Arkansas Divorce Laws

Arkansas Divorce Laws - Termination of wedding in Arkansas is cited as Absolute Divorce and Divorce from the Bonds of Matrimony. 

Residency Requirement:

To file for termination of a non-covenant wedding, either party should show residence in Arkansas for sixty days straightaway before filing the action and a residence within the state for 3 full months before the ultimate judgment granting the decree of divorce.

Covenant Marriages:

To file for divorce or edict in an exceedingly covenant wedding, one or each spouses should be domiciled within the state and also the ground declared was committed or occurred within the state or whereas the marital domicile was within the state. 

If the bottom occurred elsewhere whereas either or each spouses were domiciled elsewhere, the party getting the edict should are domiciled within the state before the time the reason for action accumulated and is domiciled within the state at the time the action is filed.


The criticism for Divorce is also filed within the Circuit Court of the county wherever the litigant (filing party) resides unless he/she could be a nonresident of Arkansas and also the litigant (non-filing party) could be a resident of the state; then the continuing is also within the county wherever the litigant resides.

The statements within the criticism won't be accepted as true due to the litigant’s failure to answer or admission of their truth on the a part of the Defendant.

No decree of divorce shall be granted till a minimum of thirty days have passed since the date the criticism was filed. once the litigant can't be in person served, or fails to enter his/her look within the action, no decree of divorce shall be granted till the litigant has maintained associate actual residence within the Arkansas for no but 3 months.

A divorce decree is also annulled by joint petition of the parties, verified by each parties nose to nose, and filed within the court rendering the judgment.

Spouse’s Name: 

In all cases once the court finds that either party is entitled to a divorce, the court might restore the adult female to the name that she had before the wedding.

Covenant wedding

Arkansas statute defines covenant wedding as a wedding entered into by one male and one feminine WHO perceive and agree that the wedding between them may be a long relationship. Parties to a covenant wedding receive licensed direction that emphasizes the character, purposes, and responsibilities of wedding.

A man and a lady could contract a covenant wedding by declaring their intent to try and do therefore on their application for a wedding license, PRN, and capital punishment a declaration of intent to contract a covenant wedding.

Couples WHO square measure already married could convert their wedding to a covenant wedding by submitting a replica of their wedding certificate and capital punishment a declaration of intent to designate their wedding as a covenant wedding to be ruled by the applicable laws. The Declaration should be filed with the officer WHO problems wedding licenses within the county within which the couple is domiciled. Arkansas Divorce Laws

Only when there has been a whole and total breach of the marital status covenant commitment could a celebration get a declaration that the wedding isn't any longer wrongfully recognized. all told divorce decrees that dissolve a covenant wedding created underneath the Covenant wedding Act of 2001, the court shall enter a finding that {the wedding|the wedding} being dissolved may be a covenant marriage. 

Legal Grounds for Divorce

“Regular” (Non-covenant) wedding Dissolution Grounds:

The circuit court could dissolve and put aside a wedding contract, each from bed and board, and from the bonds of matrimony, for the subsequent causes:
1. Either party, at the time of contract, was and still is impotent;

2. Either party has been convicted of a felony or other infamous crime;

3. 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 his/her condition intolerable;

4. Adultery;

5. The spouses have lived separate and apart for three consecutive years without cohabitation due to the incurable insanity of one of them; and

6. The spouses have lived separate and apart from each other for 18 continuous months without cohabitation.
When the couple has lived separate and apart for 18 months, the court shall grant an absolute decree of divorce at the suit of either party, whether the separation was the voluntary act of one party or by the mutual consent of both parties or due to the fault of either party or both parties.

When the couple has lived separate and apart for three years due to the insanity of one of them, the court shall grant a decree of absolute divorce upon the petition of the sane spouse if the proof shows the following regarding the insane spouse:
He/she has been committed to an institution for the care and treatment of the insane for at least three years prior to filing;
He/she has been adjudged to be of unsound mind by a court of competent jurisdiction;
He/she has not been discharged from that adjudication by the court;
Proof of the insanity is supported by the evidence of two reputable physicians familiar with the mental condition of the spouse, one of whom is a regularly practicing doctor in the community where the spouse resided; and
The proof in the case is supported by the evidence of the superintendent of one of the physicians of the institution where the insane spouse has been confined.
The cause of action and cause of divorce must have occurred or existed in the state or, if out of state, must be a legal cause of divorce laws in Arkansas, the laws of this state to govern exclusively and independently of the laws of any other state as to cause of divorce laws; and the cause must have occurred or existed within the five years immediately before commencement of the suit.

