Arkansas divorce details
Uncontested vs Contested Divorce
In the state, there are two types of divorce: uncontested and contested. In the contested divorce you and your spouse will have to find out all your conflict situations in the courtroom, your divorce will last for as long until the judge will make decisions on all your controversial issues. Uncontested divorce is a faster procedure and less painful.
Before terminating a marriage, the following questions must be resolved:
- grounds for divorce;
- custody of minor children;
- financial support of underage children;
- amount and period of payment of alimony;
- separation of property and debts;
If you and your spouse have come to a common decision regarding all the above points, then you have the right to get an uncontested divorce, which occurs much faster and cheaper, in contrast to the contested divorce.
The contested divorce can last for years and be very expensive. That's why uncontested divorces are gaining such popularity, you can terminate a marriage only in a couple of months, saving your nerves and money.
The extra issues of the Contested Divorce are:
- It costs more than an Uncontested Divorce.
In the case of an uncontested divorce, a large part of the cost of the process falls on the payment of a lawyer. The average hourly rate of Arkansas's attorney is $ 210, and the average cost of the marriage termination is $ 11,100. If minor children are involved in the process, the cost of the contested divorce in Arkansas will be even higher.
It consumes much time
Probably everyone has a relative or acquaintance who had to survive hell in the process of divorce. And such situations are very frequent, especially when a divorce is contested. It lasts a year, or even more, depending on the complexity of the case
It requires an attorney
Cases when a person was ruined after a divorce is very frequent, because most of the money goes to pay a lawyer. Especially if the divorce lasts more than a year and includes a lot of contentious moments.
Uncontested Divorce in Arkansas
Many people think that divorce is a process that can last for years. But this is not always true. As in most states, a divorce in Arkansas can be quick and painless, it is also called an uncontested divorce, which can be obtained in a month or two. Agree, this is a significant difference compared to the contested divorce, which lasts a year or more. Such a fast procedure of marriage dissolution is justified by the fact that both spouses agree to all conditions and do not have any disputable issues that the court should resolve.
Grounds for the Uncontested Divorce in Arkansas
In order to get an uncontested divorce in Arkansas, you must have a reason established at the legislative level. The reasons for the uncontested divorce is Voluntary separation for a period of at least 18 months. It means that being married one spouse left the second for an uninterrupted period of at least 18 months, and the spouses did not cohabitate. This ground is also called no-fault and indicates that the spouses do not blame each other for the destruction of marriage
However, the law of Arkansas allows to receive an uncontested divorce based on the fault grounds, which include: impotence, conviction of a felony, habitual drunkenness, cruel treatment, mental disease, personal indignities, adultery, refusal to support dependent spouse.
Note that if you want to get an uncontested divorce in Arkansas on the basis of the fault ground, then you and your spouse must agree with this reason. If your spouse does not agree with the fault ground, then you should file for divorce based on the no-fault reason. If you want to get s divorce based on fault grounds, but you spouse doesn’t agree with it, your divorce will be fault and you will not be able to get uncontested divorce.
Arkansas Residency Requirements to file for the divorce
According to the law, you or your spouse must be a resident of the state not less than 60 days before filing a lawsuit, and at least 3 months before the beginning of the trial.
If you are filing for no-fault divorce, the court will require proof that you and your spouse have lived separately for at least 18 consecutive months. The separation must be voluntary, this means that one of the spouses voluntarily left the second for the entire above period, and the second spouse does not necessarily have to agree that he or she should be left, besides the spouses should not cohabit during all 18 months. If you have separated and then have lived together again even for one day, then the period of your separation will be considered interrupted (meaning that you need to start it from the beginning)
How to file for an Uncontested Divorce?
1. File the Petition for the court
From the moment you come to the court, your case will be registered and put a number. When you provide the court with all the necessary documents, the divorce proceeding begins.
2. Provide your spouse with all the required papers
Your duty as a Petitioner, to give another side all the documents. You can do it via post or e-mail. If you occasionally do not know the effectual address of your spouse, you have to tell about this aspect to the court representatives. Unless your spouse is found, the court will announce in media, such as radio, TV, and newspapers about the missing person.
