your life in peril;
  • general humiliations that make maintaining a marriage unpleasant;

How Much Does it Cost to File for Divorce in Arkansas?

When you file a divorce petition in Arkansas, you’ll need to pay a filing fee that typically costs $165, though costs might differ from county to county. For the most recent details, you should contact your local court.

There are other divorce costs, such as a $10 notary fee or a service fee of up to $50 for a process server or sheriff to deliver the official divorce petition to your husband. You can also be required to pay additional filing fees each time you send additional court motions or legal documents.

However, the charges listed above only include minimal court expenditures. The fees will be significantly greater if you need to engage an attorney or any specialists, such as tax counselors, financial planners, or property appraisers, or if your divorce is contentious or difficult.

Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First in Arkansas?

Whoever files for divorce first doesn’t matter, in other words. You’ll have the opportunity to contest your spouse’s allegations in each case and submit your own demands as part of the divorce. A “ground,” or justification, for the divorce must be provided by the divorcing spouse.

In Arkansas, you have the option to get a fault- or no-fault divorce. You can claim that you and your spouse do not get along in a no-fault divorce petition without providing a reason why you are divorcing your spouse. Arkansas divorce laws let spouses get divorced on the basis of the no-fault grounds of separation even though they recognize “fault” divorces.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Arkansas?

Except if you and your spouse have been apart for a full year, Arkansas requires a three-month waiting period before a divorce is declared final.

This implies that even if you and your husband have reached an agreement on all conditions of the divorce, a court won’t issue a final divorce decree until three months have passed since you filed your case. Check out Ark. Code 9-12-310. (2020).

A judge may waive the three-month waiting period in circumstances when the couple has been separated for a year. Keep in mind that this is the bare minimum amount of time. Divorce proceedings may take months or even years to complete if you litigate the issues.

What Is the Cost of Divorce in Arkansas?

The particular conditions of your family will determine the cost of your divorce. For instance, couples that reach a speedy agreement on their divorce would incur fewer expenses and be able to end their marriage promptly.

The cost of a divorce, however, will probably be high if you and your spouse fight bitterly over every issue with lawyers and experts. You might want to give a lawyer a call if you’re thinking about divorcing in Arkansas. Your lawyer can help you navigate every step of the divorce process and make sure your rights are upheld while you struggle through the painful process of terminating your marriage.

Process to Divorce

The least expensive and most straightforward divorce option is an uncontested divorce if both parties agree to it. The first step in the divorce process is for one spouse to submit a complaint in their local county. After then, a summons is delivered to the other spouse, either voluntarily or by means of a sheriff’s office close by.

The next step is to set up a hearing. If a settlement agreement is satisfactory, it will be approved by the judge after both partners testify that they want a divorce. The divorce will be disputed if the parties cannot come to an agreement on the terms. The method for filing is the same, but after that, the course changes.

Following service on the second spouse, there will be a discovery phase during which both parties will gather information and interview witnesses. There will probably be a mediation procedure where attorneys for both spouses attempt to reach a settlement on pertinent matters, including child custody, property division, and alimony. If mediation is unsuccessful, there will be a trial where testimony is taken, and evidence is entered. The judge then renders a decision on all pertinent matters.

Equitable Distribution of Marital Property in Arkansas

Arkansas is an “equitable distribution” state when it comes to dividing up the property after a divorce. An agreement called a Marital Separation Agreement or a Property Settlement Agreement, which the judge must authorize, gives the divorcing parties the option of directly dividing their assets during divorce In Arkansas.

The judge will nonetheless divide the property and debt in an equitable manner if the parties are unable to agree upon a solution on their own. Equitable distribution is a fair property division that takes into account the unique circumstances of each partner.

The assumption under Arkansas law is that a couple’s assets would be divided equally, but a judge may amend this to an unequal distribution depending on a number of different circumstances.

The judge will first decide what belongs to the parties’ separate and joint estates. The person who brought the non-marital property into the marriage is the one who keeps it. The earnings from a worker’s compensation claim are also considered non-marital property, as are gifts made to only one spouse and inherited items.

The judge will make an equitable distribution of the remaining assets after determining what is marital and what is not, according to the law. When deciding how to divide up the property, the court will take a number of things into account. These elements include, among others:

  • Duration of marriage.
  • Each party’s line of work.
  • The parties’ respective fields of expertise.
  • The spouses’ ages, states of health, and current stages of life
  • revenue sources and amount.
  • Employment prospects for each partner.
  • What each side gave in order to create and maintain the marital property
  • consequences of the planned property divide on federal income taxes.

In order to decide what division of property is equitable or fair in each specific case, the judge often conducts a discovery procedure before splitting any assets. During this process, each party is asked to produce relevant facts.

Even though there are a number of considerations the judge must take into account when splitting property, the judge retains discretion when allocating spousal support and deciding child custody.

If you’re thinking about getting a divorce, speak with a qualified divorce attorney to explore how you might convince the judge that you should get what you want in terms of property division and other legal issues.

Conclusion

In order to decide the best ways to safeguard your privacy and interests, you should think about speaking with an Arkansas divorce lawyer if you’re thinking about getting divorced or if your spouse has already filed for one. A divorce lawyer in Arkansas can assist you in selecting the reasons for divorce that best suit your current circumstances.

faqs

Can You Get a Divorce While Pregnant in Arkansas?

In general, the answer is yes, but the judge might postpone granting your divorce until after the baby is delivered. You must disclose the number of children you and your spouse have together as well as the existence of any more children when you file your case (such as through pregnancy). A judge will determine whether to grant or delay your divorce based on the state of the pregnancy and the circumstances of each spouse.

How long do you have to be separated before divorce in Arkansas?

You must have grounds for divorce and have resided in Arkansas for at least 60 days prior to filing for divorce. “General indignities” and “separated for 18 months” are the two grounds for divorce that are most frequently invoked. Within the last five years, the grounds must have occurred.

How quickly may a divorce be finalized in Arkansas?

An “uncontested divorce” is the divorce procedure that can be completed the quickest in Arkansas. The divorce must be mutually agreed upon by both partners, or one spouse must be able to substantiate the grounds for the divorce in their file.

What is the cheapest way to get a divorce in Arkansas?

The least expensive way to dissolve your marriage is through a do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce, but you’ll need to take your time and pay close attention to every last detail to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork, fill them out accurately, and follow all the procedures for divorce in Arkansas.

Is cheating on your spouse illegal in Arkansas?

Cheating on your spouse at any time during your marriage is known as adultery. As per Arkansas law, it is a physical act and not an emotional one. The party reporting the misconduct may request the court to rule in favor of them at various points throughout the divorce process by mentioning it as a justification.

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