How Does Divorce Work in Arkansas?

Full Question:

I am from Colombia South America and I speak mostly Spanish. My husband filed an affidavit support for me and my 2 daughters to come to USA and get married. Now we have 2 more girls together and we are married for about 4 years. He has his own business and home but he has this after we got married and it was in his last divorced. I don't work and I have only a credit card because he doesn't want me to use cash. His bank account and we have cars, work trucks, boats, etc, after we got married. He is always humiliating me and my oldest daughter taking away something like my credit care and in the last date he sold my daughters car because he was mad. And always is the same and I can bit take a decision in anything. He doesn't want me to work and we don't have sexual life for about one year, because he prefer to watch pornography. He has a problem before with his ex because he touched her daughter and he went to the jail for one night. After we got married he try to touch my daughter's breast but she told me and said to him but he said he doesn't remember. My question is if we divorced can I win and can I have alimony? He has to support me and my daughters because he brought us to USA and he signed an affidavit support. What about the house because he is still paying, the business and all the stuff we have? Where can I read about the Arkansas divorce law? Thank you so much for your help because I don't know what to do!
10/06/2009   |   Category: Divorce   |   State: Arkansas   |   #18956

Answer:

Arkansas is an equitable distribution state when property division is involved in a divorce. The court will try to divide marital property equally, but has the power to make distributions based on principles of faireness. The court will distribute the marital property of the parties between them as it deems equitable and just, after setting aside to each spouse that party's separate property.

Child support for minor children may be awarded according to state guidelines. Alimony may be awarded as long as the amount is reasonable based upon the circumstances of the parties and the nature of the case.

For further discussion, please see:

http://courts.arkansas.gov/aoc/acs_guidelines.cfm
http://www.divorcesupport.com/divorce/Arkansas-Divorce-Laws-428.html

Please see the following AR statutes:

9-12-301. Grounds for divorce.

(a) A plaintiff who seeks to dissolve and set aside a
covenant marriage shall state in his or her petition for
divorce that he or she is seeking to dissolve a covenant
marriage as authorized under the Covenant Marriage Act of
2001, § 9-11-801 et seq.

(b) The circuit court shall have power to dissolve and set
aside a marriage contract, not only from bed and board, but
from the bonds of matrimony, for the following causes:

(1) When either party, at the time of the contract, was and
still is impotent;

(2) When either party shall be convicted of a felony or
other infamous crime;

(3) When either party shall:

(A) Be addicted to habitual drunkenness for one (1) year;

(B) Be guilty of such cruel and barbarous treatment as to
endanger the life of the other; or

(C) Offer such indignities to the person of the other as
shall render his or her condition intolerable;

(4) When either party shall have committed adultery
subsequent to the marriage;

(5) When husband and wife have lived separate and apart
from each other for eighteen (18) continuous months without
cohabitation, the court shall grant an absolute decree of
divorce at the suit of either party, whether the separation
was the voluntary act of one (1) party or by the mutual
consent of both parties or due to the fault of either party
or both parties;

(6)(A) In all cases in which a husband and wife have lived
separate and apart for three (3) consecutive years without
cohabitation by reason of the incurable insanity of one (1)
of them, the court shall grant a decree of absolute divorce
upon the petition of the sane spouse if the proof shows
that the insane spouse has been committed to an institution
for the care and treatment of the insane for three (3) or
more years prior to the filing of the suit, has been
adjudged to be of unsound mind by a court of competent
jurisdiction, and has not been discharged from such
adjudication by the court and the proof of insanity is
supported by the evidence of two (2) reputable physicians
familiar with the mental condition of the spouse, one (1)
of whom shall be a regularly practicing physician in the
community wherein the spouse resided, and when the insane
spouse has been confined in an institution for the care and
treatment of the insane, that the proof in the case is
supported by the evidence of the superintendent or one (1)
of the physicians of the institution wherein the insane
spouse has been confined.

(B)(i) In all decrees granted under this subdivision (b)(6),
the court shall require the plaintiff to provide for the care
and maintenance of the insane defendant so long as he or she
may live.

(ii) The trial court will retain jurisdiction of the
parties and the cause from term to term for the purpose of
making such further orders as equity may require to enforce
the provisions of the decree requiring the plaintiff to
furnish funds for such care and maintenance.

