All family courts in Arkansas are legally obligated to recognize same-sex marriages and grant same-sex divorces the same way they would heterosexual unions and divorces. At least one of the spouses must meet the 60-day residency requirement before filing for divorce. The spouse filing for divorce is the plaintiff, who must submit a complaint stating a reason for separation.
The grounds for same-sex and heterosexual divorce are the same
A no-fault divorce is when the spouses do not blame each other for the failure of their marriage. While most states allow the plaintiff to pursue a no-fault divorce simply by declaring irreconcilable differences or an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, Arkansas does not.
In Arkansas, no-fault divorce is only possible if the couple has lived separately for at least 18 months. Any instance of cohabitation during the required separation period will reset the time they spent separated and invalidate the separation period. A same-sex couple can also pursue a fault-based divorce based on specific grounds. However, they might need to prove fault in court.
The rights and concerns are also the same
Regardless of whether the married couple is in an LGBTQ relationship or a heterosexual relationship, they have the same concerns when they divorce. They will worry about property division and child custody matters. In Arkansas, marital property is subject to an equitable division, meaning each spouse has a right to receive their fair share of the accumulated marital property. Both parents also share equal parental responsibilities and rights to the children they have or adopt together unless it goes against the child’s best interests.
Even though the laws and rights applicable to same-sex divorces are no different than heterosexual divorces, unique and unexpected circumstances might arise. You should enter a divorce proceeding with a thorough understanding of the state family laws to protect your rights in all divorce-related matters.