Online Divorce In Arkansas

Unfortunately, divorce is a reality for many couples in the United States, and Arkansas is no exception. With a divorce rate consistently higher than the national average, understanding the process and legal requirements of divorce in Arkansas is crucial for those in this difficult situation.

Arkansas has consistently ranked among the states with the highest divorce rates in the country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2019, Arkansas had a high divorce rate of 4.1 per 1,000, which was significantly higher than the national average of 2.7 per 1,000. The reasons for this elevated rate may vary, but the fact remains that many Arkansans will face the challenge of navigating the divorce process at some point in their lives.

Divorce can be an emotionally challenging and complicated process, with many legal aspects that may be unfamiliar to those experiencing it for the first time. In Arkansas, as in any state, specific legal requirements must be met to obtain a divorce. By understanding these requirements and the steps involved in the process, individuals can better prepare themselves for the challenges ahead and make informed decisions that will protect their interests and the interests of their children, if applicable.

The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive outline of the divorce process in Arkansas. By offering guidance on various aspects of divorce, such as the grounds for divorce, residency requirements, the process of filing and serving documents, division of assets and debts, spousal support, and child custody, we aim to equip readers with the knowledge they need to navigate this complex legal process.

Our goal is to empower individuals facing divorce by giving them a clearer understanding of what to expect, the steps they need to take, and the potential challenges they may encounter. This article will also cover alternative options, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, that may provide a more amicable resolution for some couples. With this information, readers can approach the divorce process with greater confidence and make more informed decisions that will lead to a smoother and more efficient dissolution of their marriage.

Ultimately, we hope this comprehensive guide will serve as a valuable resource for those facing the difficult decision of divorce in Arkansas, enabling them to protect their interests better and navigate the legal system with greater ease and understanding.

Grounds for Divorce in Arkansas

In Arkansas, as in many states, divorces may be sought on no-fault or fault-based grounds. Understanding the distinctions between these two types of grounds is essential, as they can significantly impact the divorce process and potentially affect the outcome.

A. No-fault grounds

General separation

According to Arkansas Code Annotated § 9-12-301, one of the grounds for divorce in the state is no-fault, which is based on a general separation. To qualify for a no-fault divorce, the parties must demonstrate that they have lived separate and apart from one another, without cohabitation, for at least 18 months. Notably, the separation must be voluntary, with both parties acknowledging the marital relationship is irretrievably broken and that there is no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation.

B. Fault grounds

In addition to no-fault divorces, Arkansas law provides fault-based grounds for divorce. These grounds require the petitioner to establish that the other party engaged in specific misconduct that led to the marriage breakdown. Fault-based divorces can have a bearing on issues such as the division of marital assets, spousal support, and child custody, depending on the nature and severity of the misconduct.

Examples of fault grounds

Arkansas Code Annotated § 9-12-301 outlines several fault-based grounds for divorce, including but not limited to:

1. Impotence:

When one spouse is incapable of engaging in sexual intercourse, and the condition existed at the time of marriage.

2. Conviction of a felony or infamous crime:

If one spouse is convicted of a felony or an infamous crime during the marriage, it can serve as grounds for a fault-based divorce.

3. Habitual drunkenness:

If one spouse is habitually intoxicated with alcohol for at least one year, it can be grounds for a fault-based divorce.

4. Cruel and inhuman treatment:

When one spouse subjects the other to cruel and barbarous treatment that endangers the other spouse’s life, it may serve as a fault-based ground for divorce.

5. Adultery:

If one spouse engages in extramarital sexual relations during the marriage, it can be grounds for a fault-based divorce.

6. Incurable insanity:

In cases where one spouse has been afflicted with incurable insanity for at least three years, it can be considered grounds for a fault-based divorce.

7. Willful failure to support:

If one spouse willfully neglects or refuses to provide necessary support and maintenance to the other spouse, despite having the means to do so, it can serve as a fault-based ground for divorce. This ground typically applies when neglect is persistent and without justifiable cause.

Residency Requirements

Before filing for divorce in Arkansas, it is important to understand the residency requirements that must be met to ensure the court has jurisdiction to hear the case.

A. Minimum residency period

Under Arkansas Code Annotated § 9-12-307, at least one spouse must have been a state resident for a minimum of 60 days immediately before filing the divorce petition. The residency requirement must be met to establish jurisdiction with the court.

