Divorce & Legal Separation

Divorce or separation is tough.  It brings into play topics and issues not generally thought of, but now of paramount importance.
How does a court decide divorce cases in Arkansas?
Arkansas is a “no fault divorce” State.  What this means for a couple is that the focus of all divorce proceedings is the equitable allocation of the marital property and marital debts regardless of who caused the divorce or who filed for divorce first.  Equitable is not a 50-50 share; it is distribution of property and debt in a way that a court believes is fair.  A court will consider a number of factors to determine what is fair.  Some of those considerations are:    1) the length of the marriage,  2) the age and health of the parties, 3) the occupation of the parties, 4) the amount and sources of income, and 5) the federal income tax consequences of the court’s division of property.
What are reasons for a couple to get a divorce?
There are a number of causes for a divorce, but all causes must be proven with corroboration.  The most common causes for divorce are:    1) adultery, 2) separation for more than three consecutive years, 3) felony convictions,4) habitual substance abuse, and 5) general indignities. 
Is it a long process or how long will it take to get a divorce?
The process of getting a divorce may seem lengthy, but even in a non-contested and perfectly neat divorce, it will take at least thirty days from the date of filing before any Arkansas court will enter a final divorce decree.  In the interim, the following issues must be hashed out:    1) division of property and debts, 2) child support, 3) child custody and visitation, and 4) alimony, if applicable. 
A couple should also expect the court to enter temporary orders on issues like:    1) orders of protection, 2) temporary child support, and 3) separate maintenance.
What is a Legal Separation?
Legal Separation is an alternative to a divorce and can be a solution to current marital issues.  Legal Separation gives a couple options that an absolute divorce does not; importantly, the possibility of reconciliation, but also the ability to file joint tax returns and own property as “tenants by the entirety”.  
A legal separation is equivalent to a cause of action for separate maintenance or alimony.  The requirement for an order of separate maintenance is    1) proof of separation, 2) the absence of fault on his or her part, and 3) financial need.
Whether you seek a divorce or believe that legal separation is best, our skilled attorneys can be by your side throughout the process and after. 
The Things that Matter to You, Matter to Us

Premarital Agreements

Premarital Agreements or "prenups" often get a bad rap when they could potentially save time and money should a marriage have to be dissolved.
What is a Premarital Agreement?
A Premarital Agreement is an agreement between two people who plan to become married and who make an agreement that only becomes effective upon marriage.  The agreement must be in writing and must be signed by both parties.
Are Prenups enforceable in Arkansas?
Generally, yes.  But, it depends on the contents of the agreement and the circumstances under which the agreement was signed.  If the person objecting to the agreement proves the following, a judge would find that the agreement is uneforceable.  1) the party was forced to sign the agreement, 2) the party was not provided fair and reasonable disclosures of all the property and finances of the other party, 3) the judge finds that the agreement is unconscionable for any other reason.
If you think that a Premarital Agreement is appropriate for your relationship, don't leave it up to chance. Let our skilled attorneys draft an agreement that will stand up to challenges down the road.