Fault or No Fault?

Is Arkansas a fault or no fault divorce state? Technically, Arkansas is a fault divorce state; meaning, one spouse must have behaved in a way that amounts to “grounds” for a divorce under Arkansas law. Divorce grounds are legal cause for a divorce; or, said a different way, behaviors or circumstances that permit a married individual to a divorce. Arkansas recognizes the following grounds for divorce:

  • Impotence;
  • A felony conviction;
  • Alcohol abuse for at least one year;
  • Cruel and barbarous treatment that endangers the other spouse’s life;
  • General indignities;
  • Adultery;
  • When the spouses have lived separate and apart from each other for eighteen (18) continuous months without cohabitation; and
  • When spouses lived separate and apart from each other for three (3) consecutive years without cohabitation by reason of the insurable insanity of one spouse; and
  • Willful failure to support the other spouse despite a legal obligation to do so.

The grounds most often referred to as general indignities (No. 5 above) are by far the most commonly plead grounds for divorce in Arkansas. General indignities are a sort of catch all under the divorce statute. It’s the least stringent grounds for divorce.

What does general indignities mean? That’s a question often asked by individuals seeking divorce because general indignities are a very vague concept. To plead general indignities as your grounds or reason for divorce under Arkansas law, you must allege and prove that your spouse has rendered your condition “intolerable.” Ark. Code Ann. §9-12-301(3)(C). General indignities are the closest thing Arkansas has to offer to no fault divorce offered in other states. You can learn more about general indignities.