A divorce will not be granted if the cause asserted has occurred due to the collusion of the parties or was done with an intent to procure a divorce; if the Complainant consented to the act; or both parties were guilty of the “wrong-doing”.

Covenant Marriage Dissolution Grounds:

A Plaintiff who files for dissolution of a covenant marriage must state in his/her petition that he/she is seeking to dissolve a covenant marriage.
If after obtaining authorized counseling, a party to a covenant marriage still desires a divorce, he/she may seek a judgment for one only upon proof of the following grounds:
1. The other spouse has committed adultery;

2. The other spouse has committed a felony or other infamous crime;

3. The other spouse has physically or sexually abused the spouse seeking the divorce or a child of one of the spouses:

4. The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for a period of two years; or

5. The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for a period of two years from the date the judgment of judicial separation was signed, or, if there's a minor kid or youngsters of the wedding, they need been living separate and apart ceaselessly while not reconciliation for 2 years and 6 months from the date the judgment of edict was signed.
However, if abuse of a toddler of the wedding or of 1 of the spouses was the premise for the edict, then the judgment of divorce could also be obtained if the spouses are living separate and apart ceaselessly while not reconciliation for a amount of 1 year from the date the judgment of edict was signed.


Prohibited and Void Marriages:
In marriages wherever the parties area unit beneath age (a male beneath seventeen years or a feminine beneath sixteen years) and consent from a parent or guardian had not been obtained, or there has been a deception older by a acquiring party, the wedding contract should be put aside associate degreed annulled if the parent(s) or guardian files an application to the circuit court with jurisdiction.
All marriages between folks and youngsters, together with grandparents and grandchildren of each degree, between brothers and sisters (half or whole), and between uncles and nieces, and between aunts and nephews, and between initial cousins area unit declared to be incestuous and fully void. 
Marriage between persons of the same sex is void.
No one may marry another person if his/her former spouse is still living, unless that former marriage has been dissolved for one of the legal grounds of the state.
In all cases in which any husband abandons his wife, or any wife abandons her husband, and resides outside of the state for five successive years without being known to the other spouse to be living during that time, the abandoning party’s death shall be presumed. Any subsequent marriage entered into after the end of the five year period shall be as valid as if the husband or wife were actually deceased.

Voidable Marriages: 
Either party to a marriage is incapable of consenting to any marriage due to age or understanding;
Either party is incapable of entering into the marriage state due to physical causes; or
Consent of either party to the marriage has been obtained by force or fraud.
These marriages shall be void from the time its nullity shall be declared by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Property Division

Arkansas is associate degree evenhanded division state. At the time a divorce laws decree is entered all marital status property shall be distributed 50/50 to every party unless the court finds such a division to be unjust. In those cases, the court can give for different distributions as deemed evenhanded and when considering the subsequent factors:
The length of the marriage;
Age, health and station in lifetime of the parties;
Occupation of the parties;
Amount and sources of income;
Vocational skills;
Estate, liabilities, and desires of every party and chance of every for additional acquisition of capital assets and income;
Contribution of every party in acquisition, preservation, or appreciation of marital status property, together with services as a homemaker; and
The federal tax consequences of the court’s division of property.
All different property shall be came back to the party UN agency in hand it before the wedding unless the court shall build another division that the court deems evenhanded. All final orders or judgments shall designate the particular real and private property to that every party is entitled.

When stocks, bonds, or alternative securities issued by a corporation, association, or government entity conjure a part of the marital status property, the court shall designate in its final order or judgment the precise property in securities to that every party is entitled, or once deciding the honest value of the securities, could order and judge that the securities be distributed to 1 party on condition that 0.5 the honest value of the securities in cash or alternative property be put aside and distributed to the opposite party in office of division and distribution of the securities. 

