ARKANSAS DIVORCE LAWS:
The Residency Requirement: One the parties must be in the state for 60 days.
Grounds: No Fault: Divorce can be based on continuous legal separation for 18 months without cohabitation. Fault: Impotence; Incarceration; Habitual drunkenness for one year; Cruel and barbarous treatment; The spouse offers such indignities to a person that his or her condition becomes intolerable; Adultery. A Covenant marriage in Arkansas is more difficult to dissolve. The couple must live apart for two years, or for two-and-a-half years if there are minor children.
Property Division: Arkansas is an equitable-distribution, dual-classification state. That means property is classified as either separate or marital; separate property must go to the property owner, while marital property is divided between the parties “equitably.” Equitable means fairly, based on how the parties acquired and treated the property during the marriage; it does not mean equally (click the following for an expert's overview and key tips on dividing up property through divorce).
Alimony: Alimony may be granted to either spouse if the spouse seeking such maintenance,
Lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs;
Is unable, through appropriate employment, to provide self-support, or is the custodian of a child at home;
Contributed to the educational opportunities of the other spouse;
Had a long marriage and is of an age that may preclude employment.
Child Custody and Child Support: As in every state, custody is based on “the best interests of the child.” Legal and/or physical custody may be awarded to the father or the mother. If joint custody is not agreed upon, the court will decide who gets custody based on, among other things: the parents’ wishes; the child’s wishes; which parent is more likely to allow frequent and ongoing contact with the noncustodial spouse. Visitation will also be decided, and may include visitation rights of grandparents and siblings. (click the following for an expert's overview and list of articles on child custody and child support).
Arkansas child-support guidelines use a percentage-of-income model, meaning the noncustodial parent pays a percentage of his or her adjusted income, based on the number of children.
For a noncustodial parent’s net weekly income of:
- $500, support would be $96 for one child; $138 for two children; $162 for three children.
- $1,000, support for one child would be $159; for two children, $229; for three children, $270.
- $2,500, support for one child would be $466; for two children, $671; for three children, $786.
Support terminates at age 18 or when child graduates from high school. Parents cannot be compelled to pay for the college education of their children.
Disclaimer: The information supplied above is for "educational purposes only" and is not intended to be used as legal advice.