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Understanding Arkansas divorce laws

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2020 | Divorce

Married couples can file for divorce in Arkansas when at least one spouse has lived in the state for more than 60 days. Your divorce agreement will be subject to the state family law guidelines.

If you are thinking about ending your marriage, ease your mind by learning more about the legal process.

Uncontested vs. fault-based divorce

If you want an uncontested divorce, you must first live separately from your spouse for 18 months or longer. If you spend a single night in the same home during this period, you have to restart the separation period. For a fault-based divorce, Arkansas does not mandate a separation first. However, the spouse asking for this type of divorce must prove that his or her partner has committed a felony, desertion, abuse or adultery, or struggles with substance addiction.

The legal process of divorce

File for divorce in the county where you and/or your spouse lives. When you can agree on issues such as child custody and support, property division and spousal support, you can create a divorce agreement together and submit it to the court. The judge will review its legal implications with both parties

When these issues are in contention, the court will decide in a divorce hearing. At this meeting, you and your spouse can present evidence to support your position. The judge will rule in accordance with Arkansas family law, which calls for equal division of assets and debt the couple accrued during the marriage. Joint custody for minor children is the standard as long as both parents can provide a safe, healthy home. The judge may grant temporary or permanent alimony based on the financial situation of each spouse and other factors.

Once you submit a petition for divorce, you can receive a final divorce decree after a waiting period of 30 days. When your situation requires a court hearing, however, it may take longer for the divorce to become final.