3. Provide the court with extra information
You should also provide the court with all the significant information as common debts, property division, child custody, spousal support, and others. The court must take into account all the tiny issues about your case. Be sure, that you provided the court with everything required.
4. Sign up the Marital Settlement Agreement
It is a particular document, that stipulates that the spouses agree on all the issues, it also clarifies all the significant questions. You can find the sample of it on our website.
5. Get a Final Judgement
In Arkansas, the Final Judgement can be only in 30 days after the process beginning. Both spouses have to appear to the court. If one of the spouses fails to come, the judge makes a solution to prolong the procedure or the final termination. Everything depends on your case and circumstances.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Arkansas
If you and your spouse do not need a lawyer in the process of divorce, then this type of dissolution of marriage is called Do-It-Yourself Divorce. You can fill out the documents yourself, it's absolutely legal. However, please note that if you submit incorrect forms or make mistakes in filling in, the court will reject your documents. Very often for the DIY divorce come to the aid online services that prepare all the necessary documents, you get all the needed papers filled in accordance with the state's requirement, and you do not need to understand the nuances of the legislation. After that you need to file papers with court and send copies to your spouse.
How much does an Uncontested Divorce cost in Arkansas?
Usually uncontested divorce is a cheap procedure, since you do not need to pay a reward to lawyers and mediators. You just need to pay the court fee. Please note that if you fill out the documents yourself, you should be very careful, as in case of any mistake the court will reject your papers. Be sure that if you fill out the forms online with the help of our service, you get a quality paper that will be 100% accepted by the court.
How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Arkansas?
Usually uncontested divorce takes only a couple of months. In the case of the contested divorce, the process can last a year or more. In this situation, a lot depends on whether you have underage children, common property, application for alimony, as well as on the number of controversial issues that have to be decided by the court.
Papers and Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in Arkansas
- Complaint for Divorce
- Restraining Order
- Affidavit of Service by Mail
- Affidavit for Warning Order
- Affidavit of Service by Warning Order
- Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Service of Summons
- Property Settlement Agreement
- Petition for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
- Affidavit in Support of Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
- Order Granting Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis
- Decree of Divorce (without Property Settlement or with Property Settlement)
This is the list of basic forms. However, this does not mean that you need to fill them all. Your list of forms will be individual and will depend on the circumstances of your divorce. What kind of documents you need to sue you can check with a judicial clerk or by using our services.
How to serve your spouse in Arkansas
After you have filled out the documents and filed them with the court, you must give your spouse all the copies so that he or she can get acquainted with the circumstances of the divorce and, if necessary, file a refutation. You can hand over the documents personally to your spouse or his / her attorney. You can also use the services of sheriff and registered or certified mail.
Online Divorce in Arkansas
‘Online Divorce’ is the easiest way to get terminate a marriage. Usually by this term is understanding an online platform where you answering all the questions regarding you mariage and after that receives all needed papers for your divorce. This is very convenient, since you do not have to learn all the nuances of legislation. With the help of online divorce you will receive all the necessary divorce forms that the court will demand. Many couples consider this method to be the most effective, since you do not need to fill out the papers yourself (note that if you submit incorrect forms to the court, they will be rejected), online services will send you all needed divorce documents prepared according to the law, and you will need just to file them with the court. Besides total price of online divorce starts from 149$, which is even cheaper than the cost of one hour of counseling with a lawyer.
Rules for child support in Arkansas
If the family has underage children, the custody award is one of the most important issues in the divorce process. In any case, the court makes its decision on the basis of what is best for the child. In addition, the following factors influence the decision on custody:
- is it possible for the parent to let child communicatie in a full way with the other parent, as well as grandparents after the divorce;
- the presence in the family of facts of ill-treatment with one of the parents or a child;
- sexual violence or a recorded fact of committing sexual violence by a parent who wants to receive a custody of a child;
Similarly, the court draws attention to the child's desire for his or her custodian, provided that the child has already reached a certain age and can reason well.
No less important issue is the calculation of financial support for the child. It is calculated on the basis of the guidelines established by the Supreme Court of the State. Usually the amount of financial support for a minor child is calculated as a percentage of the net income of the parent who will provide financial support. In addition, there is an Administrative Order No. 10, as well as its amendments , which details the procedure of how exactly the court will calculate the income from which financial support will be paid.
