It is not uncommon to get divorced, especially in Arkansas. Most people know that about half of marriages in the United States end in Divorce. Furthermore, Arkansas has one of the highest divorce rates in the country. If you are getting a divorce it is important to know your rights and the divorce laws specific to your state. Below you will find general information about the divorce process in Arkansas.
One, or both, spouses must be an Arkansas resident for at least 60 days prior to filing for divorce in Arkansas. The divorce proceedings will take place in the county where the plaintiff lives, unless the plaintiff is not an Arkansas resident. In the case that the complainant is not an Arkansas resident, the proceedings will be in the county where the defendant resides.
How much does a divorce in Arkansas cost?
Typical filing fees for a divorce in Arkansas are around $165, but these fees may vary from county to county. Beyond the filing fee, there are many factors that affect how much your divorce will cost. In general, the more issues you and your spouse can agree on, the less expensive your divorce will be.
What are grounds for divorce in Arkansas?
Arkansas is a fault divorce state. This means that you must state a valid reason in order to have grounds for divorce. Grounds for divorce in Arkansas include:
- General indignities
- A felony conviction
- Abuse that endangers the other spouse’s life
- Incurable insanity
- Habitual drunkenness for at least one year
- Living separately for at least 18 months (the only no-fault ground)
The most common grounds for divorce in Arkansas is the catch-all term, general indignities. Citing general indignities means that one spouse’s behavior has rendered married life intolerable.
Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce:
These are the two types of divorce. An uncontested divorce means that both parties are in agreement about getting divorced, how to divide their property and debts, alimony, child support, and child custody. In a contested divorce the parties are unable to reach an agreement on one or more of those issues and the court must intervene to help them reach an agreement. Generally, an uncontested divorce is preferable because it goes through the process much faster and is much less expensive than a contested divorce.
How long does it take to get divorced in Arkansas?
Arkansas law requires a 30 waiting period in order for a divorce to be finalized. This means that even if both parties agree on all issues it will take at least 30 days from the day the petition is filed to be granted a divorce. If there are disagreements the process can take much longer.
Dividing Property in a Divorce:
A divorce results in termination of a marriage and dividing assets and debts between the two spouses. Arkansas is an equitable distribution state when it comes to division of marital property. The parties may reach an agreement regarding division of their assets and liabilities for the judge to approve. However, if both parties are not able to reach an agreement for dividing some or all of their property and debts the court will step in. For more information on dividing marital property, read our blog post on dividing marital property in a divorce.
Child Support and Child Custody:
In a divorce with children, agreements must be met regarding child custody, child support, and visitation. When one party is awarded custody it is common for the other party to be awarded visitation. Parties can arrange a visitation schedule that works for them, or they can use their county’s standard visitation agreement. There are many different factors that determine child support, for more information see our blog post, Child Support in Arkansas FAQs.
Spousal Support and Alimony:
Alimony is financial support given from one spouse to the other following a divorce. These payments are separate from child support payments and are provided to help ensure both spouses are able to maintain a similar lifestyle following divorce. Alimony is generally awarded when one spouse earns, or is able to earn, significantly more money than the other spouse. Some factors that determine whether alimony is awarded and how much is awarded include:
- The couple’s standard of living during the marriage
- Length of the marriage
- The financial conditions and assets of each party
- Each spouse’s ability to obtain employment
Whether you are getting a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce, it is important to have a divorce lawyer represent you to ensure your rights are protected. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case. Give us a call at (479) 443-1812, email us at [email protected], or send us a message below.
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