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Arkansas Divorce Self-Help Center

Many customer Arkansas divorce questions are answered here.  Browse from the topics below or use the search box to narrow your search.
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What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Arkansas for a non-covenant marriage? 2361
Concerning a non-covenant marriage:

Arkansas is NOT a no-fault divorce state.

In Arkansas, grounds for divorce must be proven, even in an uncontested divorce.

Generally, the least complicated ground to prove is:
  • 18 Month Separation-The parties have lived separate and apart without sexual relations for a period of eighteen (18) consecutive months.

    There are other grounds for divorce in Arkansas:
  • Impotence-When your spouse, at the time of the contract, was and still is impotent.
  • Felony conviction-When your spouse has been convicted of a felony or other infamous crime.
  • Habitual Drunkenness-When your spouse has been addicted to habitual drunkenness for one (1) year.
  • Cruel and Barbarous Treatment -When your spouse has been guilty of such cruel and barbarous treatment as to endanger the life of the other.
  • General Indignities-When your spouse has offered such indignities to you and has rendered your condition intolerable.
  • Adultery-When your spouse has committed adultery subsequent to the marriage.
  • Do we have to be separated to get a divorce in Arkansas? 2369
    The length of time you must be separated may be longer depending on whether the marriage is a covenant marriage:
    • If the marriage is a covenant marriage, you must have lived separate and apart without reconciliation for a period of two (2) years.
    • If the marriage is not a covenant marriage, you must have lived separate and apart without sexual relations for a period of eighteen (18) months.
    How long does it usually take to finalize a divorce in Arkansas? 2367
    Getting a divorce in Arkansas takes a minimum of thirty (30) days from the date a Complaint for Divorce is filed.
    What are the basic steps to getting a divorce in Arkansas? 2364
    1) Both spouses review and then sign the divorce documents in front of a Notary.
    2) The Plaintiff files the Complaint for Divorce and other initial divorce documents with the Circuit Clerk and pays the filing fee.
    3) The Defendant signs the Answer to Complaint for Divorce in front of a Notary.
    4) The Plaintiff files the remaining documents with the Circuit Clerk. At this time, plaintiff obtains a Notice of Hearing from the Circuit Clerk, has it completed by the case coordinator, and files the completed Notice with the Circuit Clerk.
    4) Both spouses attend the hearing, where the grounds for divorce must be proven.
    5) The Judge signs the Decree of Divorce if he/she is satisfied with the evidence presented in proving the grounds for divorce.
    How much is the filing fee in Arkansas? 2365
    The DivorceWriter price does NOT include the filing fee charged by the Circuit Clerk when you file for divorce. The fee for filing for divorce is usually $165.
    How do I serve my spouse with the divorce papers in Arkansas? 2368
    Our Arkansas DivorceWriter documents include an Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Service of Summons, which is a document that the non-filing spouse will sign in front of a Notary Public. This document has a few purposes, one of which is officially notifying the Court in writing that the non-filing spouse acknowledges receipt of the Complaint for Divorce, and that he or she waives the right to formal service of the Complaint.

    If any customer encounters a problem where the Clerk's office requests a Summons, he or she should first make sure that the Clerk has acknowledged that the Defendant has waived service in the Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Service of Summons. This should be sufficient, although we can provide a traditional Summons if necessary. Traditional service will require the filing spouse to find a friend (aka helper), to actually hand the documents to the Defendant, and then have the Defendant sign an acknowledgement of service that is filed with the Court.
    Where do I file my divorce papers in Arkansas? 2354
    If the petitioning spouse resides in Arkansas, then the divorce should be filed in the county where the petitioning spouse resides. If the petitioning spouse is not a resident of Arkansas, but the defendant is a resident of Arkansas, then your divorce shall be filed in the county where the defendant resides.
    Will either of us be required to attend a court hearing? 2356
    In Arkansas, you will need to contact the Court Clerk for your county to determine if both spouses must attend the divorce hearing. This requirement varies by county..

    Most courts will allow the 18 Month Separation ground to be supported by a witness through the Affidavit of Corroborating Witness (which is a document signed by the witness in front of a Notary Public and filed to avoid the need to bring the witness to the hearing).

    If other grounds are used, the Plaintiff will most likely be required to bring a witness with him/her to the hearing who has first-hand knowledge of your grounds. The witness cannot testify as to what you told them, he or she has to personally know about the details of the grounds for themselves.
    Does Arkansas require divorcing spouses and/or their child(ren) to attend a class or seminar on coping with divorce? 2372
    When the parties to a divorce action have minor children residing with one (1) or both parents, the court, prior to or after entering a Decree of Divorce may require parties to complete at least two (2) hours of classes concerning parenting issues faced by divorced parents.

