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Frequently asked questions about divorce law in Arkansas

Every state in the nation has its own set of family laws that govern divorce proceedings and Arkansas is no different. The problem is that most spouses have little more than a cursory understanding of divorce law in their states. This lack of knowledge doesn't become apparent until two spouses decide to get a divorce. Then, they'll be scrambling to learn and understand as much as they can.

If you want to learn more about divorce in Arkansas, the following questions are a great place to start.

How does the divorce process work in Arkansas?

Divorce proceedings begin in Arkansas when one spouse files a divorce petition. If the other spouse doesn't submit an answer in response to the divorce filing then it will be viewed as an "uncontested divorce." All that's necessary is for the original filer of the petition to appear in court with an adult witness to finalize the dissolution of the marriage.

However, if the other spouse files an answer that disagrees with the initial divorce petition, then it's a contested divorce. If the spouses can't arrive at an agreeable divorce settlement, a hearing will be necessary to establish temporary provisions that govern the marital separation as the divorce litigation process is finalized. Then, the family law judge will request to schedule a final hearing date that works with the court and the spouse's respective schedules. In most cases, the spouses arrive at a fair divorce settlement before the final hearing date arrives.

Who is eligible for an Arkansas divorce?

Recent arrivals to Arkansas might not be eligible to file for a divorce. Individuals need to be living in Arkansas for at least 60 days before a court will accept a divorce filing. After the filing of the divorce petition, spouses must then wait an additional 30 days before a judge will grant the divorce. If a child custody dispute is involved in the divorce, spouses may need to file for divorce in a different way.

What is property division like in Arkansas?

Divorce courts in Arkansas begin with the assumption that each spouse should receive 50 percent of the marital estate. The marital estate will include all property and debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage. This includes kitchen appliances, furniture, retirement savings, investment accounts, bank accounts, insurance policies, personal property, vehicles and more. There will, however, be some exempt property -- like personal injury awards, inheritances and valuable gifts -- that the court will classify as individual property.

Learn more about divorce laws in Arkansas

Divorcing Arkansas spouses will want to learn as much as they can about the process before they file for divorce. This will help them adequately prepare for what's to come while avoiding the potential for making costly mistakes and errors.

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