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Divorce in Ouachita County
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Online Divorce in Ouachita County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Ouachita County, Arkansas, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce is not eligible to provide legal advice. All the information below is for informational purposes only.
Nowadays, technology and progress have made filing for a divorce in Ouachita County an easy and affordable process. Divorcing couples visit OnlineDivorce.com, answer a simple questionnaire, and get their court forms completed within a couple of days, without any worry about court acceptance or errors. Your completed, printable forms are ready to file at the local court whenever you choose.
OnlineDivorce.com is a documents preparation service that assists divorcing couples in Ouachita County, AK to obtain a divorce without a lawyer. Also referred to as a do-it-yourself divorce, a divorce on your own is a great solution for couples who agree to resolve child custody, support, and property division issues without going to trial. If both parties agree to no contest over divorce-related issues, they can complete and file divorce paperwork without expensive legal assistance.
If you think that your divorce case is more complicated because it involves minor children and/or much property, OnlineDivorce.com will provide the full packet of legal forms required for your unique situation. In the long run, the complexity of a divorce often boils down to a couple’s ability to agree on contested matters in an amicable way. Having studied our guide on how to get a divorce in Ouachita County, you will know how to fill out the forms, where to file them, what steps come next, and how to get your divorce cheaply.
Thus, preparing your divorce documents online is a great option on many levels. First, it is the easiest and fastest way to initiate a divorce process. Next, it is stress-free because you do it from the comfort of your home following clear instructions. Finally, it reduces the cost of divorce because you take the sensible route of negotiating on your own instead of involving legal representation.
However, even if you start out choosing to do a DIY divorce in Ouachita County, you can still get legal consultation. At any stage of an uncontested divorce, either spouse can hire an attorney or a mediator, seek legal aid, or use self-help resources available at local courthouses.
Although you cannot control the divorce timeline and skip the mandatory waiting period, you can manage the divorce paperwork in the most efficient and productive manner.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Ouachita County
Unlike many “no-fault” states, Arkansas recognizes “irreconcilable differences” as a valid ground for divorce only if the spouses have been separated for a mandatory period. In Ouachita County, AR, spouses can obtain a dissolution of their marriage either on the basis of separation or any of fault grounds from the list.
Intolerable behavior (referred to as general indignities resulting in humiliation, embarrassment, or shame)
Alcohol abuse for at least one year
A felony conviction
Cruel treatment that endangers the other spouse’s life
Three or more years of institutionalization for insanity
If the couple chooses separation as the ground for divorce in Ouachita County, they must have lived separate and apart for at least 18 months consecutively. If the couple has lived separately and apart by reason of the insanity of one spouse, the separation period must be three consecutive years, according A.C.A. § 9-12-301.
Additionally, Arkansas distinguishes between non-covenant marriage and covenant marriage, the latter having a special legal status and being governed by the covenant marriage statute. Whereas being in a covenant marriage definitely makes it more difficult for the spouses to get divorced, but it is still possible with the assistance of a skilled professional. Consult an attorney experienced in covenant marriages.
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Under the A.C.A. § 9-13-101, courts in Ouachita County intend to rule custody cases “without regard to the sex of a parent but solely in accordance with the welfare and best interest of the child.”
That is the reason why, working on a case-to-case basis, judges in Ouachita County expect both parents to split parenting and childcare. To educate parents in how to care for their children in the wake of a divorce, courts in Ouachita County often require divorcing parents to attend a parenting class.
In Ouachita County, courts prefer to award parents with joint custody unless there are certain circumstances (abuse of a child or unavailability/unwillingness of a parent). Parents can suggest their own custodial arrangements by submitting a parenting plan where they detail visitation, childcare expenses, living arrangements, etc. If the judge sees that the child’s best interests are met, he or she will approve the parenting plan.
If parents are neither able nor willing to share child custody, the judge makes a decision based on a number of factors. Usually, a judge will take into consideration each parent’s physical and mental health, the child’s physical and mental health, the child’s relationships within the family, and the overall circumstances in the child’s and parents’ lives.
Even if the parents have trouble agreeing, the judge may award joint legal and physical custody if it is in the best interests of the child. It is also common for judges to award primary physical custody for one parent whereas the other parent has visitation rights. In such a case, the parents may still share legal custody and have an equal right to make major decisions for the child.
In Ouachita County, judges will always consider parental conduct and will never award custody to a parent with a history of domestic abuse.
Besides this, the custody preferences of the child are often considered, regardless of age.
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Rules for child support in Ouachita County
Under the A.C.A. § 9-14-105, courts in Ouachita County order the noncustodial parent to pay child support to the parent who has physical custody of the child. If the parents share joint custody, the court studies the case and looks at pertinent factors to decide on child support.
