Fayetteville Family Lawyers Protect Clients’ Interests During Divorces
Arkansas attorneys provide effective guidance when a marriage ends
Ending a marriage not only affects your emotional health, but your financial circumstances and the well-being of your children. At Gramling Estes Law Firm in Fayetteville, our award-winning divorce lawyers have been striving to relieve the burden faced by Arkansas clients facing family legal issues for more than 58 years. We offer a blend of compassionate counsel and aggressive advocacy to help spouses secure favorable results even if the parties are far apart on issues such as child custody, property division and alimony. From your first consultation with us through the finalization of your divorce, our firm is fully committed to helping you achieve your legal goals.
Established firm advises on divorce grounds and legal requirements
You should know what choices you have when deciding how to proceed with your divorce. Speaking with a seasoned family lawyer will help you understand how Arkansas law addresses:
- Grounds — You can obtain an absolute decree of divorce without alleging fault on the part of your spouse if the two of you have lived apart for at least 18 months. If there has been no 18-month separation, one of the spouses will need to show fault on the other party, such as adultery or abandonment.
- Contested and uncontested divorces — Parties who agree on the terms of their divorce can save time and money by executing a martial settlement agreement and initiating an uncontested divorce, which is usually granted on a no-fault basis. No less than 30 days after the complaint is filed and served on the other party, a hearing is held where the settlement agreement is submitted to the court. Upon confirmation that residency and grounds requirements are met, the marriage should be dissolved. However, even if you only suspect that there might be some dispute between you and your spouse, it’s worthwhile to consult with an attorney about whether a contested divorce is a better option.
- Ending a covenant marriage — Arkansas couples who have entered into a covenant marriage must undergo marital counseling before divorcing. The required separation period is longer when these couples seek a no-fault divorce. If you have this type of union, we can advise you on other distinctions in this divorce process.
No matter what led to your divorce, our office will be happy to advise you regarding your rights and legal options.
Advocates handle custody, property division, alimony and child support issues
Hiring the right northwest Arkansas family lawyer increases the likelihood that your divorce order will include favorable terms addressing:
- Child custody and support — It is usually optimal for parents to find common ground on child custody and visitation arrangements. We strive to establish a framework that creates a healthy environment for everyone and also assist with matters relating to child support.
- Property division — If spouses cannot reach consensus on how to divide marital assets and debts, state courts use the principle of equitable distribution to make this determination. This means the judge decides what is fair, but not necessarily equal, after reviewing a series of factors. Unless a contrary prenuptial agreement is in place, the marital estate includes all types of assets. The attorneys at Gramling Estes have dealt with unique property division problems concerning issues such as division of profit sharing plans, deferred compensation packages, retirement plans, annuities, investment accounts, life insurance, interest or passive income, pension divisions, division of vacation homes, division of valuable art/jewelry, business owned property, and unique problems that arise when representing individuals who have accumulated wealth as officers of publicly held companies or some similar position. In addition, military benefits and pensions bring unique problems that should be dealt with by an attorney with experience in that area.
- Alimony — Spousal support, also known as alimony, can be granted on a temporary or permanent basis if one party relied on the other for income during the course of their union.
Effective litigators assist with order modification requests
Life goes on after a divorce, and any life changes that occur might necessitate modifications to a couple’s divorce decree. In some instances, the adjustments are fairly simple, such as the lifting of an alimony obligation when the recipient ex-spouse remarries or cohabits with a romantic partner. Arkansas law permits either the custodial or noncustodial parent to petition for a change in their child support rate if monthly income shifts by 20 percent or $100. As the needs of children and their families change, modifications to custody and visitation terms are often requested. These petitions are decided based on what is in the young person’s best interests. In all cases, courts tend to discourage potential changes that are frivolous or are submitted to evade previously ordered obligations. Our experienced attorneys can assess the proposed modification to your divorce order and advocate for the result that best suits your needs.
Contact an effective Fayetteville divorce lawyer to schedule a free consultation
Gramling Estes Law Firm in Fayetteville represents Arkansas clients in divorce proceedings and other family law matters. For a free consultation, please call 479-480-4250 or contact us online.