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The Difference Between No-Fault & At-Fault Divorces in Arkansas

The laws regarding divorce in Arkansas differ from those in neighboring states. Knowing which type of divorce you wish to pursue can help you better prepare for what comes next. Our Arkansas divorce team outlines the contrast between at-fault and no-fault divorces below.

Filing for Divorce and Filing Costs

In Arkansas, it does not matter which spouse files for divorce first. Either way, the opposite spouse will be given the chance to deny the filing spouse’s claims and make their own requests as part of the divorce.

Although Arkansas is considered a “no-fault state” when it comes to divorce, it does recognize “at-fault” divorces.

The cost of filing for divorce in Arkansas includes a filing fee of about $165, with a notary fee of $10 or a service fee up to $50 in cases where a process server or sheriff is assigned the task of delivering the formal divorce petition.

No-Fault Divorces

No-fault divorce petitions essentially state that both parties no longer get along without giving a specific reason for the divorce. These are typically granted in circumstances where the parties have been living separately from one another for eighteen consecutive months, also known as “divorce based on separation.”

If the couple does cohabitate at any time during that eighteen months, that clock will reset and begin again until the eighteen months is reached. This can be achieved as part of an agreement from both parties or the simple decision from one spouse to move out.

If both parties are unable to meet the requirements for a no-fault divorce, the plaintiff must decide on a ground for the divorce, converting the case to an at-fault divorce.

Fault Divorces

Fault divorces allege that one spouse did something that led to divorce, thus one party being “at fault.” There are a number of grounds on which a fault-based divorce can be founded. These grounds include:

  • Impotence
  • A felony conviction
  • Habitual alcohol abuse for at least one year
  • Life endangerment of the other spouse by cruel treatment
  • Behavior resulting in humiliation, embarrassment, or shame to the other spouse
  • Adultery
  • Incurable insanity of three consecutive years
  • Willful failure to provide legally obligated support to the other spouse

Each of these grounds must also be coupled with evidence that can be submitted to the court. No matter which side of an at-fault divorce you are on, contacting an experienced family law attorney can help you develop the best course of action.

Where We Can Help

If you and your spouse have found the need to file for divorce, you should consider discussing the case with experienced legal counsel. At Martin Attorneys, PA, we understand how stressful going through a divorce can be for all parties involved. That’s why we are committed to a personalized and compassionate approach to determine the best possible approach for each of our clients to conduct their divorce smoothly and efficiently.

If you and your spouse are considering divorce, don’t hesitate to contact our seasoned team of lawyers today at to schedule your free consultation.