Why You Should Hire a Divorce Attorney in Fort Smith Arkansas


In order to file a divorce in Arkansas, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for at least 60 days before filing the complaint for divorce.  The complaint for divorce is filed by the spouse in the county where either one resides.  A divorce attorney in Fort Smith Arkansas can assist with this process and help his or her client navigate the legal complexities involved in Arkansas divorces.  A local divorce attorney in Fort Smith Arkansas who is knowledgeable about state family law issues and local court rules is an important asset to have during the often contentious process of getting a divorce.  Joseph Self has handled family law matters for over a quarter century in Fort Smith and surrounding areas.

Arkansas recognizes both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce.  Fault-based grounds include incarceration, incurable insanity, adultery, cruelty, alcoholism, impotence and willful failure to support the other spouse.  If a spouse files based on fault grounds, his or her first obligation is to prove the existence of these grounds.   Currently, the only no-fault ground for divorce is continued separation of the spouses for at least 18 months.  To divorce in Arkansas, the moving spouse does not have to show that the other party consents to it, so a divorce can occur whether one spouse left on his or her own or the two spouses mutually agreed to divorce.

Arkansas uses equitable distribution principles, meaning that the court will determine how to divide property and debts in a manner that is fair but not necessarily equal.  One of the most important reasons to have a divorce attorney in Arkansas is to have someone represent your interests in a divorce settlement.  If the parties can reach their own agreement and the judge signs off on it, great time and expense can be avoided in litigating these issues.