    See: Ark. Stat. Ann. § 9-12-322
    What is considered to be the date of separation in Arkansas? 2358
    The term "separation date" refers to the date when the spouses stopped living at the same residence.
    Can I change my name in Arkansas divorce proceedings? 2370
    Through Arkansas divorce proceedings, the wife may request to restore her name to the name she had before the marriage took place. Ark. Stat. Ann. § 9-12-318.
    What documents are included in the self-prepared Arkansas DivorceWriter package? 2366
    Your self-prepared Arkansas DivorceWriter package will typically include:
    • Arkansas Divorce Filing Procedures
    • Domestic Relations Cover Sheet
    • Complaint for Divorce and Verification
    • Entry of Appearance Pro Se and Waiver of Service of Summons
    • Answer to Complaint for Divorce
    • Affidavit(s) of Financial Means
    • Property Settlement Agreement
    • Decree of Divorce
    Customers with minor children will also receive the following:
    • Confidential Information Sheet
    • Affidavit of Financial Means

    Note: You may receive additional documents depending on your answers to our online interview. In the same regard, you may not receive some of the documents in the above list, depending on your answers to our online interview.
    What are the Arkansas residency requirements for filing for divorce? 2360
    The plaintiff must prove that one of the spouses has been a resident of the state for 60 days before filing for divorce, and that one of the spouses has been a resident of the state for 3 full months before the final judgment granting the decree of divorce.
    What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Arkansas for a covenant marriage? 2641
    Concerning a covenant marriage:

    Arkansas is NOT a no-fault divorce state.

    In Arkansas, grounds for divorce must be proven, even in an uncontested divorce.

    The grounds for divorce in Arkansas are:
    • The spouses are legally separated, have no minor children, and have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for a period of two (2) years from the date the judgment of judicial separation was signed.
    • The spouses are legally separated, have minor children, and have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for a period of two (2) years and six (6) months from the date the judgment of judicial separation was signed.
    Is it more difficult to prove grounds other than the 18 month separation? 2643
    In order to prove an 18 month separation (or 24 month for a "Covenant" marriage), the residency and the separation must be proven and corroborated by a witness (either through a signed Affidavit or testimony at the final hearing) who has actual knowledge of the residency and separation. The witness must have known the party for the entire 18 month period of separation.

    Proving other grounds requires factual evidence and sufficient non-conclusory proof of the grounds.
    What if my spouse (the Defendant) is in another state or cannot otherwise attend the hearing? 3278
    In Arkansas, each county handles this issue differently. The spouse unable to attend the hearing should contact the Court Clerk's office in the county the divorce papers were filed and ask what the procedure is if the Defendant is unable to attend the divorce hearing.
    What if the Clerk in my County will not issue the Notice of Hearing? 2879
    Contact us at info@divorcewriter.com and we will e-mail supplemental documents, including a Notice of Hearing so that you can instantly download and print them.
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    What if my spouse and I have agreed to use a child support amount that is different from the standard amount set by the Child Support Guidelines? 2357
    DivorceWriter shows the child support calculation under the guidelines using the Arkansas family support charts.

    The customer chooses whether to use the guideline calculation or to deviate from that calculation by entering a different child support amount. If the amount is a deviation from the basic support obligation, the customer will explain the reasons for the deviation in the Property Settlement Agreement. The court may grant less or more support if the evidence shows that the needs of the dependent(s) require a different level of support.
    What are the different types of custody in Arkansas? 2362
    "Legal custody" grants one spouse the right to make any legal decisions over the upbringing of the child.

    "Physical custody" refers to the right to live with the child.

    "Joint Custody" means both parents come to an agreement and share legal as well as physical custody over their children and make joint decisions.
    How is child support calculated in Arkansas? 2355
    Arkansas courts calculate child support by taking into account the custodial parent's net income, the non-custodial parent's net income, the number of children and the division of parenting time between both parents.

    See Arkansas Child Support Guidelines.
    We already have a child support order issued by a judge. Will we be able to keep the same amount? 2371
    DivorceWriter provides the option to enter information regarding an existing child support order including the amount of support ordered and other identifying case information. Generally, you will also be expected to staple one copy of the prior child support order to each copy of the Property Settlement Agreement you will file with the Court.
    When can a child support order be modified in Arkansas? 2363
    To get an order changed, the party asking for the modification must prove a material change in circumstances since the date of the original decree.

    A change in gross income of the payor in an amount equal to or more than twenty percent (20%) or more than one hundred dollars ($100) per month shall constitute a material change of circumstances sufficient to petition the court for modification of child support according to the family support chart after appropriate deductions.

    For more information, see Ark. Stat. Ann. § 9-14-107.
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    Why do I have to complete financial disclosures in an uncontested divorce? 3877
    More than half of the states require one or both spouses to complete a document listing th... more
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