(C)(i) Service of process upon an insane spouse shall be
had by service of process upon the duly appointed,
qualified, and acting guardian of the insane spouse or upon
a duly appointed guardian ad litem for the insane spouse,
and when the insane spouse is confined in an institution
for the care of the insane, upon the superintendent or
physician in charge of the institution wherein the insane
spouse is at the time confined.

(ii) However, when the insane spouse is not confined in an
institution, service of process upon the duly appointed,
qualified, and acting guardian of the insane spouse or duly
appointed guardian ad litem and thereafter personal service
or constructive service on an insane defendant by
publication of warning order for four (4) weeks shall be
sufficient; and

(7) When either spouse legally obligated to support the
other, and having the ability to provide the other with the
common necessaries of life, willfully fails to do so.

9-12-307. Matters that must be proved.

(a) To obtain a divorce, the plaintiff must prove, but
need not allege, in addition to a legal cause of divorce:

(1)(A) A residence in the state by either the plaintiff or
defendant for sixty (60) days next before the commencement
of the action and a residence in the state for three (3)
full months before the final judgment granting the decree
of divorce.

(B) No decree of divorce, however, shall be granted until
at least thirty (30) days have elapsed from the date of the
filing of the complaint.

(C) When personal service cannot be had upon the defendant
or when the defendant fails to enter his or her appearance
in the action, no decree of divorce shall be granted the
plaintiff until the plaintiff has maintained an actual
residence in the State of Arkansas for a period of not less
than three (3) full months;

(2) That the cause of action and cause of divorce occurred
or existed in this state or, if out of the state, that it
was a legal cause of divorce in this state, the laws of
this state to govern exclusively and independently of the
laws of any other state as to the cause of divorce; and

(3) That the cause of divorce occurred or existed within
five (5) years next before the commencement of the suit.

(b) "Residence" as used in subsection (a) of this
section is defined to mean actual presence, and upon proof
of that the party alleging and offering the proof shall be
considered domiciled in the state, and this is declared to
be the legislative intent and public policy of the State of
Arkansas.

9-12-310. Waiting period before rendition of decree.

Unless the parties shall have lived separate and apart
from each other for a period of twelve (12) months next
before the filing of the complaint or unless the defendant
is constructively summoned by publication of warning order,
no decree of absolute divorce or of divorce from bed and
board shall be rendered in any action brought on any
grounds except bigamy before the thirtieth day following
the day upon which the action for divorce is commenced.
This prohibition is not subject to waiver by either or both
parties to the action for divorce; however, the parties may
agree that the case may be submitted in vacation.

9-12-312. Alimony — Child support — Bond — Method
of payment.

(a)(1) When a decree is entered, the court shall make
orders concerning the alimony of the wife or the husband
and the care of the children, if there are any, as are
reasonable from the circumstances of the parties and the
nature of the case. Unless otherwise ordered by the court
or agreed to by the parties, the liability for alimony
shall automatically cease upon the earlier of:

(A) The date of the remarriage of the person who was
awarded the alimony;

(B) The establishment of a relationship that produces a
child or children and results in a court order directing
another person to pay support to the recipient of alimony,
which circumstances shall be considered the equivalent of
remarriage; or

(C) The establishment of a relationship that produces a
child or children and results in a court order directing
the recipient of alimony to provide support of another
person who is not a descendant by birth or adoption of the
payor of the alimony, which circumstances shall be
considered the equivalent of remarriage.

(2) In determining a reasonable amount of support,
initially or upon review to be paid by the noncustodial
parent, the court shall refer to the most recent revision
of the family support chart. It shall be a rebuttable
presumption for the award of child support that the amount
contained in the family support chart is the correct amount
of child support to be awarded. Only upon a written finding
or specific finding on the record that the application of
the support chart would be unjust or inappropriate, as
determined under established criteria set forth in the
family support chart, shall the presumption be rebutted.

(3) The family support chart shall be revised at least once
every four (4) years by a committee to be appointed by the
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to ensure that the
support amounts are appropriate for child support awards.
The committee shall also establish the criteria for
deviation from use of the chart amount.

(4) The Supreme Court shall approve the family support
chart and criteria upon revision by the committee for use
in this state and shall publish it through per curiam order
of the court.

