Getting a Divorce in Arkansas

Getting a divorce in Arkansas is hard and complicated. Divorce in the state becomes complex when you look at issues of dividing property, pensions, and other things accumulated during a marriage in the state. Sometimes, it is possible that your spouse could end up owning things which you owned before you got married. The complexity of the case even rises when children are involved in the divorce proceedings. The issues related to Arkansas divorce are discussed below.

Grounds for Divorce in Arkansas

Any one of the following grounds could be used for divorce in Arkansas:

Residency Requirements

Getting a divorce in Arkansas requires either you or your spouse to be a resident of Arkansas for at least 60 days prior to filing for divorce and for at least 90 days before the divorce is finalized. If you are a resident of the state, you can file for divorce where you live. If you are not a resident of the state, but your spouse is a resident, then you can file in the county where your spouse resides.

Division of Property

Arkansas is considered to be an equitable distribution state. It means that the court divides the property fairly and not necessarily equally. The court would distribute one half of the marital property to each spouse unless it discovers that such a division is unfair. The court considers the following factors for an equitable distribution:

  1. Duration of marriage
  2. Age, health and occupation of both the spouses
  3. Sources of income of both spouses
  4. Vocational skills and employability
  5. Contributions made by each spouse in acquisition, preservation and increased value of marital property.

Spousal Support

Alimony or spousal support may be given to either spouse for their support and maintenance after the divorce. A spouse’s necessity for support and the other spouse’s ability to pay are the two main factors that a court considers while awarding alimony. Alimony could be awarded for a set period of time which is usually paid in regular monthly installments. As per the state law, the payment of alimony can be stopped at the time of death of the spouse or the recipient spouse’s remarriage.

Child Custody

Arkansas court decides child custody issues based on the best interest of the child. The main aim is to make sure that the award supports a child’s bond with both parents. One factor which the court considers is which parent is more likely to support the child’s relationship with the other parent. The court also considers the child’s preference while awarding child custody.

If a spouse seeks a change of custody, the court decides the issues that are in the best interest of the child.

Getting a divorce in Arkansas requires all the above issues to be settled before a divorce is finalized.