Arkansas is known as a “fault state.” This means,, like most other states, you need to have grounds for divorce. This means that in order to get a divorce, you need to be doing so for a reason, and that explanation must fall under a list that the State of Arkansas deems acceptable “grounds” (meaning cause, basis, foundation, or justification) for divorce. In many states, “irreconcilable differences” is a ground for divorce that serves as a sort of catchall. “Irreconcilable differences” could mean so many different things that most divorces fit the bill. In Arkansas, however, “irreconcilable differences” is not a recognized ground for divorce, so your choices are more limited.
The Arkansas statute considers the following acceptable grounds for divorce:
- The husband or wife is impotent (cannot produce children).
- Either party has been convicted of a felony.
- Either party has demonstrated alcoholism for at least a year.
- Either party has threatened the life of the other.
- Either party has “offer[ed] such indignities to the person of the other as shall render his or her condition intolerable,” also known as “general indignities.”
- Either party has committed adultery.
- The couple has lived separately for at least 18 months, or for at least three years if the separation is caused by one party’s “incurable insanity.”
- When one spouse legally required to provide for the other fails to do so.
As you can see, most of these grounds for divorce are quite specific. If your case does not fall within any of these specific categories, “general indignities” has become its own catchall ground for divorce in Arkansas, similar to other states’ “irreconcilable differences” ground. To obtain a divorce on the grounds of general indignities, you will need to show that your spouse manifested such rudeness, settled hate, alienation, and/or endangerment that it made your condition intolerable.
If you are filing for divorce, you need to partner with a trusted family law attorney. The team at OMG Law Firm has a strong track record and will work diligently to help you uphold your rights and get results. For more information or to get started, call us at (870) 330-7324. We look forward to assisting you with all of your family law needs!