To Divorce or Not?
What is the answer to a marriage that has run its course? Most people in Arkansas and elsewhere all over the US automatically think ‘divorce,’ and rightfully so depending on the circumstances, but married couples have one more trick they can try before throwing in the towel: Marital separation. One of the maxims of common law is equity, where it’s stated that; “Equity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy.” Essentially, equity attempts to fix the broken and not necessarily discard it. You lose nothing by filing a marital separation agreement and watching how things work out.
Arkansas family law typically gives room for three options when there is a dispute in marriage: absolute divorce, limited divorce, legal separation. Depending on the status of your marriage you will choose either of these or one to precede the other.
- Absolute Divorce
Absolute divorce makes a marriage disappear; literally. It erases a marriage entirely in the eyes of the law, and it is the common practice we see when couples break their union. For the court to allow it, the party seeking divorce must prove adequate grounds to end the union.
- Limited Divorce
It is also referred to as divorce “from bed and board,” and it does not break a marriage. The two people will go on acting as though they are married in that they can still file taxes together and even own property as “tenants by the entirety.” Since they are not legally divorced, they cannot remarry as that would amount to a felony. The two will file property agreements and child custody agreements as they would in absolute divorce. For it to be effected, the party seeking this form of divorce will be required to provide grounds for their decision. This option is usually taken by those couples whose religious beliefs do not allow divorce or a couple that is traumatized by the idea of legally divorcing.
- Marital Separation Agreement
It is also called ‘separate maintenance,’ and it is basically support paid by one spouse to another or alimony. The only difference between separate maintenance and the first two is that the party seeking it does not need to prove any grounds or faults. The only thing needed to file a marital separation agreement in Arkansas is proof that the other party does not meet any of the grounds set for a divorce. In other words, they are without the kind of fault that would lead to divorce. The person seeking alimony must also prove genuine residence and separation. Our website has templates that you can fill online to make the process even easier.
Why all this Information?
Most people do not understand the options available to them under the law. Marriage doesn’t have to end in divorce if there are options to salvage it or to make it less final. Before settling on one option, you may want to get a thorough understanding of the options available to you. We provide documents and advice that will help you fill your legal separation agreement as required by the state.
Whether you live in Little Rock, Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Bentonville, Pine Bluff or any other city of Arkansas, you can use our legal forms easily.