B. Filing for divorce in the appropriate county

In addition to the state residency requirement, the petitioner must file for divorce in the county where either the petitioner or respondent resides. If the respondent is a non-resident of Arkansas, the petitioner can file the divorce petition in the county where the petitioner resides.
Adherence to these residency requirements is crucial to ensure that the divorce proceedings are properly initiated and can proceed without jurisdictional issues. Failure to meet these requirements may result in the dismissal of the case or the need to refile in the appropriate jurisdiction.

Filing for Divorce: The Process(Complete Steps)

Navigating the divorce process in Arkansas involves several steps, from preparing the necessary documents to finalizing the divorce with the court. The following is an overview of the key steps in the process:

Step 1. Preparing the necessary documents

  1. Complaint for Divorce: The petitioner, or the spouse initiating the divorce, must prepare a document called the Complaint for Divorce. This document outlines the grounds for divorce, the parties involved, and any specific requests pertaining to property division, spousal support, child custody, and other relevant issues.
  2. Financial affidavits and supporting documents: Both spouses may be required to complete financial affidavits, providing information on their income, assets, debts, and expenses. These documents and any supporting documentation are important for determining the equitable distribution of property and potentially spousal support.

Step 2. Filing the documents with the court

The petitioner must file the completed Complaint for Divorce and other required documents with the appropriate county circuit court clerk’s office. A filing fee will be charged, which may vary by county.

Step 3. Serving the documents to the other party

Once the divorce petition is filed, the respondent, or the spouse receiving the divorce papers, must be adequately served with the Complaint for Divorce and a summons. This can be accomplished through a process server, sheriff’s office, or by certified mail with a return receipt requested. The respondent will have a specified time frame, usually 30 days, to respond to the Complaint.

Step 4. Responding to the Complaint

The respondent must file a written response, known as an Answer, with the court within the specified time frame (usually 30 days). In the Answer, the respondent can agree or disagree with the claims made in the Complaint for Divorce and can make counterclaims if necessary. If the respondent fails to respond within the allotted time, the court may enter a default judgment in favor of the petitioner.

Step 5. Temporary orders and hearings

In some cases, it may be necessary to request temporary orders from the court to address urgent issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, or use of the marital home while the divorce is pending. The court may schedule a hearing to resolve these temporary matters until a final divorce decree is issued.

Step 6. Discovery process and negotiations

During the discovery phase, both parties exchange information and documents related to their finances, assets, and other relevant issues. This process allows each spouse to understand the marital estate clearly and can help facilitate negotiations for a potential settlement.

Step 7. Mediation or collaborative divorce options

If the parties cannot agree, they may choose to participate in mediation or pursue a collaborative divorce. Both options involve working with neutral professionals to facilitate negotiations and reach a mutually agreeable settlement.

Step 8. Preparing for trial (if necessary)

The case may proceed to trial if the parties cannot reach a settlement through negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods. Both spouses and their attorneys will prepare and present their cases before the judge, ultimately deciding on property division, spousal support, child custody, and other contested issues.

Step 9. Finalizing the divorce

Once the court issues a final divorce decree, which addresses all matters related to property division, spousal support, child custody, and other pertinent issues, the divorce process is considered complete. Both parties must adhere to the terms outlined in the decree.

It is important to note that either spouse can appeal the court’s decision within a specific time frame if they believe a legal error was made during the trial. Suppose there are any substantial changes in circumstances after the divorce is finalized, such as changes in income or the needs of the children. In that case, either party can petition the court to modify the existing orders.

Finally, understanding the various steps involved in the divorce process in Arkansas can help individuals better prepare for the challenges ahead and make informed decisions to protect their interests. By carefully navigating the process, from filing the initial documents to finalizing the divorce, individuals can work towards a more efficient and amicable dissolution of their marriage.


Division of Assets and Debts in Arkansas

One of the critical aspects of a divorce is the division of marital assets and debts. In Arkansas, the courts follow the principle of equitable distribution, which means that assets and debts are divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, between spouses.

A. Equitable distribution in Arkansas

Pursuant to Arkansas Code Annotated § 9-12-315, the courts are tasked with dividing marital property just and equitably under the circumstances. It is important to note that equitable distribution does not automatically result in a 50-50 split of assets and debts; instead, the court will consider various factors to determine what constitutes a fair division.

