Divorce is not pleasant. Having a capable, caring divorce attorney to help you through the legal maze and painful emotions of the process can make all the difference. When you call on the Law Offices of Bryce Cook in Jonesboro, you will regain your sense of stability. We serve clients throughout the northeastern counties of Arkansas, including Craighead, Greene, Mississippi, Clay, and Crittenden. Once you contact us, you will be able to relax, confident that you are in the hands of experienced family law attorneys who have the skills as well empathy to help you transition smoothly into your new life.
Reasons and Prerequisites for Divorce in Arkansas
While each divorce is unique in certain ways, the reasons behind marital breakups usually fall into similar categories. The State of Arkansas labels these categories as:
- Felony conviction
- Cruel and barbarous treatment
- Habitual drunkenness for at least one year
- Adultery (with some exceptions)
- Living apart for 3 years due to severe mental illness of one spouse
In order to file for divorce in Arkansas, you or your spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 60 days before filing for divorce and it will take at least 3 months before judgment will be entered. Furthermore, if you are seeking a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse must have been living separately for at least 18 months.
How Our Divorce Attorney Can Help
The primary reason you should choose Bryce Cook to represent you in your divorce is that he is a full-service divorce lawyer who is equally well-prepared to meet your needs whether your divorce is contested, uncontested, or high-asset. He has in-depth knowledge of Arkansas divorce law and a great many well-satisfied clients to attest to his history of positive outcomes. Beyond his sharp negotiation and courtroom skills, Bryce Cook understands the pain and worry inherent in the divorce process and will always be there to support you.
Whether or not your divorce is contested, it is essential to have a highly competent divorce lawyer at your side so that your personal interests are protected now and in the future. In contested divorces, Bryce Cook will fight vigorously to make sure that you are treated fairly in terms of property division, alimony and issues that relate to your children. If your divorce involves high assets, he knows all the tricks opposing attorneys may try to use and will make certain that you come out with a successful resolution of any and all disputes.
Bryce Cook Covers All Aspects of Family Law
What makes divorce a complex undertaking is that two lives that have been intertwined have to be untangled. This is a delicate, as well as difficult, process, typically involving mixed emotions. If the divorcing partners have children, the task is even more complicated. At times, paternity is in question or guardianship is necessary. Relax. There is no part of family law that Bryce Cook can’t handle.
Division of Property
In Arkansas, the law dictates equitable distribution. Though marital property will be fairly divided, if the couple doesn’t agree during negotiations and the case goes to court, the judge may assess “equitable distribution” according to the length of the marriage, the income of each prospective spouse, and the age and health of each partner. For this reason, the division may be equitable, but not split 50-50.
Marital property consists of real estate, financial holdings, life insurance policies, retirement plans, vehicles, furnishings and equipment. It is distinguished from personal property by when and how it was obtained. For example, jewelry or books brought to the marriage are considered personal property of the individual, as are gifts given to one spouse by a third party, inheritances bequeathed to one spouse only, or personal injury damages awarded to one individual. Debts are also divided equitably.
While alimony is far less frequently part of a divorce settlement than it once was, there are times when the court or even the couple themselves, recognizes the need for it. Alimony may be awarded after a long marriage during which one spouse was primarily a homemaker and is not prepared for employment, when there is great discrepancy between the spouses’ incomes, or when one spouse is older than the other or is suffering from a serious medical ailment.
Making decisions concerning children is almost always the most contentious part of a divorce.
Bryce Cook is an agile negotiator who will hopefully be able to get you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse and his/her attorney to agree on whether you two will have joint physical custody of any children (during which the children spend approximately half their time with each parent) or whether the children will live primarily with one parent. In all but very rare instances, the latter involves the children having regular visits, usually a few days a week and over some portions of vacation time, with the noncustodial parent.
Factors that may influence a judge’s decision on custody arrangements are: whether one of the parents abuses alcohol or drugs, whether either parent has a history of criminal activity or excessive gambling and the stated preference of the children themselves.
The law requires that every parent capable of supporting his/her children does so. If one parent is doing the bulk of the childcare, that parent is entitled to child support from the noncustodial parent unless the custodial parent has a much higher income. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for noncustodial parents to become delinquent with their child support payments. In such cases, whichever side of the situation you’re on, Bryce Cook can help you see to it that justice is done.
Even when divorces are relatively amicable, there may be disputes that have to be settled before the final papers can be signed. Couples often argue about child custody, length of time or location of visitations, ownership of special pieces of property, the need for alimony, or whether a certain debt is the responsibility of only one party. Even with touchy subjects like these, Bryce Cook is an excellent negotiator. Though he prefers to settle things without litigation, he is always ready to take your case to court if necessary.
Contact Our Jonesboro Divorce Attorney
It is important to remember that life involves ongoing change. If one parent becomes ill, loses a job, gets a large boost in income or remarries, or if a child develops a special need or a special talent, modifications will probably have to be made to the existing agreement. You don’t have to worry about this if you are a client of the Law Offices of Bryce Cook. Our team is always prepared to assist you in renegotiating and altering your legal agreement so that it meets your current needs and the needs of your children. Contact us promptly — we are here to help.
The Law Offices of Bryce Cook handles divorce cases throughout Arkansas include the Craighead County Courthouse, Greene County Courthouse, Poinsett County Courthouse, Mississippi County Courthouse, Clay County Courthouse, Crittenden County Courthouse.