Divorce is a life-changing event that can be both emotionally and legally challenging. As you navigate the complexities of ending a marriage, it's crucial to understand the key matters that require attention throughout the divorce. From asset division to child custody, this insightful guide will help ensure the best possible outcome for you and your soon-to-be ex.
One of the most critical aspects of divorce is marital assets division. In Arkansas, the courts follow an equitable distribution approach, meaning the marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. The court considers various factors to determine how assets should be split, including the length of the marriage, each spouse's earning capacity, and contributions to the acquisition and preservation of assets.
Both spouses must disclose all their assets and debts to ensure a fair distribution. This includes:
- Real estate:
- Personal property;
- Retirement accounts;
- Investments; and,
- Business interests.
It's crucial to collaborate with your lawyer to gather the necessary documents and information to determine the worth of your possessions and debts accurately.
Alimony, also known as alimony, involves one spouse providing financial assistance to the other to maintain their financial stability after the divorce. In Arkansas, alimony is awarded based on several factors, including:
- The financial needs of the receiving spouse;
- The paying spouse's ability to pay;
- The length of the marriage;
- The age and health of both spouses;
- Each spouse's earning capacity and employment prospects; and,
- The level of living that was set throughout the marital period.
It's essential to recognize that spousal support is not guaranteed in every divorce case, and the judiciary possesses extensive authority in deciding if they should grant it and how much to award. Depending on your circumstances, an Arkansas family attorney can help you present a compelling case for or against alimony.
Child Custody and Visitation
If you have children, determining child custody and visitation arrangements is one of the most critical aspects of your divorce. In Arkansas, the courts prioritize the child's best interests when making these decisions. Factors considered include:
- The child's age and developmental needs;
- The capacity of each parent to offer a secure and supportive atmosphere;
- The child's relationship with each parent;
- Each parent's willingness to promote a positive relationship between the child and the other parent; and,
- Any history of domestic violence or abuse.
Two kinds of custody must be established: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody pertains to the authority to make major decisions about the child's upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Physical custody relates to the child's living arrangements.
Custody arrangements can be joint (shared by both parents) or sole (one parent has primary responsibility). Visitation schedules are typically established for the non-custodial parent to maintain a consistent relationship with the child.
Each parent is legally responsible for contributing to their children's financial needs. In Arkansas, child support is calculated using specific guidelines based on the combined incomes of both parents and the number of children involved. Other factors, such as childcare expenses, health insurance costs, and any extraordinary child needs, may also be considered.
An Arkansas family law attorney can help you understand the child support guidelines and ensure that the appropriate amount of support is calculated and requested.
While Arkansas allows for no-fault divorce, marital misconduct such as adultery, abuse, or abandonment can still impact certain aspects of the divorce process. For example, marital misconduct may be considered when determining alimony or the division of assets.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Navigating the divorce process can be overwhelming and complex. The experienced family law attorneys at Martin Attorneys, PA can help you understand your rights, protect your interests, and guide you through each step of the process. Our dedicated team will advocate for a fair resolution on asset division, alimony, child custody, and child support issues.
Divorce involves many critical decisions that can significantly impact your and your children's lives. By understanding the key matters that must be addressed and working with Martin Attorneys, PA, we can navigate the complexities of your case to get the best possible outcome.
Reach out to our Arkansas family law attorneys at Martin Attorneys, PA online or by phone today. (479) 888-2039