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Divorce Q & As

How long does it take to get a divorce?

Where no part of the divorce is contested, a divorce can be final within 30 days. If property, grounds for divorce, or custody of children is contested, it may take six to 18 months before the divorce can be completed.

When the divorce complaint is filed, what is the effect of the automatic restraining order which is attached to the divorce papers?

The court's automatic restraining order is attached to all divorce filings. It applies equally to both parties and puts both parties on their good behavior and protects the marital status quo as to property rights until the divorce is completed.

What is a "no-fault" divorce?

"No-fault" divorce laws mean that neither spouse needs to prove that the other has been guilty of any misconduct in order to obtain a divorce. Arkansas does not allow "no-fault" divorces. However, if husband and wife have been living apart for 18 months, the court will grant a divorce without a finding of fault on the part of either party. Ark. Code Ann. 9-12-301(5)

What is considered marital property?

Marital property is all property acquired during the marriage, regardless of the name in which it is titled. Marital property does not include property that a person owned prior to the marriage, has inherited individually, or received as a gift.

What is considered marital debt?

Marital debt is ordinarily all debt acquired during the marriage, regardless of the name in which it is titled. It, too, is subject to division by the court if the parties cannot agree on who will pay the marital debt.

How do Arkansas Courts divide the marital property?

Ark. Code Ann. 9-12-315 provides that the Court shall divide the marital property one-half to each party unless the Court finds such a division to be unfair. The statute then lists nine factors the judge should consider if he/she makes an unequal division of the property.

Are pension, individual retirement accounts, and retirement benefits acquired during the marriage considered marital property and subject to division by the court upon divorce?

Yes. These are all considered marital property.

Can a wife return to her previous name after a divorce?

Yes.

Can the amounts of child support or alimony be changed after divorce?

Yes. The Court has the power to change either one based on a showing of a change of circumstances. These include such things as an increase or decrease in income or unexpectedly high medical expenses.

Can the payment of alimony or child support be avoided by a Declaration of Bankruptcy?

No.

How are child support and alimony treated for income tax purposes?

The person paying alimony can claim the payments as a deduction on Federal Income Tax returns. The person receiving the alimony payments must include the payments as income.

Only one parent may claim a child as a tax exemption. This is normally the person who provides more than half of the money necessary to support the child. Federal law gives the custodial parent the deduction, unless the court rules otherwise or the property settlement agreement designates otherwise.

When may I stop paying alimony?

Unless otherwise ordered by the court, payment of alimony automatically ceases when the following occurs:

a.  The person receiving alimony remarries, or

b.  The person receiving alimony establishes a relationship that produces a child and obtains a court order directing another person to pay support, or

c.  The person receiving alimony establishes a relationship that produces a child that results in a court order directing that person to provide support to another person unrelated to him or her.

Ark. Code Ann. 9-12-312 (a) (b) (c).

DISCLAIMER:  The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We ask you to contact us by telephone, letter or electronic mail. However, contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send us any confidential information until requested.



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