B. Factors considered by the court

The court will take into account several factors when determining the equitable distribution of assets and debts, including but not limited to the following:

  1. The length of the marriage;
  2. The age, health, and occupation of each spouse;
  3. The amount and sources of income for each spouse;
  4. The employability and earning capacity of each spouse;
  5. The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation of marital property;
  6. The value of each spouse’s separate property;
  7. The debts and liabilities of each spouse;
  8. The needs of each spouse, including their future financial circumstances; 
  9. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  10. The tax consequences of the property division;
  11. The custodial arrangements for any minor children; and
  12. Any other factors the court deems relevant in achieving an equitable distribution.

C. Marital and separate property

In Arkansas, property acquired during the marriage is generally considered marital property, subject to division in the divorce. However, certain assets may be classified as separate property, not subject to division. Separate property may include:

  1. Property owned by either spouse before the marriage;
  2. Inheritances or gifts received by either spouse during the marriage, if kept separate;
  3. Property acquired during the marriage in exchange for separate property, if kept separate; and
  4. Any increase in value or income derived from the separate property if kept separate.

It is important to correctly identify and classify marital and separate property to ensure a fair and accurate division of assets.

D. Division of debts

Similar to assets, marital debts must also be equitably divided between spouses. These debts typically include any financial obligations incurred during the marriage, such as mortgages, credit card debts, and loans. The court will consider the same factors as the division of assets when determining how to allocate debts between spouses.

Understanding the principles of equitable distribution in Arkansas and the factors the court considers is crucial for parties going through a divorce. By familiarizing themselves with these principles, individuals can better protect their financial interests and work towards a fair and equitable division of assets and debts.

Spousal Support in Arkansas

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a payment made by one spouse to the other to provide financial assistance after a divorce. In Arkansas, spousal support is not automatically granted and must be requested by the spouse seeking support.

A. Determining the need for spousal support

According to Arkansas Code Annotated § 9-12-312, the court may grant spousal support if it deems that one spouse has a demonstrated need for financial assistance and the other can pay. Spousal support aims to help the recipient spouse maintain a reasonable standard of living, similar to what was established during the marriage, and to allow for a transition to financial independence, if possible.

B. Factors considered by the court

When determining the amount and duration of spousal support, the court will consider various factors, including but not limited to the following:

  1. The financial resources of the spouse seeking support, including their earning capacity and separate property;
  2. The time necessary for the spouse seeking support to acquire sufficient education or training to enable them to find appropriate employment;
  3. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  4. The duration of the marriage;
  5. The age, physical, and emotional condition of both spouses;
  6. The ability of the paying spouse to meet their own financial needs while providing support to the other spouse; and
  7. Any other factors the court deems relevant.

C. Types of spousal support

Several types of spousal support may be awarded in Arkansas, depending on the specific circumstances of the case:

  1. Temporary support: This type of support may be granted during the divorce proceedings to help the spouse in need meet their financial obligations until the final divorce decree is issued.
  2. Rehabilitative support: Rehabilitative support is designed to provide the recipient spouse with financial assistance for a limited period, allowing them to obtain the education or training necessary to become self-sufficient.
  3. Permanent support: Permanent support may be awarded in cases where the recipient spouse cannot become financially independent due to age, disability, or the length of the marriage. This support typically continues until the recipient spouse remarries, cohabitates with a new partner, or either party dies.
  4. Lump-sum support: The court may sometimes order a lump-sum payment instead of ongoing monthly support. This can be particularly useful when there are concerns about the paying spouse’s ability to make payments consistently over time.

D. Modification of spousal support

Spousal support orders may be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances for either party, such as a significant increase or decrease in income or a change in the recipient spouse’s financial needs. To request a modification, the party seeking the change must petition the court and provide evidence of the changed circumstances.

Understanding the factors and types of spousal support in Arkansas can help to divorce parties navigate the financial aspects of their separation more effectively. Individuals can seek appropriate support arrangements that best address their needs and circumstances by considering the relevant factors and working with legal counsel.

Child Custody and Visitation

In Arkansas, the courts make decisions regarding child custody and visitation based on the child’s best interests. The primary goal is to ensure that the child’s needs are met and that they have a stable and nurturing environment.

