Is it Hard to Get Divorced in Arkansas?


Posts like this make me fondly remember the days when the Huffington Post actually had interesting things to say. (They don’t anymore.) The article is titled “The Five Best and Worst States for Getting a Divorce,” and while I’ll agree the title is interesting, that’s about all that’s interesting about it. According to the author, Arkansas tops the list of the hardest states in which to get a divorce.

Apparently the most important factor is the “Ease of Filing Score,” which is a combination of the length of residency required, separation requirement, and waiting period. Arkansas ranks the worst. Of particular interest is the “Minimum Total Processing Time,” which is 540 days. I have no idea what the 540 days are for; I don’t think any lawyer who took 540 days to get an Arkansas divorce would stay in business very long.

Anyway, as a service to the reading public and those who may trust HuffPo with divorce advice, here’s what it actually takes to get divorced in Arkansas:

  1. You (or your spouse) needs to have lived here for sixty days. (Yes, if your spouse lives here and you don’t, you can still file here.)
  2. You need $165 ($185 in Pulaski County if you’re an attorney) for a filing fee.
  3. You need to have grounds. (If you don’t want to bother with a separation, you can simply plead “general indignities.”)
  4. You have to wait thirty days after you file before the divorce is complete.

There are a few other things to worry about like proper service and getting a good, specific decree (stuff that’s best for a lawyer to do), but those aren’t too difficult, and they didn’t factor those things into the equation.

I do hate to see people get divorced, and sometimes I wish it was a more difficult process (although I don’t think it would do much to encourage people to try harder at marriage, unfortunately).

But it ain’t, especially in Arkansas.