couple going through a divorce

What Are the Requirements for Filing for Divorce in Arkansas?

Are you considering filing for divorce in Arkansas? For so many reasons, divorce can be the best option for you and for your family. Should you reach the conclusion that divorce is the step you need to take to a better future, there are some things you will need to know about. There are basic requirements that must be met in order to file for divorce in Arkansas. We will further discuss those requirements here.

What are the requirements for filing for divorce in Arkansas?

To start, Arkansas has a residency requirement that must be fulfilled in order for a person to be able to file for divorce. Either you or your spouse must have resided in the State of Arkansas for a minimum of 60 days prior to filing for divorce and a minimum of 3 months prior to the final judgment of divorce being entered. 

In addition to the residency requirement, Arkansas law also has a separation period requirement. You and your spouse must have lived separately for a minimum of 18 months prior to divorce. This separation must have been voluntary. It must have only been voluntary, however, for at least one of you. That means that if you moved into your own residence against the wishes of your spouse, then the separation requirement will still be met if it has been at least 18 months in time. This requirement is in place with the intent that people seeking a divorce have really considered the implications of divorce and have made a thoughtful decision on the matter.

If you have fulfilled these basic requirements, either you or your spouse will need to file a complaint requesting that the court grant you a divorce in order for divorce proceedings to be initiated. The person who files the divorce is referred to as the “plaintiff” and the other spouse will be referred to as the “defendant.” You will need to file the divorce in the Chancery Court of the county where you reside if you are the one that resides in Arkansas. If your spouse is an Arkansas resident, but you are not, you will have to file in the county where your spouse resides.

You will also need to specify grounds for the divorce in the complaint. Grounds for divorce are the legally recognized reasons why divorce would be granted and sever the marital relationship. Arkansas, as most states do, provide no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce. No-fault grounds only require that the complaint state that you and your spouse have been voluntarily separated for 18 continuous months. This will need to be supported by either a witness affidavit or witness testimony. Should you wish to go forward with the divorce without waiting the 18 months of separation, then you will need to assert fault-based grounds for divorce. This will require that you prove the grounds asserted.

Family Law Attorney

For all of your Arkansas divorce questions or concerns, talk to us at the Law Offices of Bryce Cook. We are here to provide you with trusted legal counsel and support. Contact the Law Offices of Bryce Cook today.