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How long can divorce take in Arkansas?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2022 | Divorce

Few people want their divorce to drag on forever. Either you are eager to end your marriage and move on, or you just want to get through it as soon as possible. But a divorce is not something that happens in a week or two. Especially here in Arkansas.

If you want to file for a no-fault divorce, which most people do, first you have to live apart from your spouse for 18 months. The separation must be continuous. Even a brief reconciliation of a few days can lead the court to dismiss your divorce filing if the judge finds out about it. This is one of the longest required separation periods for any U.S. state.

Other grounds for divorce

Alternatively, you can file for a fault-based divorce. In that case, you must have proof that your spouse did one of eight things:

  • Was convicted of a felony or “infamous crime”
  • Had a habit of getting continually intoxicated for at least a year
  • Behaved so cruelly that your life was in danger
  • Humiliated you so severely that it makes your life extremely difficult
  • Cheated on you during the marriage
  • Had a severe and incurable mental illness that forced them to live in a mental institution for at least three years
  • Did not support you when they had an obligation and the ability to do so
  • Was impotent when you got married and still is

The minimum waiting period after filing for divorce is 30 days. Some of the grounds for fault-based divorce would be much faster than a no-fault divorce, but they may not apply in your situation. And if they do, keep in mind you might have to go to a public court and present evidence about your private life.

A long process that is worth it for many

In total, between waiting periods, the time it takes to negotiate a settlement and so on, getting divorced takes an average of about 540 days in Arkansas. It can take a lot of patience, but once your marriage has been dissolved, you will be ready to move on to the next chapter in your life.