How to File for Divorce in Arkansas

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In Arkansas, a divorce may granted on either no-fault grounds or on grounds that one, or both, spouses are at fault. Furthermore, a divorce may be contested or uncontested. In a contested divorce, there are outstanding issues related to division of assets and debts and/or child custody. In an uncontested divorce, both parties have agreed on how to handle the dissolution of their marriage.

The person filing for a divorce is the plaintiff; the responding spouse is the defendant.

Select your grounds for asking the court to grant you a divorce.

A divorce may be granted because of the fault of a spouse. For example, the spouse has committed adultery, a felony, or engaged in domestic or sexual abuse of a family member, including a spouse.

A divorce may also be granted through no-fault of either party. For example, a married coupled who have been continously separated for 18 months without reconciliation are eligible for a divorce.

Draft a Complaint for Divorce. The complaint must indicate the residential address for both you and your spouse and state how long each of you have been a resident of Arkansas. State the date on which you and your spouse were married. If possible, attach a copy of your marriage certificate to the complaint. Indicate the date on which you and your spouse separated.

The complaint must also explain the reason (i.e., ground) why you are seeking a divorce. Indicate whether you and your spouse have entered into a marital agreement regarding assets, debts and/or child custody.

End the complaint by asking the judge to order a divorce from your spouse.

You must declare, under penalty of perjury, that the statements in the complaint are known to be true to you. The complaint must be signed by you in the presence of a notary public and then it must be notarized.

File the Complaint for Divorce in the chancery court in the county in which you reside. The filing fee is $140.

If you are suffering financial difficulties and you cannot afford the filing fee, you may petition the court for a waiver of the fee. The petition for waiver of the filing fee must be made and granted before filing your Complaint for Divorce.

After your complaint is filed, the court clerk will issue a summons. The summons and complaint must be served on your spouse, the defendant, by certified mail with return receipt requested.

Tips

  • The grounds on which a complaint for divorce is being made, must have occurred within five years of the filing of the complaint.

    You must be able to substantiate the grounds for a divorce through evidence and/or testimony.

    An Arkansas court must wait at least three months after the filing of a Complaint for Divorce before it may order the divorce.

Warnings

  • In order to file for divorce in Arkansas, you must have resided in the state for at least 60 days prior to filing.

References

Resources

About the Author

Robyn Lynne Schechter is a freelance writer currently living in Los Angeles, Calif. She has been an online contributor since 2007 on brandchannel.com, covering branding developments in the fashion, music, sports and entertainment industries. Schechter graduated from Hood College with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and is also a graduate of Albany Law School.

Photo Credits

  • writing tablet of paper with pen image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com