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Fault vs. No-fault divorce in Arkansas: Which approach is better?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Divorce

If you’re wondering which approach to choose between a fault-based and a no-fault divorce, you have options. In Arkansas, you have the liberty to opt for either. Does it make a difference which approach you explore?

Understanding how your divorce will play out based on the approach you choose can help you make the right decision for your unique circumstances.

What distinguishes the two options?

As the name suggests, a fault-based divorce is when you have to justify your reasons for wanting to end your marriage. Suppose your spouse’s misconduct has gotten you to this point; exploring this option can give you some sense of justice during divorce proceedings. You might want to make it clear to yourself and to your spouse that the marriage probably would have worked if not for their:

  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Conviction of a felony

However, if the reason is an unfortunate and unforeseen development like your spouse’s incurable insanity, you might want to explore a no-fault approach. After all, incapacity is no one’s fault.

Suppose the marriage is ending due to irreconcilable differences. In that case, a no-fault basis is ideal. Remember, you can also choose this option even if you have proof of marital misconduct but decide that the process of proving your claims would be too overwhelming. Naturally, a no-fault divorce is more straightforward than a fault-based approach because it’s less adversarial.

Which approach is better?

People who aren’t faced with the decision to end their marriage might think that it doesn’t matter which approach you choose as long as you get divorced. In truth, the way your separation will play out greatly hinges on the path you opt for.

On the one hand, having overwhelming proof that the marriage is ending due to your spouse’s marital misconduct can help you secure a divorce settlement that somewhat compensates you for putting up with your spouse’s indignities. On the other hand, a no-fault divorce might just be what you need to put your troubled divorce behind you as soon as the situation allows.

The truth is, you may likely feel the pinch of divorce whether you choose a fault-based or a no-fault approach. When deciding between the two options, learning more about how the laws apply to your situation can guide your decision-making process.