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Divorce Process in Arkansas

Divorce Process in Arkansas


Guide to Divorce Process in Arkansas


Divorce is rarely an easy process, and numerous members of the family usually become involved in the divorce process in Arkansas.  Every state requires slightly different procedures and any number of forms, and most of the time, each party hires a family law attorney to help with the forms and settlement process.  The divorce process in Arkansas is like most other states, but the state has a few unique procedures within the grounds for divorce, the property division, spousal and child support, and child custody.  Some detailed matters within the divorce process in AR fall below.  


Grounds for Divorce


The first step for the divorce process in AR involves filing the Complaint for Divorce.  This form establishes the grounds for divorce in Arkansas, which vary according to the type of divorce:


1) No-Fault Grounds- If a husband and wife have lived apart for at least 18 months, or if mutual consent exists between the two spouses


2) Fault Grounds- If either spouse shows impotence, is convicted of a felony, engages in habitual drunkenness for one year, exhibits actions that endanger the other spouse, commits adultery, or provides an intolerable cohabitation environment.  


Property Division


After the filing and submitting the correct divorce papers, the next step in the divorce process in Arkansas involves reaching a settlement either with a trial or with mediation.  Once part of the settlement includes the property division, and because Arkansas is an “equitable distribution” state, the following matters are taken into account by a judge:


• The length of the marriage

• The age and health of the parties 

• The occupation and skills of each party

• The amount of income from each party

• The estates, liabilities, and services within the home of each party 

• Federal income tax consequences of the division


Spousal Support


This step with the divorce process in AR is closely related to property division, but within the state of Arkansas, alimony can stop upon the following factors:


• The remarriage of a person awarded the alimony or a relationship similar to remarriage

• A relationship that produces another child


Child Support and Child Custody


Child support is connected with spousal support as well because the best interests of the child are taken into full consideration by the court.  Establishing child support within the divorce process in AR involves the following and is usually calculated with the Arkansas Child Support Worksheet as well:


• medical, dental, or similar insurance factors

• the maintenance of a trust fund for a child

• daycare expenses

• any other obligated support from each parent


Child Custody


Under Chapter 13-101 of Title 9 Arkansas Code, the following factors are considered by a judge when establishing child support:


• Personal preferences of each child if they are old enough to have proper reason

• The past and future actions and roles of each parent

• Any evidence of past domestic violence


The divorce process in Arkansas also considers a grandparent’s rights to visitation.  If an adoption occurs, the rights are terminated unless the grandparents make a specific request for visitation rights.