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Filing For Divorce In Arkansas

Getting Legal Help With A Divorce In Arkansas

How to file Arkansas Divorce Forms Online

Knowing how to file for divorce in Arkansas is just the beginning. It is important to understand not only the divorce process but also your rights with regard to property, custody and support. An Arkansas divorce lawyer can help you throughout the process of dissolving your marriage to ensure your divorce goes as smoothly as possible and your divorce settlement is one that you can live with going forward.

Agreement On The Issues In Your Divorce

Before you file for an uncontested divorce in Arkansas, you and your spouse will need to work out agreements on all the issues in your case, including:

Arkansas doesn’t have the option of filling out a joint complaint. Instead, only one spouse will complete the complaint. The spouse who files will be the “plaintiff,” and the non-filing spouse will be the “defendant.”

If you don’t have children and own limited property, Arkansas Legal Aid provides an interactive questionnaire that will produce the documents you need to file for divorce.

Arkansas doesn’t have a statewide approved form that you can use for your complaint. However, the Circuit Court Clerk’s office in the county where you’re filing for divorce might have forms that you can use.

Instead of tracking down and filling out the forms yourself, you can use an online divorce service that will provide you with the completed forms and walk you through the divorce process.

How Is Property Divided

  • In the event of adultery and the person who has committed the act of adultery has been spending marital money on a person who is not their spouse, then the spouse has the right to petition for Inequitable Distribution of the Marital Estate. This is when the non-adulterer asks the court to give them more than half of the marital estate because the adulterer spent marital funds on another person.
  • A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in which there is already an agreement in place of the division of property.
  • Inherited property and premarital property are not included in the division, unless it has been commingled.

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Length Of Fault Vs No

Arkansas typically requires that applicants for divorce state fault, or the grounds for the divorce, when filing. The spouse who responds to the others action for divorce may either choose to contest or not contest the implications of fault in the complaint for divorce. If the divorce is not contested, the process tends to move more quickly, even if the judge determines that you should come to court to verify your desire for a divorce. However, if the non-filing spouse contests the veracity of the complaints claims, the court must hear arguments and testimony from both parties in order to reach a decision.

The following are the acceptable grounds for a fault-based divorce in Arkansas:

  • Lack of support
  • Committal to a mental health facility
  • Habitual drunkenness or substance abuse
  • General indignities

The broadest of the grounds listed is general indignities. Vaguely, this requires a showing that the non-filing spouse has made the moving spouses life sufficiently intolerable to require a divorce.

Despite what you may read elsewhere, Arkansas does recognize no-fault divorce. However, achieving a no-fault divorce requires that the couple have lived separately and had no contact for at least 18 consecutive months prior to the divorce action. Any marital contact that interrupts the 18-month period prior to the filing of the divorce action restarts the clock.

Are There Alternatives To Filing For Divorce

Printable Online Arkansas Divorce Papers &  Instructions

Both Arkansas and Missouri recognize legal separation, which may be an alternative in your situation if youre not certain whether you want to end your marriage. Effectively, a legal separation allows you and your spouse to live apart while remaining married. Depending on your circumstances, legal separation may be a beneficial option particularly if there may be a possibility of reconciliation.

In rare circumstances, you may also be able to seek an annulment if you can establish that your marriage was never legally valid from the outset. Its a good idea to discuss your options with an experienced divorce attorney who can advise you concerning the best course of action in your case.

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How To Divorce In Arkansas

The petitioner is the spouse who begins the divorce by submitting the petition, including what is required to file, where to file, and the stages involved in the process in Arkansas.

The petition has to be submitted in the county where one of the spouses has their primary residence If a petition has been filed, it must be served on the other spouse, who is known as the respondent. The respondent has 20 days to reply in writing to the petition.

If the parties can agree on all divorce-related matters, they may petition for an uncontested divorce. A divorce that is uncontested does not involve a trial, and normally may be finalized very quickly. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, they will be required to through a contentious divorce, which may be substantially more time-consuming and include many court appearances.

If you are considering filing for divorce in Arkansas, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney to ensure that you are taking the rightArkansasIf youre contemplating filing for divorce in Arkansas, its vital that you comprehend the procedure and what to anticipate. The first step is to consult with an expert family law attorney on your legal options and to confirm that you are pursuing the correct measures for your situation.

