Arkansas is called “The Natural State,” because of its beautiful outdoor spaces that include 52 national parks. Your focus should probably be on Arkansas divorce laws, though, if your marriage has turned ugly.
Arkansas divorce laws on adultery
Divorce laws in Arkansas allow both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce.
Fault grounds used to be the only method available. The fault grounds in Arkansas include impotency, committing a felony, drunkenness, cruelty, and adultery. So you still can get a divorce in Arkansas by going into court and proving that your spouse has cheated on you.
That does not make sense for most people, though.
Arkansas divorce laws on waiting period
In the 1970s, states started adopting “no-fault” divorce laws.
In Arkansas, the no-fault grounds for divorce are living separate and apart for 18 months. This is what most people will call a separation period. That is a very long time, though.
In many states, you can get divorced in a matter of weeks if not days. Arkansas divorce laws entail estranged couples to follow effectively the year-and-a-half waiting period, though courts do not check too closely if a couple claims they have been split long enough.
Owing to the long waiting period for a no-fault divorce, you may see more fault divorces in Arkansas than in other states.
Arkansas divorce laws on property division
According to Arkansan divorce laws, during a divorce, all of the couple’s marital property is added up.
This includes everything they earned during the marriage. Things like gifts or inheritances intended for one spouse are considered separate. Arkansas requires all this marital property to be divided in half, unless the court finds that to be “inequitable.”
The court can give one spouse more of the assets after considering factors like the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, their ability to make money in the future, and how much they contributed to the marriage.
Arkansas divorce laws on alimony
A court can order one spouse to make ongoing payments to the other spouse if that is “reasonable under the circumstances.”
These payments, called alimony or spousal support, are intended to help the lower-earning spouse keep up his or her standard of living.
Historically the idea was that a husband cannot just dump his wife because she cannot care for herself.
Alimony is less common today but it can show up after long marriages sometimes.
Arkansas divorce laws – child custody and support
Arkansas divorce laws entail a court to also determine issues related to children.
The child has to have a place to live and money to be cared for. Usually a couple will agree on a joint physical custody where the child goes back and forth between each parent’s house.
The parents will collaborate on big issues like what religion the child should practice. Judges have to review any agreement between the parents and can overrule them, but parenting decisions are difficult to make in a courtroom so voluntary agreements are important and encouraged.
Child support is determined after custody. The state has developed a calculator that comes up with an estimated support amount. It factors in each parent’s earnings and where the child is going to live. Judges can deviate from this estimate, but most will not.