Byars & Hall, PLLC

Attorneys at Law - Fort Smith, Arkansas



Procedural Process for Arkansas Divorces

To initiate divorce proceedings, one spouse will file a complaint for divorce, together with a summons, at the county courthouse. The summons and complaint are then served on the defendant (the spouse) personally via a deputy sheriff or a professional process server, or via certified mail.

The defendant then has thirty days in which to file an “Answer” to the complaint. If the defendant doesn’t file the answer within that timeframe, the court can declare a default, grant the divorce, and give the plaintiff all the relief he or she requests in the complaint.

Other forms may be required during the process, and there may be hearings to attend, as well as a final hearing to determine the way in which the court will resolve all issues between the party, such as alimony, child custody, division of marital assets, and more.

As Arkansas is an “equitable distribution” state, the judge will initially encourage the parties to reach a settlement agreement between themselves, and if that fails, will distribute the marital assets between the spouses, aiming to achieve a fair result.

All proceedings are usually conducted in the county in which the person filing the complaint is a resident. In the event that the person filing the case is a resident of another state and the defendant is an Arkansas resident, the defendant’s county of residence will be the location of all hearings in the case.

Call Byars & Hall today to schedule your divorce case consultation, or use the contact form here.