Divorce is often a complex and emotional process and this is further complicated by common misconceptions surrounding the process of filing for divorce. Particularly in Arkansas, several myths persist that can cause unnecessary confusion and stress.
Understanding the reality behind these misconceptions can help individuals navigate the process of divorce more confidently and effectively. Here are four of the common myths associated with filing for divorce in Arkansas.
1. Misconception: You must prove fault to get a divorce
Contrary to popular belief, Arkansas allows for both fault and no-fault divorces. Although proving fault can influence aspects such as property division or custody decisions, it is not a requirement. For no-fault divorces, couples need only demonstrate they have lived separately for 18 months.
2. Misconception: Men never get custody of the children
While it is true that historically mothers were more often granted custody, this is not the case today. Courts in Arkansas focus on the best interests of the child, regardless of the parent’s gender. Factors such as the parent’s relationship with the child, the parent’s health and the child’s specific needs play a significant role in custody decisions.
3. Misconception: Divorce always ends in court
Many believe that all divorces inevitably lead to stressful court battles. However, many couples in Arkansas resolve their divorces outside of court through methods such as mediation or collaborative divorce. These processes can lead to a settlement agreement, thus avoiding court altogether.
4. Misconception: Property is always divided equally in divorce
Arkansas follows an equitable distribution model for property division in divorce, not an equal distribution model. This means that the court will divide the marital property fairly, which does not always mean an equal split. Many factors influence the division, such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s economic circumstances and contributions to the marital property.
Understanding the realities behind the common misconceptions surrounding divorce in Arkansas can help individuals better navigate this challenging process.