(5)(A) The court may provide for the payment of support
beyond the eighteenth birthday of the child to address the
educational needs of a child whose eighteenth birthday
falls prior to graduation from high school so long as such
support is conditional on the child remaining in school.

(B) The court may also provide for the continuation of
support for an individual with a disability that affects
the ability of the individual to live independently from
the custodial parent.

(b) In addition to any other remedies available, alimony
may be awarded under proper circumstances to either party
in fixed installments for a specified period of time
subject to the contingencies of the death of either party,
the remarriage of the receiving party, or such other
contingencies as are set forth in the award, so that the
payments qualify as periodic payments within the meaning of
the Internal Revenue Code.

(c)(1) When the order provides for payment of money for the
support and care of any children, the court, in its
discretion, may require the person ordered to make the
payments to furnish and file with the clerk of the court a
bond or post security or give some other guarantee in such
amount and with such sureties as the court shall direct.

(2) The bond, security, or guarantee is to be conditioned
on compliance with that part of the order of the court
concerning the support and care of the children.

(3) If such action is taken due to a delinquency under the
order, proper advance notice to the noncustodial parent
shall be given.

(d) All orders requiring payments of money for the support
and care of any children shall direct the payments to be
made through the registry of the court unless the court in
its discretion determines that it would be in the best
interest of the parties to direct otherwise. However, in
all cases brought pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social
Security Act, the court shall order that all payments be
made through the Arkansas child support clearinghouse in
accordance with § 9-14-801 et seq.

(e)(1)(A) Except as set forth in subdivision (e)(5) of this
section, all orders directing payments through the registry
of the court or through the Arkansas child support
clearinghouse shall set forth a fee to be paid by the
noncustodial parent or obligated spouse in the amount of
thirty-six dollars ($36.00) per year.

(B) The fee shall be collected from the noncustodial parent
or obligated spouse at the time of the first support
payment and during the anniversary month of the entry of
the order each year thereafter, or nine dollars ($9.00) per
quarter at the option of the obligated parent, until no
children remain minor and the support obligation is
extinguished and any arrears are completely liquidated.

(2) The clerk, upon direction from the court and as an
alternative to collecting the annual fee during the
anniversary month each year after entry of the order, may
prorate the first fee collected at the time of the first
payment of support under the order to the number of months
remaining in the calendar year and thereafter collect all
fees as provided in this subsection during the month of
January of each year.

(3) Payments made for this fee shall be made on an annual
basis in the form of a check or money order payable to the
clerk of the court or such other legal tender that the
clerk may accept. This fee payment shall be separate and
apart from the support payment and under no circumstances
shall the support payment be reduced to fulfill the payment
of this fee.

(4) Upon the nonpayment of the annual fee by the
noncustodial parent within ninety (90) days, the clerk may
notify the payor under the order of income withholding for
child support who shall withhold the fee in addition to any
support and remit it to the clerk.

(5) In counties where an annual fee is collected and the
court grants at least two thousand five hundred (2,500)
divorces each year, the court may require that the initial
annual fee be paid by the noncustodial parent or obligated
spouse prior to the filing of the order.

(6) All moneys collected by the clerk as a fee as provided
in this subsection shall be used by the clerk's office to
offset administrative costs as a result of this
subchapter. At least twenty percent (20%) of the moneys collected
annually shall be used to purchase, maintain, and operate
an automated data system for use in administering the
requirements of this subchapter. The acquisition and update
of software for the automated data system shall be a
permitted use of these funds. All fees collected under this
subsection shall be paid into the county treasury to the
credit of the fund to be known as the "support collection
costs fund". Moneys deposited into this fund shall be
appropriated and expended for the uses designated in this
subdivision (e)(6) by the quorum court at the direction of
the clerk of the court.

(f) The clerk of the court shall maintain accurate records
of all support orders and payments made under this
section and shall post to individual child support account
ledgers maintained in the clerk's office all payments
received directly by the Office of Child Support
Enforcement of the Revenue Division of the Department of
Finance and Administration and reported to the clerk by the
office. The office shall provide the clerk with sufficient
information to identify the custodial and noncustodial
parents, a docket number, and the amount and date of
payment. The clerk shall keep on file the information
provided by the office for audit purposes.

(g) The clerk may accept the support payment in any form of
cash or commercial paper, including personal check, and may
require that the custodial parent or nonobligated spouse be
named as payee thereon.