Rules for child visitation in Arkansas
As we have already said, the court issues a decision on custody based on the best interests of the child, so the court believes that the child should have frequent and prolonged contacts with both parents, even after the divorce, if this does not harm the interests of the child. Of course, a parent who has custodial rights will spend more time with the child, and to compensate the time for the second parent, the court must accept the visit plan. It is good, if both parents can agree and create a joint schedule with whom and how long the child will spend time. However, if the spouses can not reconcile in this matter, then the court will make its decision based on the atmosphere in the family and prescribing the dates of the visit for each parent. If there were cases of violence in the family, then the court will limit the time spent with the child to the parent who showed aggression. In the same case, visits with child will not be frequent and will take place under the supervision of the police.
Rules for spousal support in Arkansas
As in most states, when divorced in Arkansas, one of the spouses may require another financial support, which is also known as alimony. It can be of different types and durations. Some alimony is paid only while there is a trial, some are paid after the divorce decision is finally taken, some are paid during the whole life. In most cases, if one spouse was engaged in a career, and another with domestic troubles, then the courts will decide on financial support for a less well-off spouse regardless of gender.
When a court makes a decision on alimony, it must make sure that one of the spouses really needs financial support after the divorce, and the second spouse has the opportunity to meet this need. In addition, the duration and amount of alimony can be heavily influenced by the following factors:
- duration of marriage;
- the financial situation of each spouse;
- assets and liabilities of spouses;
- movable and immovable property of spouses;
- standard of living of spouses during marriage.
In the process of divorce, the court has greater freedom of action in the matter of awarding alimony, but often the amount of support is calculated as 20% of the income of the second spouse.
Division of property in Arkansas
When the spouses are divorced, they must divide all their joint property. Legislation of Arkansas states that all property should be divided in half between spouses. However, if the court does not consider this a fair division, then it can offer a different proportion. Please note that the division of property in Arkansas is influenced by the following factors:
- duration of the marriage;
- the age and health of each spouse;
- ability to work;
- sources of income for each spouse;
- the contribution each of the spouses made for the acquisition of property;
- financial capabilities and needs of each spouse;
- tax law.
If the spouses owned any property before marriage, then it is personal, so the court will not divide it.
Division of debt in Arkansas
The division of debts should also be made in the process of divorce in Arkansas. In principle, it is not much different from the division of property, debts should also be divided equally. Here we have in view of debts that were earned during the marriage. If the spouse had debts before the marriage, they should not be divided. The debts that should be divided in a divorce include: mortgage loans, car loans and credit card balances, etc. In the main, each spouse is responsible for a fair share of the debt.
It is not uncommon that in order to achieve a balance, the division of debts is counterbalanced by the division of common property. For example, if a spouse after a divorce wants to get more property, then he or she gets more debts.
Divorce Mediation in Arkansas
Quite often, a third party (mediators) is involved in the process of divorce, whose task is to settle disputes between spouses. Arkansas courts do not require the participation of mediators in divorce, nevertheless, the mediation program in Arkansas exists and is aimed at resolving issues of child custody and everything that is connected with this.
Mediation is a voluntary process, but in rare cases the court can oblige the spouses to seek the help of mediators. In addition, the spouses do not need to pay for the participation of mediators and if they still can not resolve the disputed issues, they have every right to return to court.
How to divorce a missing spouse in Arkansas
If you want to divorce, but do not know where your spouse is, you can still terminate the marriage. This is also known as "Divorce by Publication". Such a name divorce has because of the fact that for the dissolution of marriage you need to file a publication in a local newspaper as a way of serving a spouse. However, before you qualify for this type of divorce, you will have to look for your spouse. If the court to make sure that you have done everything possible, but could not find your spouse, "Divorce by Publication" will be the last attempt to find a spouse, so the court will terminate the marriage.
