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Arkansas Divorce Laws

The dissolution of marriage, most commonly referred to as divorce, is regulated by state laws. Statutes determine residency requirements for divorcing spouses, waiting periods, grounds for seeking a divorce, and other legal requirements and processes for dissolving a marriage. Some form of "no-fault" divorce is allowed in all U.S. states, which means neither party needs to prove the other's responsibility for the break up. But a spouse still may claim other grounds under most state laws, including domestic violence or chronic substance abuse. Many states also require a minimum period of separation before courts will grant a divorce.

Arkansas Divorce Laws at a Glance

Under Arkansas statute, no-fault divorce is granted only when the parties have lived "separate and apart" (no cohabitation) for 18 continuous months. A legal separation is not necessary for meeting this requirement. Additionally, a party may file for divorce for any of the following faults:

  • Impotence
  • Incarceration
  • Habitual drunkenness for at least one year
  • Cruel and barbarous treatment
  • Adultery
  • Other "indignities" creating an "intolerable condition"

The main provisions of Arkansas divorce law are listed in the chart below. See FindLaw's Divorce section for a variety of helpful articles and resources.

Code Section 9-12-301, 307, 308, 310
Residency Requirements One party must be resident at least 60 days before action and a resident 3 months before final decree granted.
Waiting Period 30 days from filing for decree (except in willful desertion for 1 year of continuous separation).
'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce Separation: (lived separate and apart for 18 mos.)
Defenses to a Divorce Filing Collusion, consent or equal guilt in adultery.
Other Grounds for Divorce Impotence; conviction of felony or infamous crime; habitual drunk for one year or cruel and barbarous treatment or offers indignities; adultery; separate for 18 continuous months; committed for 3 yrs.; and where either spouse legally obligated to support other and having ability to provide common necessities, willfully fails to do so.

Note: State laws are never permanent and may change at any time, usually through the enactment of new statutes but sometimes through higher court decisions or other means. You may want to contact an Arkansas attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Arkansas Divorce Laws: Related Resources

Confused About Arkansas's Divorce Laws? Talk to an Attorney

Every divorce case is unique in some way, and the best way to ensure that your particular concerns are addressed is to work with an experienced divorce attorney in Arkansas. After all, a divorce lawyer will know how to negotiate with the other party and ensure a relatively successful outcome.

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