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How To Get Divorced Without A Lawyer in Arkansas without Fear

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Divorced Without a lawyer

Navigating the emotional and legal process of divorce is challenging. However, some people might consider going through the process without legal representation. This not only saves considerable attorney fees but also fosters a sense of control over your personal affairs.

In this blog post, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of obtaining a divorce without a lawyer. While our guide online divorce services is not a substitute for legal counsel, it provides a fundamental understanding of the proceedings, helping you to make informed decisions during this critical phase of your life.

Info in this Blog

Can you get a divorce without a lawyer in Arkansas?

Yes, it is possible to get a divorce without a lawyer in Arkansas, especially in cases where the divorce is uncontested, which means both parties agree on all terms of the divorce, including division of property, child custody, and any spousal support. You can still represent yourself if it is not an uncontested divorce.

We have video guides and software that walk you through the process step by step.

Arkansas provides for a “pro se” divorce, which means you can represent yourself in court. In a pro se divorce, you would need to fill out and file all the necessary paperwork yourself, pay the filing fees, and you would be responsible for understanding and following all court rules and procedures.

What are the steps to start the divorce process my own in Arkansas?

Getting a divorce on your own, involves several steps. Here’s a general outline of the process, but remember that specifics may vary depending on the situation.

Starting the Divorce

Determine Eligibility: To file for divorce in Arkansas, you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least 60 days before filing.

Choose the Correct Forms: The Arkansas Judiciary website provides a selection of free legal forms, including those needed for divorce. The forms you need depend on your situation (like if you have minor children).

Fill Out the Forms: This will include information about you, your spouse, any children, and property or debts that need to be divided.

File the Forms: You’ll need to file the completed forms at the county court clerk”s office where you or your spouse live. You will need to pay the Court filing fees, though in some cases you might be able to get it waived if you can demonstrate financial hardship. Here is more information about where to file your divorce in Arkansas. 

Serve Your Spouse: Your spouse needs to be formally “served” with the divorce papers. This usually needs to be done by a third party, such as a sheriff or a private process server, and cannot be done by you.

Finishing the Divorce

Wait for Response: Your spouse will have a certain amount of time (usually 30 days) to respond to the divorce papers.

Attend Court Hearings: If everything goes smoothly, you might not have to go to court. But in many cases, you will need to attend at least one hearing before the divorce is finalized.

Finalize the Divorce: If the judge agrees with the divorce settlement agreement, they will issue a divorce decree, officially ending the marriage.

Remember, these are general steps and may not cover every situation. Our video guides and software have helped many people get divorced in Arkansas

How much does it cost to get a divorce without a lawyer in Arkansas?

No More Legal Fees

It can vary. The expenses are the first thing to think about. There is a filing fee that the Court requires and you may have to serve your spouse. The expenses to start the case range from $185-260 depending on the cost of service. If possible, you can get your spouse to waiver service and that will save some money. Our complete video guide for divorce in Arkansas (including all the forms) starts at $397.

What forms (divorce papers) do I need to file for divorce in Arkansas without legal representation?

If you’re planning to file for divorce on your own in Arkansas, it’s crucial to have the right legal forms. Here all the forms you need to file for divorce in Arkansas:

  1. Domestic Relations Cover Sheet: This form provides the court with basic information about the divorce.

  2. Complaint for Divorce: This is the main form where you request the divorce and outline what you’re asking for, such as how to divide property and child custody arrangements.

  3. Summons: This form informs your spouse that they’re being sued for divorce and what they need to do.

  4. Confidential Information Sheet: If you have children, you need to file this sheet. You children’s name are not supposed to go in public court records.

These are just the forms to file for divorce. Click here to read about all the forms necessary to complete an Arkansas Divorce.

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Can I get a divorce without a lawyer in Arkansas if my spouse does not agree?

Yes, you can still get a divorce in Arkansas even if your spouse does not agree to it, but it may complicate the process.

However, if your spouse does not agree to the divorce or to the terms of the divorce, such as division of marital property, or child custody, it becomes a contested divorce.

A contested divorce will likely require a trial where each party presents evidence and arguments for their preferred outcome. The judge will then make the final decision on the divorce and its terms. This process can be more time-consuming, expensive, and stressful than an uncontested divorce.

If your spouse doesn’t agree to the divorce and you’re representing yourself, it might be especially challenging. Our video guides cover issues that happen in uncontested divorce and contested divorces.

How can I ensure that my rights are protected if I'm getting a divorce without a lawyer in Arkansas?

If you’re going through a divorce without a lawyer in Arkansas, there are several steps you can take to protect your rights:

Educate Yourself: Understand the divorce process in Arkansas, including the legal grounds for divorce, how property is typically divided, how child custody is determined, etc. The Arkansas Judiciary website is a good resource for this.

Complete All Forms Accurately: Make sure you accurately and completely fill out all the necessary divorce forms. A small mistake could potentially have significant consequences.

Document Everything: Keep records of all interactions with your spouse, as well as any financial transactions or changes in your or your spouse’s financial situation.

Understand Your Financial Situation: Have a clear understanding of your assets, debts, income, and expenses. This will be critical when it comes to things like dividing property and determining alimony and child support.

Protect Your Assets: You might need to take steps to protect your marital assets too, especially if you think your spouse might try to hide or waste marital property. This could include things like keeping track of your credit report or separating some of your joint accounts.

