Arkansas Family Law And Divorce Resource
U.S. Divorce Laws are enacted by each state using their respective legislative process. Once legislation is enacted into law, the family law courts in Arkansas have the authority to manage the divorce proceedings, including, spousal and child support payments, custodial rights of parents and the division of community property.
Since state laws are repealed and amended frequently, it is always advisable to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer before making any important decisions about your marriage.
As of 2016, all states allow for “no fault” divorce. Yet many courts still factor in the respective parties past behavior when determining the division of community property, debts, custody, support and related issues.
SAME-SEX DIVORCE – UPDATE:
On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is a right protected by the US Constitution in all 50 states. It follows, therefore, that the rights and obligations between same-sex divorcing parties are subject to the same dissolution laws of that state. Reference: US Supreme Court Opinion: Obergefell v. Hodges.
To file for divorce or annulment either spouse must show they held their residence in Arkansas for 60 days immediately prior to filing for divorce and residence in the state for three full months before final judgment for divorce is entered.
Separation Leading To Divorce -18 Months
Effectively a no fault provision, the law under fault divorce described below includes the following grounds: The spouses have lived separate and apart from each other for 18 continuous months without cohabitation. Therefore as a condition precedent, eighteen months of separation will technically be considered sufficient grounds for divorce.
Divorce For Cause: Statutory
By statute either spouse may divorce for cause based on the following causes:
- Either party, at the time of the marriage, was and still is impotent;
- Either party has been convicted of a felony or other infamous crime;
- Either party has been addicted to habitual drunkenness for one year, is guilty of such cruel and barbarous treatment as to endanger the life of the other, or offers such indignities to the person of the other spouse that it renders the spouses condition intolerable;
- The spouses have lived separate and apart for three consecutive years without cohabitation due to the incurable insanity of one of them; and
- The spouses have lived separate and apart from each other for 18 continuous months without cohabitation.
Property Division By Decree
The state of Arkansas is an equitable division state. At the time of petitioning for divorce all marital property shall be distributed 50/50 to each party unless the court finds such a division to be inequitable. The following factors among others will be considered by the court:
- The length of the marriage;
- Age, health and station in life of the parties;
- Occupation of the parties;
- Amount and sources of income;
- Vocational skills;
- Estate, liabilities, and needs of each party and opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital assets and income;
- Contribution of each party in acquisition, preservation, or appreciation of marital property, including services as a homemaker.
Marital Support And Alimony
Marital support and alimony shall be determined by the court. However, this support will automatically terminated should any of the following events occur.:
- The party receiving alimony remarries;
- The establishment of a relationship that produces a child and results in a court order directing another person to pay support to the party receiving alimony; or
- The establishment of a relationship that produces a child and results in a court order directing the party receiving alimony to provide support for another person who is not a descendant by birth or adoption of the party paying alimony.
Child Custody – Best Interests Of The Child
The award of custody of a child of the marriage shall be made without regard to the sex of a parent but solely in accordance with what is in the best interest of the child.
Child Support – Best Interests Of The Child
The amount of child support shall be equitable and reasonable. The court however shall refer to the most recent revision of the family support chart. In this regard, there is a presumption for the award of child support that the amount referenced in the chart is the correct amount to be awarded. See Child Support Chart Guidelines
ENFORCING CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS – FEDERAL OPTION
Learn about the Federal Office of Child Support and Enforcement