Most of the material goods and holdings (as well as debts and other liabilities) acquired during the course of a marriage are subject to division upon divorce. Everything that is not considered separate property (including that which was acquired before the marriage) is referred to as marital property.
Some states still recognize the concept of community property, in which virtually all marital property is divided 50/50, but most states have moved toward a more delicate approach to property division that considers the means and needs of each party.
This article provides a brief overview of Arkansas marital property laws.
Arkansas Marital Property Laws: At a Glance
Like most states, Arkansas statute requires equitable distribution. In Arkansas, marital property is distributed equally to each party unless the court finds such division to be inequitable, or unfair.
The court will consider various factors when dividing marital property such as:
- The length of the marriage;
- Age, health, and station in life of the parties;
- Occupation of the parties;
- The amount and sources of income of the parties;
- Vocational skills of the parties;
- Employability of the parties;
- Estate, liabilities, and needs of each party and opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital assets and income;
- Contribution of each party in the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation of the marital property, including services as a homemaker;
- The federal income tax consequences of the court's division of property
For instance, a spouse who takes care of domestic duties (such as maintaining the house and raising children) is not paid for these contributions and likely will need extra financial help when living apart from his or her former spouse. The parties may agree to a property division plan on their own but will need a judge or arbitrator to devise a plan if there are disagreements.
Additionally, Arkansas has adopted the Uniform Community Property Disposition at Death Act preserves the rights of each spouse with respect to property considered community property prior to moving to Arkansas (or other non-community property states that have adopted this model law).
Overview of Arkansas Marital Property Laws
See the following chart for additional information about Arkansas marital property laws, and FindLaw's Divorce and Property section for additional articles and helpful resources.
|Community Property Recognized?
|No, but the Uniform Disposition of Community Property Rights at Death Act (UDCPRDA) was adopted (§ 28-12-101 et seq.)
|Factors Considered by the Court Before Property is Divided
- Length of marriage
- Occupation of each party and other sources of income
- Age, health, and financial well-being of each party
- Vocational skills and employability of each party
- Contributions of each party (including the services of a homemaker)
- Liabilities and needs of each party
- Tax implications of property division plan
|Dower and Curtesy
|Dower and curtesy prohibited in Arkansas
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Arkansas Marital Property Laws: Related Resources
Get Legal Help with a Divorce
Divorce can be a complex, emotionally-taxing process. A divorce attorney can help assess your case and distinguish between marital and separate property. You can contact an experienced Arkansas divorce attorney if you would like legal assistance with a divorce.