Can You Divorce When Pregnant in Arkansas?

By Wayne Thomas

Extreme conflict between spouses can have an impact on the emotional well-being of children. In some cases, the relationship between married parents deteriorates after the child is born. However, in other cases, parties cannot stay together long enough for the child to be born. While a divorce can seem like the best decision for a couple that is expecting in Arkansas, state law does not allow a divorce to be granted while a mother is pregnant.

Pregnancy and Divorce

Under Arkansas law, you may file for divorce while pregnant. However, you cannot obtain a divorce judgment until after your child is born. This rule is in place to ensure that issues related to child support and custody are properly accounted for before the divorce goes through. In addition, any challenges to paternity need to be resolved. In Arkansas, if a couple is married, paternity is assumed unless contested before the divorce is granted. This treatment contrasts with the rule applied to unmarried couples, which allows paternity to be challenged after the initial support and custody orders are in place.

Moving the Divorce Forward

While you are waiting for your child to be born, you can start the divorce process to help dispense with some of the mandatory waiting periods. To divorce in Arkansas, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for the previous 60 days leading up to filing the action. Arkansas recognizes fault grounds for divorce, including adultery, as well as the no fault ground of living separate and apart for at least 18 months. The filing process requires completing a Complaint for Divorce and notifying your spouse. Your spouse then has 30 days to respond in writing. Even if your spouse responds sooner, no divorce may be granted in Arkansas until at least 30 days has passed since filing. You cannot request a final hearing until all of these waiting periods have been satisfied.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Reaching Agreement

If the relationship between you and your spouse is amicable and paternity is not in dispute, you may attempt to reach agreement on the major issues related to the divorce while waiting for the child to be born. These issues include property division, spousal support, custody and child support. If all issues can be resolved, you may draft a written agreement, which will form the basis for your obligations after the divorce is granted. This results in what is known as an uncontested divorce in Arkansas, and the agreement will become part of the divorce decree if the judge concludes that custody and support are in the best interests of the child and the property division is fair to both spouses.

Contested Divorces

If agreement on all issues is not possible, you may move forward with some of the pretrial matters while awaiting the birth of your child. This process typically includes exchanging financial information and requesting temporary orders from the court, such as those pertaining to spousal support and property. If a fault ground is alleged, such as adultery, you can gather your evidence for trial at this time, such as deposing witnesses. If paternity will be challenged, obtaining a prenatal genetic test as soon as possible will help both parties better prepare for the final hearing.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Oregon State Pregnancy & Divorce Laws


Related articles

Can I Still Get a Divorce if My Wife Is Pregnant in Texas?

Although divorce and pregnancy might seem like a contradiction in terms, the events do sometimes occur simultaneously. If you live in Texas and your wife is pregnant, the question isn't if you can get a divorce, but when. Texas courts are very reluctant to end your marriage when a baby is on the way.

How Long It Takes for an Uncontested Divorce to Be Final in New York

Disagreement between spouses usually is a major catalyst for divorce. Once the decision to end a marriage is made, if a couple can find common ground on all of the issues related to the divorce, they may qualify for an uncontested divorce in New York. Although certain state eligibility requirements must first be met, uncontested divorces typically can be finalized faster that traditional divorces, as the parties do not need to litigate their issues in court.

How to Handle a Divorce While Pregnant

When you’re pregnant and divorcing, the effect can be emotionally devastating. If you decide you’re going to move forward with the divorce, you’ll face added stress at a time when your hormones already have your emotions a little rocky. You can get through, but it might require some proactive effort.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Is Counseling Required to Divorce in Georgia?

Marriage counseling can be helpful to some couples attempting to reconcile and avoid divorce. In Georgia, while a ...

Can I Get Child Support if I'm Not Divorced Yet?

All parents are legally obligated to support their children, regardless of whether the parents are married, but most ...

Colorado Law on Divorcing While Pregnant

Divorce is among the most stressful experiences people can face and pregnancy can make the divorce process even more ...

Can Child Support Be Back Dated in Ohio?

In Ohio, when spouses decide to divorce, all the issues of the marriage must be resolved, such as property division and ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED