Family Law

Is there Alimony in Arkansas?

Yes, there is alimony in Arkansas. Always has been and there always will be.

Note: This is another good reason to make sure that you get your legal information from a lawyer (or at least a good lawyer’s website). I regularly speak to people who are convinced that there is none in Arkansas. Citation: Uncle Joe, who went through a nasty divorce in 1988 and considers himself an expert in family law. And the law, generally. And politics. And sports. And barbecue. Etc.

There are two general types: Permanent alimony and rehabilitative alimony. Alimony is sometimes referred to as spousal support.

Permanent alimony is, as the name suggests, permanent. It will last for as long as the payor or payee is alive and the payee remains unmarried. It is appropriate in long-term marriages where the financial imbalance is unlikely to change. In very limited circumstances, an existing permanent alimony payment can be modified or terminated, depending on the structure of your divorce decree.

Rehabilitative alimony is for situations where the payee spouse needs financial assistance for a period of time to become financially independent. This may mean looking for a job or a new job or going to college. It expires at a certain period after the divorce and normally tapers off over time.

So, if the payee is 64 years old and was a stay-at-home parent for 38 years and completely dependent on the other spouse, he or she is a good candidate for permanent alimony in Arkansas.

If the payee is 34 years old and was a stay-at-home parent for 8 years, during which time he or she interrupted a career that can be re-entered, he or she is a good candidate for rehabilitative alimony.

Alimony has nothing to do with adultery or any other bad thing that one spouse did to the other. It is not punishment; it is simply a question about one person’s need for support and the other person’s ability to pay.

Alimony can be awarded to a wife or husband.

You cannot get it in a situation where you merely cohabitate with a person; you must actually be married.

If you’re considering filing for divorce and you have concerns about being eligible for alimony or your spouse seeking it, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer to make sure you get what is fair.  We can also review your divorce decree to determine whether your payment can be modified. At Wilson and Haubert, we have years of experience dealing with alimony and if you give us a call, we’ll make sure you get the best representation available.

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