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Dividing property in Arkansas, P.1

Property division is an important aspect of divorce, whether a couple significant wealth or not. In cases where there are significant assets to divide, couples obviously have more to be concerned about, but couples with even modest assets to their name should not neglect to advocate for themselves when it comes to dividing up property.

Property division, of course, does not only involve division of assets, but debts as well. When a couple looks at the issue of property division, then, it is a question of dividing the entire marital estate, assets and debts, rather than simply looking at who gets what. Different states have different approaches to property division, and we’ll take a brief look at Arkansas’ approach in this and the next post. 

First of all, Arkansas courts use an approach to property division known as equitable division. The aim of equitable division is to divide assets and debts in a way that is fair to each party. Under Arkansas law, marital property consists of all assets acquired by either spouse after marriage, with the exception of certain types of property, including:

  • Property acquired by gift or because of the death of another;
  • Property acquired in exchange for separate property or in exchange for a gift or bequest;
  • Property excluded from property division under a premarital agreement;
  • Benefits received from a workers’ compensation, personal injury, or social security claim, when such benefits are awarded for permanent disability or future medical expenses; and
  • Income from or increase in the value of property owned prior to the marriage or from property acquired by gift or bequest.

In our next post, we’ll look at the factors courts consider when determining how to fairly divide marital property in Arkansas, and why it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney when going through the property division process.

Sources:

Findlaw, “Arkansas Marital Property Laws,” Accessed Nov. 21, 2015.

2010 Arkansas Code; Title 9 - Family Law; Subtitle 2 - Domestic Relations; Chapter 12 - Divorce and Annulment; Subchapter 3 - Actions for Divorce or Alimony; § 9-12-315 - Division of property.

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