The Default Divorce in Arkansas
There are situations when a person applies for divorce, but the spouse does not respond to the petition. How to terminate a marriage in this case? The state of Arkansas allows you to dissolve a marriage if your spouse does not respond in the time prescribed by law. Thus, if the spouse is a resident of Arkansas, then he or she is given 20 days to respond to your petition and if he or she is a resident of another state, the waiting period is prolonged to 30 days to respond. If during this time the spouse did not respond to the petition, then your divorce will be considered a Default Divorce.
Grounds for Default Divorce are the same as for all other types of marriage dissolution.
Grounds for the Default Divorce:
- The spouse was impotent before getting marriage and still remains the same
- Mental illness of one of the spouses that lasts for at least 3 years, with no hope of recovery.
- Adultery occurrence.
- The manifestation of ill-treatment towards one of the spouses by the second one.
- Being married one of the spouses was convicted of a serious crime
- Alcohol dependence of one of the spouses for at least 1 year
- One of the spouses made the life of the second one is intolerable
- One of the spouses refuses to support the second spouse, who depends on him or her.
Remember that the main reason for the Default Divorce is that your spouse does not respond to your petition. If you dissolve the marriage in this way, you still have to attend court hearings. The cost of Divorce by Default can be quite high, the average price for the USA is $ 15,000, so courts always recommend that the spouses agree before attempting to get Default Divorce in Arkansas.
Default vs No-Fault Divorce
Both types of divorce are admissible in Arkansas. Divorce by default takes more time, as well as costs more, much depends on the circumstances of your marriage. No-fault divorce is more simple and cheaper procedure, as the spouses has already solved all their questions and have no claims to each other. The courts of Arkansas always stand for a peaceful settlement of issues, so they recommend that the spouses find a common solution to their disputes before the dissolution of marriage begins.
How can I get a Default Divorce Hearing in Arkansas?
Divorce by default can be granted if you fill out "Application and Affidavit of Default" and file it with the Clerk of the Court. You should have 2 copies, one copy should be sent to your spouse the day when you filled application. After that you should wait at least 10 days.
Annulment of the marriage in Arkansas
Another legal procedure to stop a marriage is to annul it, in other words to recognize that the marriage is invalid, since it was concluded in violation of state law. Marriage can be revoked if:
- it is concluded between blood relatives;
- at the time of the marriage ceremony, one of the spouses was not yet 17 years old;
- spouses live in different states for more than 5 years and do not communicate with each other.
Legal Separation in Arkansas
Legal separation is usually a prelude to divorce, but at the same time the couple can reconcile. In order to obtain legal separation, spouses must live separately without cohabitation.To be able to apply for legal separation in Arkansas, one of the spouses must be a resident of the state for 60 days, the decision will be made not less than 30 days after the petition is filed with the court.
The Same-Sex Divorce in Arkansas
The procedure for divorce for same-sex marriage is exactly the same as for all others. At least one spouse must be a resident of Arkansas for not less than 60 days. In addition, the spouses also have to go through the painful steps of property, debts, custody of the child division and award of alimony. If the spouses can talk to each other and find a compromise, it's positively reflected in their divorce, because it will take place in less stressful circumstances and will take less time.
Military Divorce in Arkansas
Divorce for the military does not differ from the divorce for civilians, here the same principles apply, so this will also be useful to you. Note that the process of serving the spouse will be slightly different. You can send documents to your spouse with the help of Army Post Office or Fleet Post Office. If you have any problems with this, you can always contact your commander.
How to divorce a spouse in a jail in Arkansas?
You can consult with a judicial clerk, however, in this dissolution there should be no pitfalls. The procedure for divorce is exactly the same as in all the cases described above.
Divorce filing fee
On average, the procedure for divorce is $ 15,000, most of which is a lawyer's payment, this amount also includes several hundred for payment of court fees and related costs. Note that if you prepare your documents with our service, you will save a significant amount of money, thus total court fee is around $ 200.
Can a filing fee be waived?
You must pay the fee at the time you apply for a divorce petition, if you do not have the opportunity to pay the registration fee, you have the right to ask the court to waive the cost. And if the judge makes sure that it is necessary, you will not have to pay for the divorce.
How we can help
We can help you with all the issues and peculiarities of the document preparation in Arkansas. Online papers preparation and consultation is everything you need to be approved by the court and finally to get the Divorce ?ompleted.
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