Experienced Divorce Attorneys in Jonesboro Working Tirelessly For You and Your Rights
Divorce can feel daunting even under the best circumstances, but it doesn’t have to. Working alongside a team of experienced and skilled attorneys who are prepared to walk you through the process can mean peace of mind for you from the beginning. There are several factors to consider, many of them with intense emotions attached, and through our experience of working with many families just like yours, we are confident in our ability to help you fight for the outcome you deserve.
Call OMG Law Firm today at (870) 336-6505 to answer your specific questions and begin the process. Let us be your advocate and navigate the process so you can move forward to the next chapter of your life.
What Types of Divorce Can Occur in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, you can file for a fault or no-fault divorce. With a fault divorce, there is evidence or blame placed on one of the parties for the demise of the marriage. In a no-fault divorce, there are “irreconcilable differences” listed as the reason for the marriage ending, with no blame ascribed to one spouse or the other.
If seeking a fault divorce, there are specific reasons that must be proven by you in order to file this way. Some of the reasons include abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological), adultery or infidelity, abandonment (one spouse leaves the other for an extended period of time), impotence that was not disclosed before the marriage, proven drug or alcohol abuse, a felony conviction, an extended period of imprisonment, or lack of support by the spouse.
Another important item to consider is that if you are filing a fault divorce, the alleged actions that you are basing that on must be proven to have happened within the last five years. Also, if you are alleging one of the faults, for example, adultery, then it must be proven that you yourself have not also committed adultery within the marriage.
What is the Difference Between Contested and Uncontested Divorce?
A contested divorce can typically take longer in the court system and, therefore, will likely cost more as well. It generally is filed when one party or the other does not agree on the grounds for divorce or the issues at hand that is settled through the divorce, such as child support, alimony, division of assets, etc. In some cases, this can mean that one of the parties filed a “fault” divorce, citing one of the grounds acceptable in Arkansas for a fault divorce which ranges from abuse to abandonment and more. The other party can (and typically does) contest this, and both parties should have professional representation to begin the process.
An uncontested divorce can occur when both parties agree that the marriage is beyond repair (often cited as “irreconcilable differences”) and one party chooses to file for a no-fault divorce. The other party can then contest this filing, or it can be uncontested, and the next part of the process begins, which is determining what the division of assets may look like if there is alimony or child support that is necessary, and at what amounts those will be, and more. As long as the parties agree on all aspects, the divorce is considered uncontested. These types of divorces are almost always quicker and less costly as there aren’t as many details to iron out or disagree over while in court.
What is Required to File an Uncontested Divorce in Arkansas?
One of the requirements for filing for any divorce in Arkansas is that one of the parties has to have lived in the state for at least 60 days. It is also a requirement that the spouses have separated and no longer live together. This can be proven either by a signed statement (an affidavit) or by having a third party testify in court as a witness to the separation and living arrangements.
Can the Other Party Contest Both Fault and No-fault Divorce?
It is less typical to contest a no-fault divorce than that of a fault divorce, but it can and does happen. If the other party, for example, doesn’t agree with the vision the other has of the future when the divorce is final, they may contest the no-fault divorce. There are several aspects to disagree on when dividing assets, for example, or other topics that would result in one party or the other choosing to contest the no-fault divorce.
For some couples choosing divorce who have come to an agreement that their current situation is not working for them and want to move forward, an uncontested no-fault divorce is an option. This typically results in less costly and quicker finalization of the marriage, as both parties have come to an agreement on the multiple aspects of the divorce and are ready to proceed. Mediation can play a big role in this process, as it allows both parties to consult a neutral third party to help them navigate the steps and come to an agreement on each topic before going to court.
What are the Different Ways To Approach Divorce?
There are three different ways in which to approach divorce in Arkansas, including litigation divorce, collaborative divorce, and mediation divorce.
A litigation divorce involves both spouses obtaining an attorney and utilizing them to advocate for what they want. Things such as alimony, child support, the division of assets, and other important topics are discussed, and each attorney works hard to prove what is best and what each party has a right to.
Some of the disadvantages to a litigation divorce are that they are generally time-consuming and costly. Each topic has to be ruled upon during the court proceedings to finalize the divorce, and proving your case can mean bringing in specialists or other witnesses to speak on your behalf. Another disadvantage is it takes some of the control of your future out of your hands. Your attorneys will work hard to prove which decisions are the best for both of you, but it is ultimately up to the courts to decide on the topics at hand.
A mediation divorce doesn’t always make sense for couples, but when it does, it can have many appealing characteristics. Each party can discuss at length their wishes or needs regarding each topic they can’t come to an agreement on, and a trusted, neutral third party will help them to come to an agreement outside of the courts, offering a more private approach. It can also be appealing in that it generally is quicker and less costly than a litigation divorce for both parties. The couple can choose who their mediator is and what topics are discussed, allowing them to each retain more control of the outcome.
A collaborative divorce can be seen as a hybrid between mediation and litigation. Both parties sign an agreement to move forward in the collaborative process with the general goal of avoiding litigation. This allows both parties to be advised by their attorneys on each of the topics that aren’t agreed upon. There is also an option to bring in other experts to help the couple come to an agreement to move forward, such as child psychologists, financial planners, and others.
Are Mediations A Favorable Option When it Comes to Divorce?
There are a lot of reasons why mediation can be appealing to many couples who are considering divorce. One is that they can choose who they want to handle their mediation. Choosing a neutral third party that is skilled and experienced that both of the parties agree on can help maintain a sense of control over the outcome, unlike in a courtroom with a judge. There is also an elevated sense of privacy when personal details can be kept behind closed doors and worked through to determine an outcome that is acceptable to both parties rather than being aired publicly in court.
Each of the topics that are on the table can be discussed, and both parties have time to be heard. It is good for both parties to rely on the guidance of a professional to allow them to see a perspective they may not have thought of before. As each of the topics are agreed upon (child support, division of property and assets, custody, and more), they are documented, and one less item is up for discussion when it comes time to finalize the divorce in court.
Choosing to participate in mediation prior to filing can also mean the difference between a contested or an uncontested divorce for couples. What once was not an agreed-upon issue may now have been resolved, and moving forward, if all issues have been agreed upon, this can now be an uncontested divorce, saving both parties time and money.
Why Do I Need An Attorney for My Divorce Case?
There are some instances where filing on your own and handling the divorce without an attorney can be the best option. These instances are rare, but they can happen. The reason this is a slim category is it typically means that the details in the case are straightforward and, therefore, easy to untangle and move forward on your own, without professional representation.
Generally speaking, divorce can include complex issues, especially if there are children or shared property involved. Unfortunately, divorcing couples are rarely in agreement on all of these topics. Even without the presence of children or shared business or property assets, there are specific ways in which the state requires you to file and move forward. There are timelines involved (such as how long you’ve lived apart from your spouse), specific paperwork and details on this paperwork, and other areas for which having a professional to guide you along the way can typically save you time and money moving forward.
Get it right the first time, lean on experienced family attorneys with thorough knowledge of the intricate laws in the state of Arkansas, and move forward with the next chapter of your life. Contact us today at (870) 336-6505 to get started. We look forward to your call.