After the parents disclose their financial information (by submitting an Affidavit of Financial Means), the court calculates child support payments by using the percentage of income formula and a Child Support Worksheet. In addition to sources of income (such as salary, commissions, investments, insurance benefits, pensions, etc.), the court considers the number of children and child-related expenses (childcare, food, education, healthcare, transportation, insurance, etc.).
To make sure that the amount of child support is determined fairly, courts in Ouachita County follow the guidelines of family support charts, as is specified in the A.C.A. § 9-12-312.
Decisions on child support are advised to be revised every four years. Any changes in financial circumstances of both parents will affect the child support payments.
Rules for spousal support in Ouachita County
In Ouachita County, there is no obligatory alimony. However, the A.C.A. § 9-12-312 stipulates that alimony can be awarded to either spouse regardless of sex if it is “reasonable from the circumstances of the parties and the nature of the case.”
Arkansas alimony law does not provide set guidelines, relying on the judges’ treatment of each case individually. In Ouachita County, the lower-earning spouse should file a petition for alimony, either temporary (also referred to as pendente lite support) or short-term. Long-term alimony, or permanent spousal support, is awarded only in exceptional cases.
When judges make a decision on alimony, they consider how much income and assets each spouse has, how skilled each spouse is in terms of employment and training, and the previous arrangement of their marriage (whether one spouse was a homemaker/ primary child-carer and the other a provider).
Uncontested Ouachita County divorce with children
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Property division in Ouachita County
How property is divided largely depends on the property division laws in a state.
Arkansas is an equitable distribution state so family law does not require spouses to divide assets 50/50. If the couple cannot handle property division on their own and memorialize it in a settlement agreement, the court will divide and/or distribute property equitably, in a fair manner.
Although retirement accounts are also divided equitably, couples may come across a situation where federal law will prevent them from doing something immediately. In such a case, the spouses can agree that one of them will buy out their share of the retirement account without waiting for its maturation.
In the case of a DIY divorce in Ouachita County, you may need an experienced family attorney to handle all issues pertinent to pension funds, QDROs (Qualified Domestic Relations Order), etc. Due to the complexity of such cases, you should consult attorneys or retirement planners.
Mediation support in Ouachita County
A mediator’s goal is to show the couple available options and help them achieve mutually beneficial results. Divorcing couples in Ouachita County who cannot reach an amicable agreement on custody, support, and/or property division can still have an uncontested divorce by going through mediation.
From emotional to financial aspects, mediation has many benefits. First of all, meditation is less stressful and less formal than a court hearing. A couple can work out suitable arrangements for child custody, child and spousal support, and division of marital assets in a more relaxed environment, efficiently and with less emotional stress. Mediation is also much less expensive than legal representation, cutting down on the price of a divorce considerably, and quicker and more flexible than court-appointed hearings.
How to file for divorce in Ouachita County | Step-by-Step
Check out your eligibility. First, make sure you meet the residence requirements. To file for an uncontested divorce in Ouachita County, either the plaintiff (the spouse filing the divorce papers) or their spouse must have lived in the state for at least 60 days (A.C.A. § 9-12-307 (a)(1)(A)). Also, make sure you have evidence of your separation for over 18 months. To prove that the couple has lived separate and apart, the plaintiff can either bring a third party to testify or file an affidavit written by a third party who can testify to the fact of separation (A.C.A. § 9-12-301 (b)(5)).
Clarify where to file and obtain the forms. If you are the plaintiff and you have lived in the state for at least 60 days, you must file the paperwork in the circuit courthouse of the county where you reside. If it is your spouse who meets residency requirements, then you must file for divorce in the county where he or she resides. Go to the court clerk’s office to get the forms or download the forms online. Make sure you get the correct packet of forms suitable for your circumstances. Depending on your situation, it can include forms with children or without children, with expensive property or with marital assets less than a certain amount, etc.
Fill out the court forms. You must correctly complete a “Complaint for Divorce” and all the other required forms, following the instructions. Typically, self-help resources offer online divorce packets suitable for simple divorce cases, in which a couple has no minor children and does not own much property. Couples who do not want the hassle of completing their own paperwork and are looking for a cheap option for paperwork preparation assistance can use OnlineDivorce.com and get all the necessary paperwork completed in just a couple of days at a very affordable price. Make 2-3 copies of the documents and keep one for yourself. You will serve another copy to your spouse after you file the paperwork with the court’s clerk.
File the forms with the court. The court will charge a fee when you file your documents. You can clarify beforehand how much it will cost you. The court’s clerk will stamp the documents and issue restraining orders. Restraining orders are required for all divorce cases to make sure that neither spouse does anything with the children, money, or property without prior notification of the other spouse. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you can apply for a fee waiver. After providing some basic information about you and your financial circumstances, you submit the request to a judge. If the judge authorizes the fee waiver, you will not have to pay the filing fee until your divorce is finalized.