Arkansas statute defines marital status property as all property noninheritable by either spousal equivalent once the wedding with the subsequent exceptions:
Property noninheritable before the wedding or by gift or by reason of death of another, together with insurance take, payments created beneath a postponed compensation set up, or a private retirement program (IRA), and property noninheritable by right of survivorship, by a trust distribution, by heritage or inheritance, or by a due on death (POD) or a transfer on death (TOD) arrangement;
Property noninheritable in exchange for property noninheritable before the wedding or in exchange for property noninheritable by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;
Property noninheritable by a spousal equivalent once a decree of divorce from bed and board;
Property excluded by valid agreement of the parties;
The increase in price of property noninheritable before wedding or by gift or by reason of death of another, together with insurance take, payments created beneath a postponed compensation set up, or associate degree IRA and property noninheritable by right of survivorship, by a trust distribution, heritage or inheritance, or by a POD or TOD arrangement, or in exchange for that property;
Benefits received or to be received from a workers’ compensation claim, personal injury claim, or Social Security claim once those edges area unit for any degree of permanent incapacity or future medical expenses; and
Income from property owned before the wedding or from property noninheritable by gift or by reason of the death of another, together with insurance take, payments created beneath a postponed compensation set up, or an IRA, and property noninheritable by right of survivorship, by a trust distribution, by heritage or inheritance, or by a POD or TOD arrangement, or in exchange for same.
The court isn't needed to deal with the division of property at the time a divorce laws decree is entered if either party is concerned in an exceedingly bankruptcy continuing. 

Alimony and Support

When a decree is entered, the court shall build orders regarding the support payment of the married person or husband as area unit cheap from the circumstances of the parties and also the nature of the case. 

Unless otherwise ordered by the court or united to by the parties, support payment can mechanically finish once one among the subsequent occurs:
The party receiving support payment remarries;
The institution of a relationship that produces a child(ren) and ends up in a judicial writ guiding another person to pay support to the party receiving support payment (considered the equivalent of marriage); or
The establishment of a relationship that produces a child(ren) 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 (considered the equivalent of marriage.)
In addition to any other remedies available, alimony may be awarded under proper circumstances to either party in fixed installments for a specified period of time subject to the death of either party, the remarriage of the receiving party, or other contingencies as set forth in the award, so the payments qualify as periodic payments among the that means of the inner Revenue Code.

Child Custody and Support


In AN action for Arkansas Divorce Laws, the award of custody of a toddler of the wedding shall be created while not reference to the sex of a parent however alone in accordance with the welfare and best interest of the kid. 

In determinant the simplest interest of the kid, the court could think about the preferences of the kid if the kid is of sufficient age and capability to reason, in spite of age.

When it's within the best interests of a toddler, custody shall be ordered in such some way on assure the frequent and continued contact of the kid with each folks, and will think about subsidization joint custody of a toddler to the fogeys in creating the order for custody.

When creating AN order for custody, the court could think about, among alternative factors, that party is additional doubtless to permit the kid frequent and continued contact with the non-custodial parent.

If a celebration to AN action regarding custody of or a right to visitation with a toddler has committed AN act of violence against the party creating the allegation or a family or unit member of either party and also the allegations ar proved by a preponderance of the proof, the circuit court should think about the impact of the violence upon the simplest interests of the kid, whether or not or not the kid was physically harmed or in person witnessed the abuse, along with any facts and circumstances that the circuit court deems relevant.

The court operates below the presumption that it's not within the best interest of the kid to be placed within the custody of AN abusive parent in cases within which there's a finding by a preponderance of the proof that the parent has engaged in a very pattern of domestic abuse; nor within the care or custody of a convict or to possess unattended visitation with a convict.

Parenting Class:

When the parties to a divorce action have minor kids residing with one or each parties, the court could need them to attend parenting categories before or once getting into a decree of divorce. {the folks|the oldsters|the fogeys} could need to complete a minimum of 2 hours of categories regarding parenting problems long-faced by single parents or withstand mediation in reference to addressing parenting, custody and visitation problems. 

Each party are going to be answerable for his/her value of attending categories or mediation. The parties could select a intermediator from a listing provided by the choose of mediators WHO have met the Arkansas different Dispute Resolution Commission’s demand pointers for inclusion on a court-connected mediation listing, or choose a intermediator not on the listing, if approved by the choose. 


When determinant an affordable quantity of support, the court shall see the foremost recent revision of the family support chart. there's a presumption for the award of kid support that the number documented within the chart is that the right amount to be awarded.

To overcome this presumption, there should be a finding that the applying of the support chart would be unjust or inappropriate, as determined below established criteria set forth within the chart.

The Arkansas Divorce Laws, The Family Support Charts use the varied proportion of financial gain Model in determinant support payment obligations. There ar weekly, biweekly, monthly and semi-monthly charts. they're supported the paying parent’s net profit and also the variety of kids for whom support is being ordered.

