Alimony / Maintenance / Support
The term alimony means the same thing as spousal support or maintenance. Arkansas Law allows a judge to award temporary alimony to either spouse until a divorce is final. In most cases in which alimony is awarded, it lasts for a certain period in order to give the spouse time to get back on his/her feet. In the case of a long term marriage or where one spouse is ill, the court can establish a permanent spousal support arrangement. It is in the interest of any spouse who has been out of the work force for a number of years to get spousal support while they get retrained.
Annulment vs. Divorce
An annulment is a legal procedure which abolishes a marriage as if it had never existed. The most common reason that a marriage is annulled is fraud. This might mean a failure to disclose some important fact to the spouse like a communicable disease, an inability to have children, a previous divorce or a criminal past. Other common reasons are bigamy, incest, or duress. Most people do not get annulments unless they have some legal, financial or religious reasons to avoid a divorce.
A contested divorce often comes about when there is substantial property or assets and a feeling by one spouse or the other that he/she deserves more. In Arkansas the court will divide property according to equitable distribution, a fancy way of saying according to what the court believes is fair. Factors considered include each spouse’s earning power, non-marital property, services as the homemaker, duration of the marriage and the age and health of both parties.