Serve your spouse. According to A.C.A. § 16-58-116., the act of serving must be acknowledged by the defendant and by a witness who both sign proof of service. If a couple is having an uncontested divorce and the defendant (the other spouse who has to respond to the divorce papers) agrees to accept the divorce paperwork, he or she does not necessarily need to be “served.” The defendant can sign an “Entry of Appearance” and a “Waiver of Service of Summons.” In the case that the defendant is unaware of the divorce proceeding being on the way or is unwilling to accept service, ‘serving’ should be done by a third party. It can be a professional service server or a sheriff. In case of a missing spouse, the question of how to serve can be challenging. When all the other methods fail, service by publication is available upon request. If the defendant fails to respond to any kind of service, the plaintiff can seek a default judgment. In such a case, it still remains an uncontested divorce.
Attend a divorce hearing. Under A.C.A. § 9-12-307 (1)(B), the court can schedule a hearing not earlier than 30 days after the complaint for divorce is filed. In the meantime, either the plaintiff has to serve the defendant or the defendant has to file the entry of appearance and waiver of service. In Ouachita County, the divorce procedure requires a hearing with witness testimonies. The court needs proof of the couple’s eligibility and separation to finalize a divorce. Notarized written statements are also accepted. Also, note that the state of Arkansas has different residency requirements for the time of filing and the time of divorce finalization. Before the judge signs a final divorce decree, either the plaintiff or defendant must have lived in the state for three months. The divorce proceedings will not last long if the plaintiff presents a settlement agreement to the court detailing the spouses’ arrangements regarding custody, support, and division of marital property. As soon as all the documents are in order and all the divorce-relevant issues are sorted out, the judge signs a divorce decree, and the divorce is finalized.
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Filing fees for divorce in Ouachita County
In Ouachita County, AR, basic court fees include a filing fee for the first initial Complaint (around $165), a filing fee for each legal form ($5-15), and a serving fee ($25, to deliver the divorce paper on the defendant).
Spouses from low-income households can request a waiver of filing fees. Ask the court clerk for a fee waiver form to fill out and submit together with the Complaint for Divorce.
How long will it take?
The length of the divorce process in Ouachita County is determined by a number of factors. If you are having an uncontested divorce and you have successfully negotiated all the matters with the spouse, your divorce can be finalized in only 30 days. The obligatory period between filing for divorce and a court hearing cannot be less than 30 days.
On average, it takes somewhat longer for couples to sort out all divorce-related issues.
Filing for divorce in Ouachita County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Ouachita County, AR It is difficult to give even an approximate cost for a divorce. The cost of divorce ranges greatly depending on which services are used. Service providers could include attorneys, mediators, retirement and insurance planners, tax advisors, property appraisers, and online divorce paperwork preparation specialists can all add to the overall cost. However, if your divorce case is simple and doesn’t involve dividing much of property or a painful custody battle, you could get by only paying filing fees (around $165), notary fees (around $5.00 for each certification), service fees ($25 to serve your spouse), and $5 to $15 to file each additional affidavit, petition, and motion. Summing up, the cost of divorce in Ouachita County can be accomplished for around $300 or even less if you are eligible for a fee waiver.
How to file for divorce in Ouachita County, AR without a lawyer? As with each US state, Arkansas has both a self-help center and free of charge options such as legal aid and law clinics. If your case is not complicated and is uncontested, filing the legal paperwork in Ouachita County can be quite simple.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Ouachita County, AR? Here is a preliminary list of required forms for an uncontested divorce in Ouachita County.
Complaint for Divorce
Affidavit of Service by Mail
Affidavit for Warning Order
Affidavit of Service by Warning Order
Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Service of Summons
Property Settlement Agreement
Petition for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
Affidavit in Support of Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
Order Granting Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis
Decree of Divorce (without Property Settlement or with Property Settlement)
Depending on your unique case, you may need to submit more or fewer forms.
Can I file for legal separation in Ouachita County, AR? Yes, Arkansas recognizes legal separation as a viable option to divorce. As Arkansas has two types of marriage – covenant and non-covenant – the requirements of the court regarding legal separation for non-covenant marriages are less strict and less complicated. Like with a divorce in Ouachita County, legal separation requires spouses to file paperwork and handle child custody, child support, alimony, and division of marital assets in a settlement agreement.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce? Arkansas has no restrictions for remarriage after divorce. As soon as the divorce is finalized in Ouachita County, either spouse can remarry.
Divorce in Ouachita County online
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We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
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We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
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hidden fees, e.g., for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
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