Different states have different rules when it comes to property division in a divorce. In Arkansas’ case, the state considers any property acquired by either party during the course of the marriage to be marital property, with very few exceptions. Anything acquired by either party before the marriage began typically remains separate property.
SmartAsset notes that, while Arkansas strives to divide property in an equitable manner, this does not always mean former couples wind up splitting everything straight down the middle.
Dividing most types of property in a divorce
Every divorce is unique, and a judge may decide to divide property in an unequal manner if he or she deems it appropriate. However, judges typically reference a similar set of factors when dividing property in an Arkansas divorce, including how long the marriage lasted and how much each party contributed to it and its success. Other variables a judge may consider when dividing property include each party’s earning capacity and physical and mental condition.
Dividing retirement accounts in a divorce
While traditional property acquired during a marriage is subject to division between parties, the same holds true when it comes to retirement funds. Funds entered in a 401(k) or IRA during the course of the marriage are typically subject to division, and this is where a legal document called a qualified domestic relations order may come into play. The QDRO allows for the transfer of retirement funds from one spouse to the other without the party transferring the funds facing penalties for doing so.
When deciding how to divide property in an Arkansas divorce, judges consider both the financial and nonmonetary contributions each spouse made during the marriage’s duration.