Divorces are difficult situations for most people. Few life events can be as emotionally draining as the end of a marriage, but the legal aspects of a divorce can leave you confused and stressed without the help of a skilled family attorney.
Whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, you need to have quality representation to help you navigate the process to preserve your rights and advise you on the legal ramifications on your choices regarding property and child custody. A Texarkana divorce lawyer could help you through this challenging time by representing your best interests and standing up for your rights in court.
A couple can file for a divorce in Arkansas in which all issues are uncontested or they can file for divorce in which there are contested issues. An uncontested divorce is the easiest and least expensive way to end a marriage but requires that the parties agree to all major aspects, such as child custody, child support, alimony (spousal support), and property division. Parties to an uncontested divorce must live apart, and a “no-fault” divorce is possible if the parties have lived apart voluntarily for at least eighteen months.
In contested divorces, state law requires certain grounds to be proven. These include:
If any of these grounds can be proven, a contested divorce can be granted by the court. Contested divorces are typically more expensive due to being significantly more time-consuming. In either type of divorce, a nearby lawyer could seek the best possible resolution to the case.
Under Arkansas law, a divorce is subject to “equitable division.” This means that all marital property will be divided evenly, unless the court finds an equal split to be inequitable. A court will hear evidence from the parties and arguments from their attorneys on what assets are considered marital property and will seek to divide those assets as equally and fairly as possible.
Determining what property is marital property is fairly simple: anything acquired by either spouse after the marriage is considered marital property. Certain exceptions apply to this rule, and an experienced divorce lawyer in Texarkana might know how to identify these exceptions and protect a spouse’s assets.
When there are children of the marriage at issue in the divorce, another major component of a divorce revolves around custody. Courts will determine custody based on the “best interests of the children” when deciding whether one parent, both of the parents, or a third party shall maintain custody. Child support will also play a major part in any divorce proceeding. Custody can often be negotiated between the parties without a need for litigation; but when it cannot, a knowledgeable attorney could be a key partner and advocate.
Spousal support, often called alimony, occurs when the court orders one spouse to make a monthly payment, or one-time payment, to the other spouse for his or her care and support. This typically occurs when one partner in a marriage has more income than the other, and support is needed to protect the rights of the other spouse. Alimony awards can make all the difference in maintaining a quality lifestyle following a divorce.
If you are facing the prospect of a divorce, you need experienced legal help to support you during this difficult and complicated process. Attorneys can help smooth the process significantly and fight for you when your spouse is being uncooperative.
With the help of an experienced Texarkana, Arkansas divorce lawyer, you could move forward confidently through this difficult chapter of your life. Contact our firm today for an initial consultation.