Divorce in Arkansas

Mother and ChildLegally, every divorce in Arkansas starts with one person (the plaintiff) filing a complaint asking the court to grant a divorce decree. The person who files the complaint is the plaintiff. The person who the divorce in Arkansas is filed against is the defendant.

To file for a divorce in Arkansas you must have lived in Arkansas for 60 days before filing and have grounds for divorce. The most commonly used grounds for divorce are “General indignities” and “separation for 18 months.” The grounds must have happened within the last five years. If your spouse does not want the divorce, then you have to prove the grounds for divorce at the final hearing. This includes having a witness testify to your grounds.

If you and your spouse agree to divorce (and properly waives his or her rights to contest the divorce), then your witness does not have to testify to the grounds. However, your witness will still need to testify to your Arkansas and County residence.

  • Divorce (No Children or Disputed Property)
    Includes personalized Arkansas legal documents needed for a simple divorce
    in Arkansas, (with advice and/or instructions)
    – – – – – – – – – $299.99
    – – – – – – – – – $799.99 + fees
    (full representation)
  • Divorce (With Children and No Disputed Custody, Support or Property)
    Includes personalized Arkansas legal documents needed for a simple divorce
    in Arkansas (with advice and instructions)
    – – – – – – – – – $399.99
    – – – – – – – – – starting at $899.99 + fees (full representation)
  • Divorce (Disputed)
    Includes personalized Arkansas legal documents needed for a simple divorce
    in Arkansas (with advice and instructions)
    – – – – – – – – – starting at $999.99 + fees (full representation)

SERVICE OF PROCESS:
You must tell the defendant about the divorce and give the defendant the chance to respond. You must follow the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure when telling the defendant of the divorce.

  • The the defendant may be served by certified mail (For $49.99 we can help you get service by certified mail).
  • A process server or deputy sheriff may personally give the summons and complaint your spouse.
  • If the whereabouts of your spouse is unknown, service by publication (or warning order) may be used (For $99.99 we can help you get service by publication).
  • Note that there are specific rules for serving a spouse who is in the military or in prison.

Once the defendant is served, he or she generally has thirty (30) days to file a written answer with the court. If the defendant does not file an answer, the court can grant the divorce without the defendant.

Many cases are settled by agreement of the parties. If the parties cannot agree, the judge will decide many of the issues. These are some of the issues decided in divorce cases:

  • Which parent will the children live with?
  • How often will the children be able to visit with the other parent?
  • Will the children be able to move from the state?
  • Who will pay for the children’s medical and other expenses beyond child support?
  • How should property and debts acquired during the marriage be divided?

The amount of child support is determined by the Arkansas Family Support Chart. Alimony or spousal support may be awarded based on the spouse’s needs, the other’s ability to pay, and the specific facts of the case. Learn more about Arkansas Child Support here.