divorce attorney

DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS  |  LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS

DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS  |  LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS

DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW

Going through a divorce or custody case can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life. There is a complex set of laws that apply to divorce cases that affect your rights, the custody of your children, and the division of property. Whether you retain Green & Gillispie or another firm, you should not try to handle the case yourself.

There is an old maxim: “a person who represents himself has a fool for a client.” There is a great deal of truth in that statement. Even attorneys hire other lawyers to represent them when they need help with a divorce or other legal situation. Some of those lawyers have been represented by Green & Gillispie.

At Green & Gillispie, your case will get the personal attention you deserve from an experienced attorney—we will stand up for you, protect your rights, and keep you fully informed throughout your entire case. We work hard to fight for you and minimize your stress.

We will take the time to explain the divorce process to you and answer all of your questions. We also provide you will copies of all of the documents in your case so that you are completely informed at all times.

It is important to have a lawyer even if you believe your divorce will be uncontested. Only an experienced attorney can protect you and make sure everything is completed properly—you cannot rely on forms because every case is different—we tailor each case to our client’s needs. It costs much more to correct a divorce that has been done incorrectly than it does to do it right the first time.

CHILD CUSTODY & SUPPORT

The court will try to determine what is in the best interest of the child when making decisions about custody and visitation. The non-custodial parent is entitled to reasonable visitation and will be ordered to pay child support. Child support is usually set in accordance with the family support chart. This is a chart that designates the appropriate amount of support based on the non-custodial parent’s net income. It is important to know how to properly calculate the net income—it usually isn’t the exact amount of “take home” pay.

For decades joint custody was not favored in the law; however, this recently changed when the legislature enacted a bill that gave joint custody favored status. Even though joint custody is now favored, it is still difficult to obtain without an agreement. Requests for joint custody are complex and it takes an experienced attorney to properly conduct your hearing in order to maximize the chances for joint custody.

In determining custody, the court will consider several factors. Some of these include:

  1. Moral fitness
  2. Character
  3. Sobriety
  4. Stability
  5. Love and affection
  6. Discipline
  7. Attitude toward education
  8. Home environment (location, size, cleanliness, etc.)

Usually the court gives little weight (if any) to the child’s preference.

GETTING A DIVORCE

In Arkansas there are two basic types of divorce: no-fault and fault. In a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse must live separate and apart, with no marital relations, for eighteen (18) consecutive months. Regardless of the type, a person must wait at least thirty (30) days after filing for divorce before a court can grant the divorce.

For an at fault divorce, grounds must be proven. These grounds include:

  1. General indignities (most often used)
  2. Impotence
  3. Being convicted of a Felony
  4. Habitual drunkenness for at least one year
  5. Cruel and barbarous treatment which threatens life
  6. Adultery
  7. Willful failure to financially support a spouse
  8. Incurable insanity

There are additional requirements if the marriage was a covenant marriage.

PROPERTY AND DEBT

Generally, all property that is acquired after the marriage is considered marital property, and debts incurred after the marriage are marital debts. Marital property is presumed to be split 50/50; however, the same presumption does not apply to the debts. It is important to note that the judge will not care which party is at fault in determining the division of property and debts—the judge is supposed to make a fair and equitable division. How your case is presented will directly impact the judge’s decision.