If you have arrived at the decision to end your marriage, you’ve likely already gone through a substantial amount of stress. Now that you are at the point where you are seeking divorce, you want to move forward as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Fortunately, the state of Arkansas makes it relatively easy to get divorced, as long as your divorce is not a complicated one. If you and your spouse are in agreement on the need to get divorced, how you will divide up your property and how you will care for your children (if you have children), then you simply need to fill out the appropriate Arkansas divorce papers and file them with your county clerk.
If you are in a more complicated situation where there are disagreements about issues like the division of property, child custody or child support then you may face additional challenges. If you and your spouse can not come to agreement about these issues on your own, then a family court will be forced to make the decisions for you. To avoid this more costly and time intensive process you may consider a mediated divorce. However, if mediation is not an option you’ll likely need to seek legal representation .
The following information is provided to help you understand the divorce process in Arkansas, and how to you can forward with your own divorce.
Divorce information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), puts the Arkansa divorce rate in 2011 at 5.3 for every 1,000 residents. This figure puts Arkansas at the higher end of divorce rates in the United States.
Arkansas is fault-based divorce state that requires you to file a reason for your divorce. In Arkansas, grounds for divorce include:
A Felony Conviction
Separation – Living apart for 18 months consecutively
Incurable Insanity – For one year or more
If you and your spouse are in agreement about the need for divorce, you can move forward with an “uncontested divorce”. This is the easiest and fastest way to get divorced in the Arkansas. If your spouse does not agree to the divorce, you must prove the grounds on which you claimed in your filing. Proof includes producing a witness to support your argument, or a written affidavit from the witness to present at the divorce hearing.
Further, you or your spouse must be a resident of an Arkansas county for at least 60 days before filing for divorce. If you do not live in the state then you must file in the county where your spouse lives.
The main divorce form in Arkansas is the “Complaint For Divorce”, where you list your grounds for the divorce along with information about you and your spouse. Depending on the county where you are filing and your individual circumstances, you may need to complete and file additional paperwork.
Arkansas Legal Services provides a helpful pamphlet online that explains the basics of divorce in the state, as well as a Self-Help page to guide you through an uncontested divorce. The online divorce packet is intended for the simplest kind of divorce, but you must meet certain requirements before you can use it. Requirements include not having minor children, not owning any substantial property and not being in the military.
Determining which divorce documents you need to complete and how to fill them out correctly can be overwhelming, which is why many people choose to get their divorce papers from CompleteCase.com. Our online divorce paper service will guide you a step-by-step process to correctly complete the Arkansas divorce papers that meet your specific situation and needs. The online process with free live support ensures that you are submitting all of the right forms and avoiding unnecessary delays in your divorce. Start your Arkansas divorce papers today.
When you have completed your Arkansas divorce paperwork you will need to file your forms with the local county clerk – either where you reside, or where your spouse resides. Be sure to make two additional copies; one to keep for your records and one to serve to your spouse.
It is always a good idea to call your county clerk before you arrive to verify that you have all the correct documentation. You can also verify with the clerk that you are bringing a form of payment that the court accepts for the state filing fee.
When you have filed the forms and paid the fee, the clerk will stamp your divorce documents and issue a “Standard Restraining Order”. The restraining order ensures that neither you nor your spouse “dissipates” assets or money, and states that no harassment between the parties is allowed to occur.
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.