Signing paper with wedding ringsThis is the next post in my series on the question of how long it can take to complete a divorce in the state of Arkansas. My last article provided an overview of the topics which this series will be addressing. It also discussed the importance of retaining an attorney to assist you in your matter. Having counsel can ensure against errors which may result in your case being delayed or in you having to go back to court after your case is completed. In this article I will address the process and timeframe involved with the completion of an uncontested divorce. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Little Rock lawyer.

Arkansas uncontested divorces can be completed within thirty days after the filing of your initial documents

One of the spouses must have resided in our state for at least sixty days in order to file for divorce in Arkansas. If this requirement is met then the spouses may begin the uncontested divorce process. It is important to understand, however, that the grounds for which you may get divorced in Arkansas are more narrow than those in other states. If you wish to file for a “no fault” divorce then you may do so only if you have already lived apart for at least eighteen months.  If you do not meet these requirements then you must file for an “at fault” divorce due to one of the factors listed in Ark. Code § 9-12-301. In other words, you must be able to show that you have been living separately for eighteen months or one of the spouses must bear blame if you wish to utilize the uncontested process.

The first step in completing an uncontested divorce is to complete a marital settlement agreement. This is necessary as you and your spouse must be in agreement on all issues to go through the uncontested process. One spouse will then file the Complaint. The other spouse will be personally served or they may choose to file a “waiver of service.” The settlement agreement will be filed with the Court and a prove up hearing will be scheduled in front of the judge. This will be a relatively brief hearing at which the Judge will quickly question the two sides. A Decree of Divorce will then be entered. It is important to note that, under Arkansas law, the Decree of Divorce may not be entered until at least thirty days have passed after the filing of the Complaint. This means that the process will take at least thirty days.

Retain an attorney to complete your uncontested divorce

While the aforementioned process may sound straightforward, it can include many complications. If assets and debts are not properly included in the settlement agreement then it may become necessary for the parties to return to court after the case is completed. Moreover, mistakes in the filings or making an error on your grounds for divorce can result in the case being delayed, if not dismissed. Retaining counsel can save you money, time, and aggravation by increasing the chances of being able to move on with your life as opposed to having the matter drag out. As a Little Rock uncontested divorce lawyer, I am able to assist with such matters. Contact my office online or by telephone to schedule an appointment. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the rest of Arkansas.