Jonesboro Attorneys
Sympathetic Legal Guidance Through Divorce At The Law Office of Paul Ford, we have a 35-year history of fighting for the rights that protect your family.

Divorce in Jonesboro, Arkansas

Sympathetic & Compassionate Legal Counsel

Simply put, every divorce is different. While some marriages end in a relatively amicable manner, others can quickly turn into a combative situation that causes stress, pain, and confusion for all who are involved. At The Law Office of Paul Ford, we completely sympathize with the emotionally delicate and sensitive nature of divorce, and are here to offer compassionate support for our clients as we remain by their side during the process.

Our Jonesboro family law attorneys have an in-depth knowledge of divorce law, and are dedicated to representing your interests as we pursue the best course of action for your unique situation.

Some common legal issues involved in a divorce case include:

  • Division of property and assets
  • Matters of child custody and visitation rights
  • Child support payments
  • Alimony payments

Residency

In order to file for divorce in Arkansas, you need to first meet the state’s residency requirement. The state recognizes both standard marriages and what are considered to be covenant marriages, in which a couple takes an oath of understanding that marriage is a life-long commitment and there are more limited grounds for later seeking divorce.

For standard marriages, residency is established if either you or your spouse lived in Arkansas for the previous 60 days leading up to filing. Additionally, either you or your spouse must continue to live in the state for a total of at least three months by the time the divorce is finalized.

For covenant marriages, residency is established if you or your spouse are currently living in the state. However, if the grounds for divorce occurred din another state, residency is established if you or your spouse lived in Arkansas before the grounds occurred and one spouse currently living in the state at the time of filing.

Grounds for Divorce

As soon as residency is established, the following step is to file a complaint for divorce in the county in which you live. If you are a nonresident, you must file in the county where your spouse resides. In the complaint, you must determine the grounds for divorce.

In regards to standard marriages, the state allows for both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. Fault grounds include adultery, cruel treatment, habitual drinking, a felony conviction, impotence, financial abandonment, and irreconcilable differences. A spouse can file under the no-fault grounds of living separate and apart from the other spouse for 18 months.

For covenant marriages, the same grounds for fault are recognized. However, the separation period for no-fault divorce is two years form the date of the separation judgment, or two and a half years if minor children are involved.

Filing for Divorce

Once you finish filing the complaint, your spouse will receive a copy of the document and personally notified of the divorce—also known as the service of process. As soon as your spouse has been served, he or she has 30 days to respond to the complaint in writing. Once the response has been filed, or your spouse fails to respond in a timely manner, the divorce can proceed.

While you are waiting for the final divorce hearing, you may request temporary orders related to property division, alimony, as well as child custody and support. Furthermore, you may attempt to reach an agreement with your spouse on these matters before trial.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

When you and your spouse decide that you no longer wish to stay married and want to pursue the legal route of getting a divorce, you will have two directions you can choose from: a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. While both of them eventually will lead to your marriage coming to an end and both have their pros and cons, an uncontested divorce is generally far less expensive and litigious than a contested divorce.

The major difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce lies in how it is filed with the state court system, and how it is filed is largely determined by negotiations before the petition is filed. If both you and your spouse are able to come to a complete mutual agreement on all major issues outside of court, then you are eligible to file for an uncontested divorce. So long as your judge approves of the terms of your agreement (meaning it is fair and not biased towards one spouse at the expense of the other), then they will sign the petition.

Why Choose an Uncontested Divorce?

There are obvious benefits to an uncontested divorce, the biggest of which being the efficiency with which a case comes to a conclusion. By finishing your divorce quickly, you save yourself a lot of time, stress, and a considerable amount of money since you will not need to pay for court fees, extended lawyer services, and numerous other expenses. Uncontested divorces also usually result in happier couples since they have managed to work out an agreement over all of the issues that are usually hotly contested ahead of time rather than have a judge give them a decision that may be surprising.

What are these major issues? They will vary depending on your unique situation, so no two divorce cases are alike.

However, there are a few issues that are common in nearly every divorce, including:

  • Child custody
  • Alimony/spousal support
  • Visitation rights
  • Property division
  • Division of debts

If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on even one of these issues outside of court, then your case will need to be filed as a contested divorce and proceed to courtroom litigation. This requires scheduling a hearing and paying those costly court fees in order to get a resolution that ultimately neither party may be happy with.

Representing Your Best Interests

With so many important decisions to make and so much at stake, you may feel overwhelmed and not know how to proceed with the legal process. The Law Office of Paul Ford is here to ease your concerns, answer any questions, and aggressively represent your best interests.

To discuss your options during an initial case evaluation, call us today at (870) 853-3621!

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