Stay Professional: Especially in any written or recorded communications, try to stay calm and professional. Anything you say could potentially be used in the divorce proceedings.

Consider Mediation: If you and your spouse have disagreements about the divorce terms, you and other spouse might want to consider mediation. A neutral third party (the mediator) can help you reach a divorce settlement agreement.

Consult With a Lawyer: Even if you’re planning to do most of the divorce process yourself, it could be helpful to at least consult with a lawyer. They can help you understand your rights and what to expect in the divorce process.

Remember, laws and procedures can change over time, so always check the current laws in your state and consult with a legal professional if you can. Divorce can be a complex legal process, and even a small mistake could have significant consequences, so getting legal advice is always a good idea if possible.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Arkansas without a lawyer?

The time it takes to get a divorce in Arkansas can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of your case. If the divorce is uncontested (meaning both parties agree on all terms of the divorce), the process can be relatively quick, typically a few months. This includes a mandatory 30-day waiting period after filing before final judgment on the divorce can be finalized.

However, if the divorce is contested (meaning the parties do not agree on all terms), the process can take significantly longer, potentially a year or more. This is due to the time it takes to negotiate or litigate issues like division of property, child custody, and spousal support.

It’s important to note that handling a divorce without a lawyer can sometimes slow down the process, particularly if you’re not familiar with the legal system and the specific requirements for filing and serving divorce papers. Additionally, the court’s schedule and any backlog can also affect the timeline.

Should I Get Divorced Without a Lawyer?

Deciding whether to get a divorce without a lawyer is a personal decision that depends on your specific circumstances. Here are some factors to consider:

Simplicity of the Case: If your case is simple (for example, a short marriage with no children and little property), a “do-it-yourself” divorce might be feasible. But if your case involves children, significant property or debt, or other complex issues, a lawyer can help navigate these complexities.

Agreement Between Spouses: If you and your spouse agree on all issues (an uncontested divorce), you as one spouse might be able to manage the divorce process on your own. But if there are disagreements (a contested divorce), a lawyer can represent your interests and help negotiate a fair settlement.

Understanding of Legal Procedures: The divorce process involves a lot of paperwork and strict procedural rules. If you’re comfortable navigating these procedures on your own, a “pro se” divorce might be an option. But if you’re unsure about any part of the process, a mistake could lead to delays or an unfavorable outcome.

Financial Resources: Lawyers can be expensive, and not everyone can afford one. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you might have to manage the divorce on your own, or you might qualify for free or low-cost legal aid. But keep in mind that the cost of a lawyer might be worth it to ensure your rights are protected.

Emotional State: Divorce can be emotionally difficult, which can make it hard to make objective decisions. A lawyer can provide a clear, objective perspective and ensure that your decisions are based on your legal rights and best interests, not just your emotions.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to at least consult with a legal professional before deciding to get a divorce without an attorney. They can help you understand your options and the potential risks. Laws and procedures can change, so always check the current divorce laws in Arkansas.

Do I need to appear in court if I file for divorce without a lawyer in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, whether you need to appear in court when filing for divorce largely depends on the specifics of your case.

If you are filing for an uncontested divorce (where both parties agree on all terms of the divorce), and all the required paperwork has been properly completed and filed, you may not need to appear in court. It will depend on the requirement of the Judge that was assigned to your case. Different judges have different requirements.

However, if your divorce is contested (the parties do not agree on all terms), you will likely need to appear in court for hearings. During these hearings, both parties will have the opportunity to each present evidence for their case, and the judge will make decisions on things like division of property, custody, and spousal support.

Even in an uncontested divorce, there could be circumstances where a court appearance is required. For example, if there are minor children involved, some judges might require a hearing to review the custody and support arrangements.

What are the potential pitfalls or challenges of getting a divorce without a lawyer in Arkansas?

Getting a divorce on your own, also known as a diy divorce or a “pro se” divorce, can be a cost-effective way to end a marriage, especially in cases where the divorce is uncontested. However, the do it yourself divorce, can also present a number of potential pitfalls or challenges:

Understanding Legal Procedures: The divorce process involves many technical legal procedures, from properly serving your spouse with divorce papers to adhering to court rules and deadlines. Failure to follow these procedures can lead to delays, or even dismissal of your case.

Filling Out Forms Correctly: There are numerous forms to fill out in a divorce, and they can be complex. Small errors or omissions can cause major issues, including delays in your case or an unfavorable outcome.

Knowledge of Family Law: Without a background in family law, you may not fully understand your rights and obligations. This could result in you agreeing to an unfavorable marital settlement agreement, or not asking for something you’re entitled to, such as spousal support.

Negotiating Skills: If the divorce is contested, you’ll need to negotiate with your spouse, possibly in court. Without a divorce lawyer around, you’ll be on your own to present your case and counter your spouse’s arguments.

Emotional Difficulties: Divorce is often an emotional time. It can be difficult to make objective decisions when you’re also dealing with the emotional fallout of a marriage ending.

Complex Cases: If your case involves complex issues, such as significant assets, debts, legal fees, or a dispute over child custody, going it alone can be especially risky. Missteps could have long-lasting effects.

Remember, while it’s possible to get a divorce without an attorney, it’s always a good idea to at least consult with a legal professional to make sure you fully understand the process and potential pitfalls.


If you want to get divorced and are looking to be able to handle it yourself. Our video guides will help you understand the entire legal process and draft all the documents you need. There is no better solution out there for an Arkansas Divorce guaranteed. 


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