Staying married is hard work no matter your age, income or disposition. Unfortunately, many marriages don’t survive the financial and personal struggles that often arise after the wedding.
While couples in Arkansas enjoy some of the lowest costing weddings in the country (on average), they also have the highest divorce rates in the nation. In the land of opportunity, more than 23 out of every 1,000 marriages end in divorce. If your marriage is headed that way, there are a few things you should know before attempting to terminate your marriage.
Arkansas is a “fault“ state
Most U.S. states are “no-fault” states. This means that no proof of wrongdoing is needed to obtain a divorce. “Irreconcilable differences” is a common reason for divorces in no-fault states.
Arkansas is one of very few states that require proof that a spouse is at fault for the end of the marriage. The only exception is if the couple has been living apart from each other or have been separated for 18, 24 or 30 months depending on various factors. All other divorce filings must state a fault, such as:
- Intolerable behavior (referred to as general indignities)
- Cruel treatment that endangers life
- Felony conviction
- Three or more years of institutionalization for insanity
- Habitual intoxication lasting for one year
Some of the fault requirements vary for couples who have entered into covenant marriages.
Covenant versus non-covenant marriages
Arkansas has two distinct marriage types. Most couples are in non-covenant marriages. A covenant marriage requires an acknowledgement that the marriage is a lifelong commitment, premarital counseling with an authorized person and longer waiting periods before filing for divorce. Dissolving a covenant marriage is more difficult than a non-covenant marriage.
Don‘t face the legal process alone
As you prepare to face your divorce, carefully consider the financial, emotional and physical toll the process may have on you and your family. Enlist friends, family and professionals to help with matters that you do not absolutely need to handle on your own so you have time to devote to taking care of yourself, your children and your job.