9-12-315. Division of property.

(a) At the time a divorce decree is entered:

(1)(A) All marital property shall be distributed one-half
(½) to each party unless the court finds such a
division to be inequitable. In that event the court shall
make some other division that the court deems equitable
taking into consideration:

(i) The length of the marriage;

(ii) Age, health, and station in life of the parties;

(iii) Occupation of the parties;

(iv) Amount and sources of income;

(v) Vocational skills;

(vi) Employability;

(vii) Estate, liabilities, and needs of each party and
opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital
assets and income;

(viii) Contribution of each party in acquisition,
preservation, or appreciation of marital property,
including services as a homemaker; and

(ix) The federal income tax consequences of the court's
division of property.

(B) When property is divided pursuant to the foregoing
considerations the court must state its basis and reasons
for not dividing the marital property equally between the
parties, and the basis and reasons should be recited in the
order entered in the matter;

(2) All other property shall be returned to the party who
owned it prior to the marriage unless the court shall make
some other division that the court deems equitable taking
into consideration those factors enumerated in
subdivision (a)(1) of this section, in which event the
court must state in writing its basis and reasons for not
returning the property to the party who owned it at the
time of the marriage.

(3)(A) Every such final order or judgment shall designate
the specific real and personal property to which each party
is entitled.

(B) When it appears from the evidence in the case to the
satisfaction of the court that the real estate is not
susceptible of the division as provided for in this
section without great prejudice to the parties interested,
the court shall order a sale of the real estate. The sale
shall be made by a commissioner to be appointed by the
court for that purpose at public auction to the highest
bidder upon the terms and conditions and at the time and
place fixed by the court. The proceeds of every such sale,
after deducting the cost and expenses of the sale,
including the fee allowed the commissioner by the court for
his or her services, shall be paid into the court and by
the court divided among the parties in proportion to their
respective rights in the premises.

(C) The proceedings for enforcing these orders may be by
petition of either party specifying the property the other
has failed to restore or deliver, upon which the court may
proceed to hear and determine the same in a summary manner
after ten (10) days' notice to the opposite party. Such
order, judgment, or decree shall be a bar to all claims of
dower or curtesy in and to any of the lands or personalty
then owned or thereafter acquired by either party;

(4) When stocks, bonds, or other securities issued by a
corporation, association, or government entity make up
part of the marital property, the court shall designate in its
final order or judgment the specific property in securities
to which each party is entitled, or after determining the
fair market value of the securities, may order and adjudge
that the securities be distributed to one (1) party on
condition that one-half (½) the fair market value of
the securities in money or other property be set aside and
distributed to the other party in lieu of division and
distribution of the securities.

(b) For the purpose of this section, "marital property"
means all property acquired by either spouse subsequent to
the marriage except:

(1) Property acquired prior to marriage or by gift or by
reason of the death of another, including, but not limited
to, life insurance proceeds, payments made under a deferred
compensation plan, or an individual retirement account, and
property acquired by right of survivorship, by a trust
distribution, by bequest or inheritance, or by a payable on
death or a transfer on death arrangement;

(2) Property acquired in exchange for property acquired
prior to the marriage or in exchange for property acquired
by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;

(3) Property acquired by a spouse after a decree of divorce
from bed and board;

(4) Property excluded by valid agreement of the parties;

(5) The increase in value of property acquired prior to
marriage or by gift or by reason of the death of another,
including, but not limited to, life insurance proceeds,
payments made under a deferred compensation plan, or an
individual retirement account, and property acquired by
right of survivorship, by a trust distribution, by bequest
or inheritance, or by a payable on death or a transfer on
death arrangement, or in exchange therefor;

(6) Benefits received or to be received from a workers'
compensation claim, personal injury claim, or social
security claim when those benefits are for any degree of
permanent disability or future medical expenses; and

(7) Income from property owned prior to the marriage or
from property acquired by gift or by reason of the death of
another, including, but not limited to, life insurance
proceeds, payments made under a deferred compensation plan,
or an individual retirement account, and property acquired
by right of survivorship, by a trust distribution, by
bequest or inheritance, or by a payable on death or a
transfer on death arrangement, or in exchange therefor.