A. Determining the best interests of the child

Arkansas Code Annotated § 9-13-101 outlines the factors that the court must consider when determining the best interests of the child, including but not limited to:

  1. The child’s preferences, if they are of sufficient age and maturity to express a reasonable preference;
  2. The parents’ wishes regarding custody;
  3. The child’s relationship with each parent, siblings, and other significant individuals;
  4. The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community;
  5. The mental and physical health of all parties involved;
  6. The willingness of each parent to encourage a close relationship between the child and the other parent;
  7. The stability of each parent’s home environment; and
  8. Any history of domestic violence or child abuse.

B. Types of custody

There are two main types of custody in Arkansas: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to where the child resides, while legal custody is the right and responsibility to make decisions about the child’s upbringing, education, healthcare, and religious upbringing.

Joint custody: Joint custody can be awarded to both parents, allowing them to share the child’s physical and/or legal custody. This arrangement promotes ongoing involvement and cooperation between parents in raising their children.

Sole custody: In some cases, the court may determine that it is in the best interest of the child for one parent to have sole physical and/or legal custody. This may occur when there are concerns about the other parent’s ability to provide the child a safe and stable environment.

C. Visitation

When one parent has primary physical custody, the other is typically granted visitation rights. A visitation schedule can be established by the court or agreed upon by the parents. Factors such as the child’s age, the parent’s work schedules, and the distance between the parents’ residences may be considered when determining visitation arrangements.

D. Modification of custody and visitation orders

Custody and visitation orders may be modified if a significant change in circumstances affects the child’s best interests. To request a modification, the party seeking the change must petition the court and provide evidence of the changed circumstances.

Understanding the factors and procedures related to child custody and visitation in Arkansas can help parents navigate the complex process of determining the best arrangements for their children. By focusing on the best interests of the child and working collaboratively with the other parent, it is possible to create a supportive and nurturing environment for the child during and after the divorce process.

Child Support in Arkansas

Child support is a financial obligation paid by one parent to the other to help cover the costs associated with raising a child. In Arkansas, child support is determined using the state’s child support guidelines, which consider both parents’ income and the child’s needs.

A. Calculation of child support

Arkansas uses the Income Shares Model to calculate child support, as outlined in the Arkansas Administrative Order No. 10. The model estimates the total amount of support that would have been available to the child if the parents were living together and then divides this amount proportionately between the parents based on their respective incomes.

Factors that are considered in the Calculation of child support include:

  1. The gross income of both parents;
  2. Any pre-existing child support or spousal support obligations;
  3. The cost of health insurance premiums for the child;
  4. Work-related childcare expenses; and
  5. Any extraordinary medical, educational, or other expenses for the child.

B. Modification of child support orders

Child support orders can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances, such as a significant increase or decrease in either parent’s income, a change in the child’s needs, or a change in the custody arrangement. To request a modification, the party seeking the change must file a petition with the court and provide evidence of the changed circumstances.

C. Enforcement of child support orders

If a parent fails to pay child support as ordered, there are several enforcement mechanisms available, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Income withholding: The court can order the non-paying parent’s employer to withhold a portion of their wages to cover the child support obligation.
  2. Contempt of court: If a parent willfully fails to pay child support, the court may find them in contempt, which can result in fines or even jail time.
  3. Tax refund interception: The state can intercept the non-paying parent’s federal and state tax refunds to cover the child support arrears.
  4. Liens on property: Liens can be placed on the non-paying parent’s real or personal property to secure the child support debt.
  5. License suspension: The non-paying parent’s driver’s or professional license may be suspended if they are significantly behind on child support payments.

Calculating, modifying, and enforcing child support in Arkansas can help parents ensure that their children receive the financial support they need. By complying with child support orders and working with the court and the other parent to address any changes in circumstances, parents can help create a stable and secure environment for their children.


Forms Needed To File Divorce In Arkansas


Forms For Uncontested Divorce Without Children & Property(Free Download)


Here are the forms needed to file:

Complaint for Divorce:

This is the form that starts the divorce process. You can find a template for this form on the Arkansas Judiciary website.


Civil Cover Sheet:

This form is used to identify the parties involved in the case and the type of case being filed. You can also find a template for this form on the Arkansas Judiciary website.

Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Service:

If you and your spouse agree to the divorce, your spouse can sign this form to acknowledge receipt of the Complaint for Divorce and waive formal service of process.

