Just what does "General Indignities" mean?

Unlike some states, Arkansas is a fault divorce state, and while I have already explained the difference in fault and no-fault divorces in an earlier blog post, there are still some questions.  These questions mainly stem around the phrase “general indignities.”   


The most common grounds for divorce  used in Arkansas is “general indignities.” This term was defined in Coker v. Coker, 2012 Ark. 383 (citing Lytle v. Lytle, 266 Ark. 124 (1979) as the marriage being intolerable.  Intolerable could mean your spouse calling you names, being mean to you, being rude, throwing you insults, directing abusive language at you, ridiculing you or ignoring you, and your spouse does these things enough to make your marriage unbearable.  These could all be possible grounds for divorce under “general indignities”.  


Other grounds for divorce include your spouse having a felony conviction, being impotent, being an  alcohol abuser, endangering your life, humiliating, embarrassing, or shaming you, being an adulterer, having an incurable insanity, or not supporting you. One other way to get a divorce in Arkansas is to prove that you have been separated from your spouse for 18 months.  There can be no marital relations during this 18 month time period at all. If there are any, the time period must start over.  


While there are certainly other fault grounds, “general indignities” is the most common in Arkansas because it covers so many different things.   If you are considering getting a divorce, it might benefit you to schedule a consultation with a lawyer to see if your situation amounts to "general indignities."

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