Arkansas is a mixed state regarding the grounds for divorce. You can file for divorce in Arkansas using no-fault or fault grounds. The no-fault grounds for divorce are when the husband and wife have lived separate and apart from each other for eighteen continuous months without cohabitation. The court will grant an absolute decree of divorce at the suit of either party, whether the separation was the voluntary act of one party or by the mutual consent of both parties or due to the fault of either party or both parties.

Fault grounds for an Arkansas divorce include:

  • When either party, at the time of the contract, was and still is impotent;
  • When either party was convicted of a felony or other infamous crime;
  • When either party is addicted to habitual drunkenness for one year;
  • When either party is guilty of such cruel and barbarous treatment as to endanger the life of the other;
  • When either party causes such indignities to the other person or shall render his or her condition intolerable;
  • When either party shall have committed adultery subsequent to the marriage.

Custody of children in Arkansas divorces is determined by the best interest of the child standard. The court assumes that it is in the best interest of the child to maintain contact with both parents. Custody is usually given to the primary caregiver in cases involving young children; however, it is no longer true that the wife always gets custody of the children when they are older.

Arkansas like every state in the union requires that both parents provide financial support for the child. The court attempts to maintain the standard of living the child enjoyed during the marriage. This is based on the notion that the child is the innocent party during a divorce and should not suffer because the parents can no longer maintain their relationship. The amount is determined by a formula that calculates the earning potential of each spouse.

Arkansas is an equitable division state in determining the division of the marital estate. At the time an action is filed the parties to the divorced are enjoined from disposing of any property without court consent until property division is decided. All property obtained during the marriage, regardless of how it is titled, is considered part of the marital estate. The judge divides the property in a way that is considered fair but not necessarily equal.


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