Arkansas Separation Agreement Law

Divorce – Separation Agreements – Arkansas

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law of separation agreements in Arkansas, but does include basic and other provisions.

General Summary: A Separation or Property Settlement Agreement may be entered into “in  contemplation of” either a separation or divorce and the agreement is effective at the time it is signed.  If the Agreement clearly states that it is an independent contract to be submitted for the approval of the court, but not to merge into any subsequent Decree, the Agreement is enforced and interpreted under the general rules of contracts.  It is not subject to modification by the Court absent the agreement of the parties

Discussion: Ageements are governed by the rules of contracts and provisions of Title 9 of the Arkansas Code.

Statutes:

Title 9. Family Law
Chapter 12 Divorce and Annulment
Sub-Chapter 3 Action for Divorce or Annulment

Enforcement of separation agreements and decrees of court:

Courts of equity may enforce the performance of written agreements between husband and wife made and entered into in contemplation of either separation or divorce and decrees or orders for alimony and maintenance by sequestration of the property of either party, or that of his or her sureties, or by such other lawful ways and means, including equitable garnishments or contempt proceedings, as are in conformity with rules and practices of  courts of equity.  9-12-313.

Case Law:

“Courts of equity may enforce the performance of written agreements between husband and wife made and entered into in contemplation of either separation or divorce. . . .” Ark. Code Ann. § 9-12-313 (Repl. 1993). The agreement at issue indicates that it was “entered into in contemplation of . . . separation”; it determined the rights and obligations of the parties as to their marital property during their separation. Thus, section 9-12-313 provides the chancellor with the power to enforce the agreement. Grider v. Grider, 62 Ark. App. 99 (1998)


Inside Arkansas Separation Agreement Law