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Who gets what: Asset division in Arkansas divorces

Asset division is often one of the most hotly contested aspects of a divorce agreement. Each spouse may feel like he or she deserves a specific asset, such as the marital home. Even if both parties are trying to work together, small disagreements can quickly cause problems when deciding on how to divide the marital assets.

Working with an experienced divorce attorney is one of the best ways to protect your interests during a divorce. An attorney can be critical to your future, particularly if there isn't an existing agreement about division of your marital assets.

How do Arkansas courts handle asset division during divorce?

In Arkansas, courts are required to make a "fair and equitable" division of marital property. It is important to understand that fair and equitable do not necessarily mean each spouse will leave with half of the marital assets. Rather, courts will look at many factors, including:

  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Each spouse's age and health
  • Each spouse's sources of income and occupation
  • Each spouse's contributions to the marriage
  • Tax consequences of the property division split

In short, judges have substantial discretion in dividing marital property. For this reason it is vital to have strong legal counsel on your side.

An attorney can advocate on your behalf

It can be difficult to speak eloquently in court when you are experiencing all the emotions of a divorce. Many times, the best way to present yourself is via experienced counsel, who can speak on your behalf. An attorney can also make negotiating directly with your former spouse or his or her attorney easier. Whether you have basic assets like a home, or more complex assets such as retirement accounts, investments, or an ownership interest in a business, an attorney can help negotiate for the assets you value the most.

An attorney can help whatever the grounds of the divorce

Unlike many states, Arkansas doesn't allow for divorce without grounds. That doesn't mean either spouse has to assume blame, however, as grounds for divorce can include living separately for at least eighteen months or "general indignities." Depending on who filed for divorce and what reason he or she provided the courts, the cause of the divorce could impact the division of assets.

Spouses who file for a divorce as a result of infidelity, for example, may request that debt incurred by their spouse during said infidelity won't be partially their responsibility when dividing debts and assets. There are many variations on this theme.

An attorney can help provide professional valuation of your assets

One of the biggest issues in deciding the division of assets can be creating a fair and reasonable valuation for those assets. From the value of a home to the value of collectibles and other physical possessions, an attorney can help connect you with a reputable appraiser. These professionals can determine the value of your assets, helping make the process of division quicker and more equitable.

Regardless of why you are divorcing, you deserve good representation in court and a fair judgment. The services of an experienced divorce attorney can protect you, your assets, and your financial future during a contentious divorce.

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