Affidavit of Service by Mail

An Affidavit of Service by Mail form is a legal document used to prove that a document or notice was sent to a person by mail. The person who mails the document, such as a summons or a complaint, fills out the affidavit to attest that the document was sent by mail to the person or entity named in the document.

Decree of Divorce:

The final document formally ends the marriage. You can find a template for this form on the Arkansas Judiciary website.

Financial Affidavit:

Although you don’t have a property to divide, Arkansas requires both parties to file a financial affidavit. This form provides information about your income, expenses, and debts. You can find a template for this form on the Arkansas Judiciary website.

Marital Settlement Agreement:

A Marital Settlement Agreement form is a legally binding agreement between two parties in the process of getting divorced. This agreement is used to resolve any issues related to property division, debt, spousal support, child custody, and child support.


Forms For Uncontested Divorce With Children & Property(Free Download)


Complaint for Divorce:

This form initiates the divorce proceedings and includes information about the parties involved, such as names, addresses, and dates of birth.

Civil Cover Sheet:

This form is used to identify the parties involved in the case and the type of case being filed.

Financial Affidavit:

This form provides detailed information about the parties’ income, assets, and debts.

Affidavit of Indigency:

This form requests a waiver of filing fees and other costs associated with the divorce process.

Affidavit of Service:

This form documents the service of process on the other spouse.

Decree of Divorce:

This document is the final order that formally ends the marriage.

Marital Settlement Agreement:

This document outlines the terms of the property division, including who gets what assets and debts.

Child Support Worksheet:

This form calculates the amount of child support paid by one spouse to the other.

Parenting Plan:

This document outlines the custody and visitation arrangements for children involved in the divorce.

Child Support Order:

This document is the court order that establishes the amount of child support to be paid.

Order of Equitable Division:

This document is the court order that divides property and assets between the parties.



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  • How long does it take to get a divorce in Arkansas?

    The duration of a divorce in Arkansas depends on several factors, such as whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, the complexity of the issues involved, and the court’s schedule. A minimum waiting period of 30 days is required from when the complaint is filed until the divorce can be finalized.

  • How much does it cost to get a divorce in Arkansas?

    The cost of a divorce in Arkansas varies depending on factors such as attorney’s fees, court fees, and other expenses related to the divorce, such as mediation or hiring expert witnesses. Court fees typically include a filing fee for the divorce complaint and additional costs for serving the papers on the other spouse. Attorney’s fees can range widely depending on the complexity of the case and the attorney’s experience.

  • How is child custody determined in cases involving domestic violence?

    In cases involving domestic violence, the court will prioritize the safety and well-being of the child when choosing custody arrangements. A history of domestic violence may restrict a parent’s custody or visitation rights, such as supervised visitation or the denial of custody.

  • Can I change my name after my divorce in Arkansas?

    Yes, you can request that your name be changed back to your maiden name or a previous married name during the divorce process. This request should be included in the divorce complaint or the response to the complaint. The court will typically grant the name change as part of the final divorce decree.

  • How does Arkansas handle the division of retirement accounts during a divorce?

    During a divorce in Arkansas, the division of retirement accounts is subject to the state’s equitable distribution laws. This means that the court will divide the marital property, including retirement accounts, in a fair and just manner, though not necessarily equal.

    Retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, pensions, and other deferred compensation earned or accrued during the marriage are generally considered marital property and subject to division. Contributions made to retirement accounts before the marriage or after the date of separation and any appreciation on those contributions are typically considered separate property and not subject to division.

    When dividing retirement accounts, the court may consider several factors, including the length of the marriage, the age and health of both parties, the parties’ earning capacities and financial needs, and the value of other marital assets.

    To divide retirement accounts, the court may use one of the following methods:

    1. The Immediate Offset Method: Under this approach, the court assigns a present value to the retirement account and offsets that value against other marital assets. For example, one spouse may keep the entire retirement account while the other spouse receives other assets of equivalent value.
    2. The Deferred Distribution Method: This method involves dividing the retirement account at the time of distribution. The court may award each spouse a percentage of the account based on the marital portion, and the spouses would receive their share of the account when the retirement benefits are distributed in the future.

    For qualified retirement plans, such as 401(k)s and pensions, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) may be required. A QDRO is a court order instructing the plan administrator to divide the retirement account between spouses. It ensures that the division of the account complies with federal laws and protects the tax-deferred status of the funds.

  • Can grandparents be granted visitation rights during a divorce?

    In Arkansas, under certain circumstances, grandparents can be granted visitation rights during a divorce. The state recognizes the importance of maintaining a relationship between a child and their grandparents, and courts may consider grandparent visitation rights when it is in the child’s best interests.

    According to Arkansas Code Annotated § 9-13-103, grandparents may petition the court for reasonable visitation rights under the following circumstances:

    1. The parents of the child are divorced, legally separated, or were never married;
    2. The child is in the custody of one or both of the parents or a person who the court has awarded custody;
    3. The grandparent has established a significant and viable relationship with the child; and
    4. The visitation rights are in the best interests of the child.

    The court will consider various factors when determining whether grandparent visitation is in the best interests of the child, such as:

    1. The child’s preferences, if the child is of sufficient age and maturity to express a reasonable preference;
    2. The relationship between the child and the grandparent, including the nature and quality of the relationship;
    3. The role the grandparent has played in the child’s life, including any emotional, financial, or other support;
    4. The effect of granting or denying visitation rights on the child’s physical and emotional well-being; and
    5. The stability of the child’s home environment.

    It is important to note that the rights of the parents are given considerable weight in the decision-making process. The court will generally presume that the parent’s decision regarding grandparent visitation is in the best interests of the child unless the grandparents can provide evidence to the contrary.

    While it is possible for grandparents to be granted visitation rights during a divorce in Arkansas, it is subject to the court’s discretion. It depends on the specific circumstances of the case. 

  • What if my spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers?

    If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers in Arkansas, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot proceed with the divorce. Arkansas law allows for both contested and uncontested divorces. While an uncontested divorce typically requires the agreement and cooperation of both parties, a contested divorce can move forward even if one spouse does not agree to the divorce or refuses to sign the papers.

  • How can infidelity impact the outcome of a divorce in Arkansas?

    Infidelity can affect the outcome of a divorce in Arkansas in several ways, as the state allows for both fault and no-fault divorces. This means a spouse can file for divorce using either no-fault grounds, such as an 18-month separation, or fault-based grounds, including adultery. The presence of infidelity can influence aspects of the divorce proceedings, like the basis for divorce, asset division, and alimony.

    1. Grounds for divorce: If one spouse has been unfaithful, the other spouse can file for divorce on fault-based grounds. However, it’s worth noting that proving adultery in court is challenging, as it demands clear and persuasive evidence. Furthermore, pursuing a fault-based divorce can be longer and costlier than a no-fault divorce.
    2. Asset division: Arkansas uses the equitable distribution model to divide marital assets, meaning the court distributes assets fairly and justly, though not always equally. Generally, the court does not consider marital misconduct, such as infidelity, when dividing property. However, exceptions may apply if the cheating spouse has squandered or depleted marital assets due to the extramarital affair. In such cases, the court may award a significant portion of the assets to the innocent spouse.
    3. Alimony: In Arkansas, courts can grant alimony to a spouse needing financial support. While infidelity does not automatically disqualify a spouse from receiving alimony, the court might consider marital misconduct, including adultery, when determining the alimony amount and duration. If the cheating spouse requires support, the court may reduce or deny alimony based on their behavior. On the other hand, if the unfaithful spouse is responsible for providing support, the court may increase the alimony for the innocent spouse due to infidelity.
  • How to serve divorce papers in Arkansas to the other party?

    In order to serve the divorce papers in Arkansas, you can hire a professional process server or have a friend or family member serve the divorce papers in Arkansas. But you cannot serve the papers to your ex yourself.

    a. Certified Mail, return receipt requested – Serving divorce papers by certified mail require that your spouse sign a paper that is attached to the envelope when they receive the petition which must be signed and returned.
    b. Personal Service – The constable, sheriff, or professional process server will deliver the court papers to your spouse who must complete a return of service that says when, where and how they were served.
    c. Service by publication – When all the other method fails, service by publication will be permitted by the court. This involves publicizing the divorce petition in a newspaper where your spouse is expected to be living for an adequate length of time. You will have to return a copy of the newspaper notice, with a declaration for how long the notice ran, to the court for proof of service.


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