What Are The Basic Steps For Filing For Divorce
While divorce laws vary by state, here are the basic steps:
- First, you must meet the residency requirements of the state in which you wish to file.
- Second, you must have grounds to end your marriage.
- Third, you must file divorce papers and have copies sent to your spouse.
- Fourth, if your spouse disagrees with anything in the divorce papers, he will then have the opportunity to file papers telling his side. This is called contesting the divorce. In this case, you will have to attend a series of court appearances to sort the issues out. If your spouse does not disagree with anything, he should sign the papers and send them back to you and/or the court. This is called an uncontested divorce. If a certain period of time passes and your spouse does not sign the papers or file any papers of his/her own, you may be able to proceed with the divorce as an uncontested divorce anyway. You should speak to a lawyer in your state about how long you have to wait to see if your spouse answers the divorce papers before you can continue with the divorce.
- Fifth, if there is property that you need divided, or if you need financial support from your spouse, you will have to work that out in an out-of-court settlement, or in a series of court hearings. Custody may also be decided as part of your divorce.
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How To Serve Divorce Papers In Arkansas
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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What Are The Reasons For Divorce In Arkansas From A Traditional Marriage
The reason for a divorce is called the ground for divorce. There are nine reasons for which a judge can grant you a divorce from a marriage in Arkansas.
Basically, this means that it was no ones fault in particular that the marriage fell apart but that the reason for creating that union no longer exists. There is one no-fault ground for divorce in Arkansas:
In this type of divorce, a person may be able to allege that one spouse was the one responsible for, or at fault for, the breakdown of the marriage. There are 8 fault-based grounds for divorce in Arkansas. Any of these grounds must have happened in the 5 years prior to filing for the divorce and they have to happen in Arkansas. If the reason for filing for divorce happened in another state, it still needs to be a reason recognized by Arkansas law 2 The fault-based grounds for divorce in Arkansas are:
How To File For Divorce In Arkansas
To obtain an uncontested divorce ruling, the couple must agree on all matters related to their separation. Therefore, the parties will need to negotiate terms such as child support, custody, spousal maintenance, and the division of marital assets. After a mutually acceptable arrangement is reached, a should be drafted to set forth the terms in writing.
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If Attempts To Serve The Divorce Papers On My Spouse Do Not Work What Is My Next Step
You will have to show the court that you have made diligent attempts to serve your spouse. Diligent attempts means that you have sent the divorce papers to the last known place your spouse was living. You will need to send the papers by certified mail, restricted delivery with return receipt requested or have a process server go to your spouses last known place of residence to attempt service.
Once you have made these attempts, you can file a petition for a warning order with the court. A warning order is essentially a publication in the newspaper in the county where you filed your divorce complaint.
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How Is Child Custody Decided In Arkansas
All decisions about the legal and physical custody of children in Arkansas must be based on what would be in the children’s best interests.
Judges will consider several factors when they make custody decisions . Those factors include, but aren’t limited to:
- the psychological relationship between the parents and the child
- the child’s need for stability and continuity with parents and siblings
- each parent’s past conduct towards the child
- both parents’ moral character, and
- whether either parent has committed domestic violence.
Judges will also take into account the custody preferences of children, if they’re of a sufficient age and mental capacity to reason, regardless of chronological age. As a general rule, the older a child is, the better the chance that a judge will take that child’s wishes into account.
Prepare For Divorce Hearing
The petitioner will need to provide an adult witness in court. This individual must attest that the grounds for divorce are true and that the petitioner or defendant has met the residency requirements. Additionally, the petitioner will need to fill out the Decree of Divorce and bring it with them to the hearing.
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How Does Alimony Work In Arkansas
In determining whether to award alimony in an Arkansas divorce, as well as the amount and duration, the court will consider a list of factors, including:
- the length of the marriage
- the standard of living during the marriage
- each spouse’s current financial situation, and
- the spouses’ age and health.
Temporary alimony is available while the divorce is in progress, if the judge believes it’s warranted.
What Happens If We Can’t Agree On A Divorce Settlement
If you aren’t able to agree with your spouse about one or more of the legal issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll need to go to trial to have a judge resolve the disputes for you. Any time you need a trial, your divorce will take longer and cost more. So if at all possible, it’s in your best interest to do everything you can to come to a settlement agreement that’s fair to both you and your spouse.
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How Long Will It Take To Get A Divorce In Arkansas
From the date you file the divorce complaint, there’s a mandatory 30-day waiting period before an Arkansas judge may grant your final divorce. This applies even if you’ve filed for an uncontested divorce.
Typically, it will take longer than 30 days to finalize your divorce. As with cost, the actual amount of time it will take depends on the circumstances in your case and any court backlogs. When you have an uncontested divorce, some judges will allow you to get a divorce “by affidavit,” which should save time by avoiding a final hearing. You should call the judge’s or court clerk’s office to find out if that policy will apply to your case.
If your divorce is contested, you’ll have to go through a number of legal steps that can add several months to the process. And if you and your spouse aren’t able to reach a settlement agreement at some point, going to trial will require even more timeusually more than a year. Court backlogs can also make the entire process take longer.
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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.
Do I Need To Prove Fault For A Divorce In Arkansas
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.
You can show fault by bringing witnesses with you who have firsthand knowledge that your spouse did something to you based on whatever ground you are pleading.
For example, if your ground is general indignities that you will want to bring a witness with you who can testify that he or she saw your husband or wife treat you saw intolerably.
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Figure Out Which Forms You Need
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 online service 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.
Do Issues Like Support Custody Alimony And Property Have To Be Decided Before Finalizing A Divorce In Arkansas
If you and your spouse have come to an agreement on all of these issues before the final divorce hearing or before the judge signs your divorce decree, then this makes your divorce easier and more cost-effective for you.
However, if you and your spouse cannot agree on any terms or if there are some terms that you disagree on, then you can have a final hearing in front of the judge. The judge will hearing each sides story and what he and she wants before making a decision.
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Can I Get Alimony What Factors Will A Judge Consider
Alimony, also called spousal support, is financial support paid by, or to, your spouse. Alimony in Arkansas may be indefinite or it can be rehabilitative . If the judge thinks its appropriate, s/he will order a reasonable alimony amount based upon the circumstances of you and your spouse and the nature of the case.1
Once an alimony order has been granted, if either party wants to change it in the future, either party may petition the court for a review and modification based upon a significant change of circumstances.1
1 Ark. Code § 9-12-312
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Hi 10 million ship here with divorce 66 1 calm today we’re talking about putting together your final agreement this is known as your marital settlement agreement in years past and a lot of people are still doing this as far as attorneys are concerned the marital settlement agreement was a lengthy drawn-out narrative so a series of paragraphs 20 25 30 pages long and the reason we’re doing this video is the courts are trying to get away from having this long narrative you know 20 25 page written documents regarding your settlement agreement and have many years ago have gone to a forms type set up and that’s how we process divorce cases we use the court forms and I want to explain why we have a lot of people that come to us and say they already have a written agreement, and they want to submit their case to the court, and they’ll either have it done on a piece of paper or these are folks trying to do it themselves, and it lacks the legal sufficient legal language to process through the co
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