Get Your Divorce Started Today & Save



This easy to use online divorce is a “do it yourself ” solution for any uncontested divorce that will be filed in the state of Arkansas. An uncontested divorce is one in which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and expense of settling your divorce in court.

With 3StepDivorceTM you will complete and print your Arkansas divorce forms instantly. Then, follow our step-by-step filing procedures to file your own divorce in Arkansas in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy. If you’re not ready to file for divorce in Arkansas, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement.


3StepDivorceTM is a premium online divorce solution, a sister company of Divorce Source, the owner and operator of the Divorce Source Network, the web’s largest and most visited online divorce resource since 1997.


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What Are Your Options For Divorce

Aside from the decision to get a divorce, the single most important decision you will make is the type of divorce.

You see, there are only two ways that you reach a final resolution:

  • You and your spouse agree
  • A judge decides
  • Thats it. Those are the only two ways to get a divorce in Arkansas.

    The type of divorce sets the frameworks for how you get to a final resolution. The process you and your spouse choose sets the tone and shapes the outcome of your divorce.

    Before we get into the details, theres one thing I want you to keep in mind: One type of divorce is not better than another. Divorce is not one size fits all.

    Here are the types of divorce:

    • Do-It-Yourself Divorce: What I like to call the kitchen table divorce. This one is pretty straight forward. You dont hire any professionals and attempt to resolve all your differences with your spouse. The biggest downside is you dont know what you dont know. Id steer clear of this approach unless you dont have kids or any money.
    • Online Divorce: A far superior choice to DIY divorce. Navigating the divorce process and legal procedures can be a minefield. A good online divorce platform removes the guesswork. Through guided interviews, youll complete the forms while getting educated on the key legal issues in the process. This can be a great option if you have a relatively straightforward situation and youre on the same page with your spouse.

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    What Are The Residency Requirements To File For Divorce In Arkansas

    How to File For Divorce in Arkansas

    To file for divorce in Arkansas, you or your spouse must have been a resident of Arkansas for at least 60 days before filing for the divorce and 3 full months before the final judgment granting the divorce.1

    No divorce will be granted until at least 30 days have passed from filing for the divorce.2

    1 Ark. Code § 9-12-307

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    Do I Need To Hire An Attorney For A Divorce In Arkansas

    If you and your spouse do not have any property or children, then you may be able to do a pro se divorce or a divorce on your own. The clerk in your county may have paperwork to use or you be able to get the paperwork you need from Legal Aid of Arkansas or their website.

    However, if you have children and property, especially a home or retirement, then you will want to at least speak with an attorney and likely have an attorney look over paperwork.

    Divorces with these issues can become complex and you will want to make sure language is included in your decree to protect your interests and rights now and moving forward.

    Should I Work With A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

    Divorcing spouses in Arkansas often retain a family law attorney to help them through the process. In simple cases, an attorney may be equipped to handle all aspects of the divorce, including the finances.

    But if you have a degree of complexity to your financial situation, you might benefit from working with a divorce financial planning expert.

    The best professional to help in these situations is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst , and preferably someone who is also a Certified Financial Planner .

    A CDFA has specialized training in the financial and tax implications of divorce and can work with you to help you understand the pros and cons of your options.

    What is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst?

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    What If My Spouse Does Not Want A Divorce

    Arkansas is a fault state for divorce. This means you will have to show that your spouse did something to you in order to get a divorce. The only way to get a divorce from your spouse without showing fault is to live separate and apart from your spouse for at least 18 continuous months.

    Your spouse can contest or object to you getting a divorce. However, as long as you can prove fault or prove that you and your spouse have been living separate and apart for at least 18 months, then the court will grant your divorce. You will have to be prepared to put on proof of fault or 18 months of separation. You can do this through witnesses or documentary evidence.

    How To Serve Divorce Papers In Arkansas

    Printable Online Arkansas Divorce Papers &  Instructions

    The final step in the divorce process in filing is to serve your spouse. If you are both in agreement, you can simply hand over the completed divorce papers to your spouse and get him or her to complete an Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Service of Summons, and have your spouse sign it in front of a notary. You also have the option of serving your spouse by certified mail, or using a sheriff’s deputy or a private process server.