When the paying parent’s financial gain exceeds that shown on the chart(s), the subsequent percentages of {the quantity|the quantity|the number} of the payer’s financial gain that exceeds the chart quantity shall be wont to set and establish a greenback amount of support:
  • 15% for one dependent;
  • 21% for 2 dependents;
  • 25% for 3 dependents;
  • 28% for four dependents; 
  • 30% for 5 dependents; and
  • 32% for 6 dependents.

To figure support payment once financial gain exceeds the chart amounts, add along the most chart quantity and also the proportion of the greenback quantity that exceeds that figure, victimization the chances on top of. the overall are going to be the kid support obligation quantity.

Relevant factors to be thought of by the court in determinant applicable amounts of kid support shall embrace the following:
  • Food;
  • Shelter and utilities;
  • Clothing;
  • Medical expenses;
  • Educational expenses;
  • Dental expenses;
  • Child care;
  • Accustomed commonplace of living;
  • Recreation;
  • Insurance;
  • Transportation expenses; and
  • Other financial gain or assets offered to support the kid from no matter supply, together with the financial gain of the protective parent.

Other factors may additionally warrant changes to the kid support obligations and will embrace the following:
  • The procural and maintenance of life assurance, insurance, dental insurance for the children’s benefit;
  • The provision or payment of necessary medical, dental, optical, psychological or message expenses of the children;
  • The creation or maintenance of a fund for the children;
  • The provision or payment of education wants or expenses of the child;
  • The provision or payment of day look after a child;
  • The extraordinary time spent with the non-custodial parent, or shared or joint custody arrangements;
  • The support needed and given by the paying parent for dependent kids, even within the absence of a court order; and
  • When the number of kid support indicated on the chart is a smaller amount than the conventional prices of kid care, the court shall think about whether or not a deviation is suitable.

In addition to the award of kid support, the writ shall offer for the child’s health care wants, that ordinarily includes insurance if offered to either parent at an affordable value.
The court could offer for the payment of kid support on the far side the eighteenth birthday of the kid to handle the tutorial wants of a toddler whose eighteenth birthday falls before graduation from highschool, only if the support is conditional on the kid remaining in class. 
The court may additionally offer for the continuation of support for a private with a incapacity that affects the flexibility of the individual to measure severally from the protective parent.

The court could needed the parent ordered to pay support payment to furnish and file a bond with the clerk of court, post security, or provide another guarantee in AN quantity and with sureties that the court directs.

Judicial Separation, Separate Maintenance and Divorce from Bed and Board

“Regular” (Non-covenant) wedding Legal Separation Grounds:

When a non-covenant man and wife separates however chooses to not terminate the wedding, they will request a divorce from bed and board or separate maintenance. These actions have all an equivalent needs ANd provisions as an absolute divorce: grounds, residence, division of property, institution of kid custody and support; however don't terminate the wedding, nor do they leave the parties liberated to wed.

Covenant wedding Legal Separation Grounds:

Judicial separation refers to the legal proceeding that ends up in a court determination that the parties to a covenant wedding live separate and apart. If once getting licensed message, a celebration to a covenant wedding still desires to separate, he/she could request a judgment of fiat solely upon proof of the subsequent grounds:
1. the opposite spousal equivalent has committed adultery;

2. the opposite spousal equivalent has committed a law-breaking and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment;

3. the opposite spousal equivalent has physically or sexually abused the spousal equivalent seeking the legal separation, or a toddler of 1 of the spouses;

4. The spouses are living separate and apart incessantly while not reconciliation for a amount of 2 years; or

5. the opposite spousal equivalent has been smitten by habitual drunkenness for one year, is guilty of such cruel and barbarous treatment on endanger the lifetime of the opposite, or offers such indignities to the person of the opposite spousal equivalent that it renders his/her condition intolerable.
An action for a fiat in a very covenant wedding is also brought in a very county wherever either party is domiciled or within the county of the last marital domicile.

In a continuing for a fiat in a very covenant wedding or thenceforth, a court could award a spousal equivalent an equivalent relief granted in a very continuing for divorce, together with spousal support, claims for contributions to education, kid custody, legal right, support payment, injunctive relief, and possession and use of a family residence or joint property.

Judicial separation in a very covenant wedding doesn't dissolve the bond of matrimony since the separated spouses don't seem to be liberated to wed, however it puts AN finish to their connubial habitation and to the common considerations that existed between them. Spouses WHO ar judicially separated in a very covenant wedding shall retain that standing till either reconciliation or divorce.
That is about Arkansas Divorce Laws, Thanks