Arkansas Divorce Laws and How to File

Arkansas Divorce Laws and How to File

Arkansas Divorce Laws and How to File

If you are living in Arkansas and have decided to end your marriage, you must determine how to file for divorce in Arkansas. (Arkansas Divorce Laws)

It’s important to know what types of divorces are available, the time frame for ending your marriage & what your legal rights are during the process.

This article about divorce in Arkansas will tell you everything that you need to know about dissolving your union if you are unhappy.

Who Can File for Divorce in Arkansas?

When you file for a divorce, you generally must do so in the state where you or your spouse lives. Like most states, Arkansas has a specific residency requirements to file for divorce.

Specifically, you can file for an Arkansas divorce only if you or your spouse were an Arkansas resident for at least 60 days before you pointed out and at least three months before that time. When the court officially dissolved your marriage. (Arkansas Divorce Laws)

What are the grounds to file for divorce in Arkansas?

Arkansas allows both of the fault divorces and no-fault divorces. You can get a no-fault divorce if you & your spouse have lived separately for at least 18 months.

You can also get a faultless divorce in Arkansas. However, specific requirements must be met to qualify for a fault divorce. You may qualify for a no-fault divorce on the following grounds:


  • Your spouse has been convicted for a felony or an infamous felony
  • Your spouse was impotent on the time of marriage and is still impotent
  • Spouse’s habitual drinking for at least one year
  • Your spouse treats you cruelly and inhumanly
  • Your spouse treats you in an intolerable way
  • Your spouse is incurably insane & has been committed to a mental institution for at least 3 years before the time you file for divorce.
  • Your spouse can support you, is legally required to do so, and fails to do so

Covenant Marriage in Arkansas

When couples (both) apply for a marriage license, they may specify that they wish to enter a covenant marriage. When they do, it means that divorce becomes more difficult. Arkansas is one of several US states that recognizes covenant marriage.

If you are entered into a covenant marriage, you could only get a divorce if you have grounds for divorce and if you’ve tried marital counseling. Grounds for divorce include:

Living apart for at least two years under a judgment of separation (two years and six months is required if the marriage has minor children unless there is a child or spousal abuse, in which case the breakup is only one year).

  • fornication
  • your spouse is committing a felony or serious crime
  • Your spouse physically or sexually abuses you or your children
  • habitual intoxication

How to File for Divorce in Arkansas

To file for divorce in Arkansas, you must file a complaint for divorce in the circuit court of the county where you or your spouse lives. You can look for an appropriate court forms on the Arkansas Judiciary’s website. (Arkansas Divorce Laws)

For some circuit courts, your court forms may be filed electronically through the Arkansas eFlex system. However, you will need to pay a registration fee to use electronic filing.

You will need to pay a filing fee regardless of whether you file your form online. The introductory price is $165 but is subject to change, and you can check the current fee schedule on the Arkansas Judiciary website.

If you cannot pay this fee, you can submit a petition for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis, along with an affidavit supporting your request. (Arkansas Divorce Laws)

Serving Divorce Paperwork in Arkansas

After you have filed the divorce paperwork, you must send a summons to your spouse. This means providing proper notice to your spouse that you have filed divorce proceedings. You can send summons to your spouse by:

  • First class mail with notice of service by mail and a form for acknowledgment.
  • Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested

If your spouse does not accept service by mail within 20 days, you will need to pay for the sheriff’s office or a private company to deliver the papers to your spouse. Your spouse may be ordered to pay the costs associated with this process unless there is justification for not providing acknowledgment of service by mail.

If you cannot find your spouse, you can provide notice through publication in a local newspaper with the court’s approval.

After your spouse receives the notice, they must respond to the court, or you can file a petition to proceed with the default divorce.

This would mean that the court will grant you the dissolution of marriage and other requests included in your divorce petition. (Arkansas Divorce Laws)

Disputed or uncontested divorce

You can opt for an uncontested or contested divorce in Arkansas.

An uncontested divorce means that you and your spouse agree on the division of property and debts, child custody, child support, and alimony. This can be a cheap, fast, and easy way to divorce.

A contested divorce means that you and your spouse do not agree on all the issues in your divorce and ask the court to decide on them. This involves going to trial & can be a more expensive and time-consuming divorce method.

If you and your spouse can’t agree on a marital settlement, consider mediation to help. A professional mediator can help you develop an agreement that makes sense for your family. (Arkansas Divorce Laws)

What is the waiting period for an Arkansas divorce?

The court will not grant you Arkansas divorce immediately after you request the paperwork. When you file a complaint for divorce, at least 30 days must pass before the court issues a divorce decree. (Arkansas Divorce Laws)

Getting Legal Help with a Divorce Case in Arkansas

Knowing how to file for divorce in Arkansas is just a beginning. It’s important to understand the process of divorce and your rights regarding property, custody, and support.

An Arkansas divorce attorney can help you through the entire process of dissolving your marriage to ensure that your divorce goes as smoothly as possible and that your divorce settlement is one that you can live with moving forward. (Arkansas Divorce Laws)

Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce in Arkansad (FAQs)

How is marital property divided in the Arkansas divorce?

Arkansas is a state with an even distribution. Equitable distribution states divide property equally or fairly in a divorce.

This does not mean that each spouse gets half the shared marital assets. Instead, the court considers several factors, including the marriage’s length and each party’s contribution in determining how to fairly divide the property. (Arkansas Divorce Laws)

Can Alimony Be Received in an Arkansas Divorce?

Alimony may be available in the Arkansas divorce if there is a disparity in earning power between the parties.

Judges consider several factors in determining whether alimony should be awarded, including the standard of living established during the marriage and the earning capacity of each spouse. (Arkansas Divorce Laws)

How long does an Arkansas divorce take?

There is a 30-day waiting period from filing for divorce in Arkansas before the court can dissolve your marriage.

However, an Arkansas divorce will likely take longer than 30 days due to the steps involved in dividing property and determining issues related to custody and support. If you’re pursuing a no-fault divorce, you must also be separated for 18 months before the marriage ends.

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