Divorce Law in Arkansas


Divorce in Arkansas is more complicated than in many other states.  The following is an overview of the process here.

No two cases are the same, and there are many exceptions and  variances. Please call us at (501) 291-0946 so that we can help you to better understand how the law applies to your situation. 

Grounds for Divorce

Arkansas is not a no-fault state.  To divorce in Arkansas, you must have grounds; you cannot just tell the Court that you have irreconcilable differences. Adultery, habitual drunkenness,  domestic violence, and abandonment are some examples of grounds for divorce in Arkansas.  Separation for more than eighteen months also constitutes grounds for divorce.

Most petitions for divorce in Arkansas cite general indignities as the grounds.  General indignities is defined as "such indignities to the person of the other as shall render his or her condition intolerable."

Residency Requirements

In order to get a divorce in Arkansas, you or your spouse must have been an Arkansas resident for at least sixty days prior to filing.  However, if you have children and have recently moved to Arkansas, you might want to wait before you file.  Please see the child custody page on this site for more information.

How long does a divorce take?

A divorce cannot be granted until at least thirty days after the petition for divorce is filed.  In most cases, it takes longer.  In a contested case involving child custody or property division, it may take a very long time. 

What about Property and Debt?

As a general rule, marital property and debt are divided equally between the spouses.  There are many exceptions to this, and it is extremely important that you have good legal advice if division of property and debt are an issue in your case. 

Generally speaking, all property obtained during the course of a marriage is marital property.  This includes real estate, personal property, bank accounts, investments, and retirement accounts.  Property obtained through inheritance may or may not be considered marital property, depending upon the circumstances.

Debt incurred during the course of the marriage is generally considered to be marital debt.  Again, there are some exceptions.

Who gets the Kids?

Arkansas Courts make custody decisions based upon what is in the best interest of the child.  Click here for more information on Child Custody and Support.

How much is this going to cost?

Every divorce is different.  How much it will cost is based on a number of factors.  By far the biggest factor to consider is level of conflict.  Simply put, the more conflict in your particular situation, the more costly it is likely to be.  Please click here for more information on Fees and Costs, and here for Money Saving Strategies.