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    Where To Find Blank State Forms

    If you prefer to complete your forms on your own, they can be directly downloaded from Arkansas Legal Serviceshere.



    If your divorce is uncontested and your spouse is willing to sign the papers, you can use DivorceWriter to complete your Arkansas divorce forms online. Select “Continue” to start the interview.


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    Can I Get Maintenance Or Will I Have To Provide Maintenance To My Spouse

    When determining spousal support in Arkansas, the primary factor the courts will look at is whether one person can afford to pay spousal support to the other, and whether the person requesting the spousal support needs it. The court will consider the other following factors:

    • The assets of both parties
    • The ability to obtain future employment
    • The life situation of both parties during the marriage
    • The parties standard of living during the marriage
    • Medical needs of either party and
    • Duration of marriage.

    Unless otherwise ordered by the court or agreed to by the parties, spousal support will automatically terminate when the party receiving spousal support remarries, has a child which results in that person receiving or paying child support, or the party living full time with another person, the death of one of the parties, or another condition set forth by the court. Ark. Code Ann. §9-12-312.

    Figure Out Which Forms You Need

    How to file for Divorce in Arkansas #ChenteStudio #ArkansasDivorce/Stay tuned for part 2

    The first step to filing for a divorce in Arkansas is to fill out the proper forms and then submitting or filing them in the county court. The first form you must complete is the Complaint for Divorce, which must state that either your spouse or you have been a resident of the state of Arkansas for at least a period of 60 days and it must also state the grounds for divorce.

    Unsure of which forms to you need? Use an or ask an attorney online.

    The complaint must also address other issues that the court must address such as distribution of property and debt, spousal support, child custody and support.

    Some of the forms needed to file for a divorce in Arkansas are:

    • Answer Form: This form shows proof that the copies of the divorce papers which have been filed have been received by the other party.

    • Dissolution of Marriage: This form consists of the dissolution forms and the marital settlement agreement.

    • Divorce Petition: This form is required to start the divorce process in Arkansas.

    • Divorce Summons: This is provided to the spouse once the petitioner has filed for divorce and must be filled 20 days after receiving the petition.

    • Divorce Verification: This is used after the Divorce Petition is filled.

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    How Long Does An Arkansas Divorce Take

    There is a 30 day waiting period from the time you file for divorce in Arkansas before the court can dissolve your marriage. However, it is likely that an Arkansas divorce will take longer than 30 days due to the steps involved in dividing property and determining issues related to custody and support. If you are pursuing a no-fault divorce, you also must have lived separately for 18 months prior to ending your marriage.

    How Much Does A Divorce Cost In Arkansas

    The cost of a divorce can vary. Much of the cost depends on the other side how much he/she is wanting to contest the divorce and how reasonable are her/his expectations.

    In most counties to file a Complaint for Divorce which is your document telling the court why you are wanting a divorce and what else you want the court to order you the filing fee is $165. This is something the clerk charges. Some counties charge a bit more if they are a county that uses electronic filing.

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    How Is My Divorce Affected If I Am A Member Of The Military In Arkansas

    There are certain rules and processes that govern how military divorces are handled in Arkansas.

    To start, you or your spouse must either live or be stationed in Arkansas so that proper jurisdiction can apply. The same grounds that apply for a civilian divorce also apply for a military divorce as well.

    When a spouse is in the military, they have certain protections afforded to them by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This has several protections for military personnel currently serving on active duty.

    Among these, it allows them to postpone the divorce while they are overseas or otherwise not able to adequately respond to the petition due to military service commitments. However, a service member may choose to waive delaying the divorce by signing off on paperwork which will then allow the divorce to proceed uncontested.

    A division of retirement benefits are governed by the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act. This legislation directs how a former servicemembers retirement benefits should be divided after divorce.

    A key element is that the former spouse must have been married to the former servicemember for a minimum of 10 years while the military member has served on active duty. It also grants healthcare benefits to some former spouses as well as access to military exchanges and commissaries.

    It also governs how retirement pay may be disbursed when it comes to alimony or child support.

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