(c) The court is not required to address the division of
property at the time a divorce decree is entered if either
party is involved in a bankruptcy proceeding.

9-12-317. Dissolution of estates by the entirety or
survivorship.

(a) Hereafter, when any circuit court in this state
renders a final decree of divorce, any estate by the
entirety or survivorship in real or personal property held
by the parties to the divorce shall be automatically
dissolved unless the court order specifically provides
otherwise, and in the division and partition of the
property, the parties shall be treated as tenants in
common.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section or any
other law to the contrary, when one (1) of the parties to
the estate by the entirety has been found guilty or has
pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a felony during the
marriage and within three (3) years of filing the complaint
for divorce and the other party to the divorce did not
benefit from the felony, the circuit judge may award the
property to the spouse who did not commit the felony or to
both parties in any proportion deemed equitable by the
circuit judge.

(c) However, when a circuit court in this state renders an
absolute divorce from the bonds of matrimony or a divorce
from bed and board, and the court dissolves estates by the
entirety or survivorship in real or personal property under
this section, the court may distribute the property as
provided in § 9-12-315. The court shall set forth its
reasons in writing in the decree for making an other than
equal distribution to each party, when all the property is
considered together, taking into account the factors
enumerated in § 9-12-315(a)(1).

9-12-323. Joint credit card accounts.

(a)(1) After a court has determined or approved a
property settlement agreement establishing the party
responsible for any joint credit card account debt in a
divorce action maintained or being maintained in the courts
of this state, the nonresponsible party may notify the
issuer of the credit card of the court order by sending a
written notice containing the account name and account
number of the joint credit card accompanied by a certified
copy of the court order and property settlement agreement,
if any, by certified mail, return receipt requested to:

(A) The address that the issuer has designated for making
payments on the credit card account; or

(B) The customer service address provided by the issuer.

(2) On the date the notice is processed by the issuer of
the credit card, not later than the fourth business day
after receipt of the notice by the issuer, the
nonresponsible party shall not be liable for any new
charges on the credit card, other than charges made by the
nonresponsible party, but shall remain liable for the
balance due prior to the date the issuer processes the
notice and all interest and late fees accrued or thereafter
accruing on the balance.

(b)(1) The issuer of the credit card shall:

(A) Provide the nonresponsible party with written
notification of the credit card account balance as of the
date of processing the notice;

(B) Remove the nonresponsible party as an authorized user
of the credit card account;

(C) Either cancel the credit card or suspend the
effectiveness of the credit card for a period not exceeding
thirty (30) days to allow the issuer to evaluate any
request by the responsible party to continue the account as
a separate credit card account of the responsible party;
and

(D) Apply all payment made after the date of processing the
notice:

(i) First to any fees assessed against the account;

(ii) Next to the accrued interest;

(iii) Next to the principal of the debt existing on the
date of processing the notice; and

(iv) Finally to the principal of any debt incurred after
the date of the processing of the notice.

(c)(1) This section does not prohibit the issuer of the
credit card from issuing a new credit card to the
responsible party.

(2) If as a result of receiving the notice under this
section, a new credit card is issued in the name of the
responsible party, the issuer may:

(A) Transfer the outstanding debt to the new credit card
account for which the responsible party is solely
responsible; or

(B) Issue the new credit card with a zero ($0.00) balance
and allow no new charges on the original credit card
account, and both parties who are the obligors on the
original credit card account will remain responsible for
paying the debt from the original account in accordance
with the terms and conditions of the original credit card
account until the balance is paid in full.

(d) Proof that the nonresponsible party notified the issuer
of the credit card in compliance with this section shall be
an affirmative defense to any action to recover card debt
resulting from any charge on the account after the date of
processing of the notice.

9-13-101. Award of custody.

(a)(1)(A)(i) In an action for divorce, the award of
custody of a child of the marriage shall be made without
regard to the sex of a parent but solely in accordance with
the welfare and best interest of the child.

(ii) In determining the best interest of the child, the
court may consider the preferences of the child if the
child is of a sufficient age and capacity to reason,
regardless of chronological age.

(B) When a court order holds that it is in the best
interest of a child to award custody to a grandparent, the
award of custody shall be made without regard to the sex of
the grandparent.

(2)(A) Upon petition by a grandparent who meets the
requirements of subsection (b) of this section and
subdivision (a)(1) of this section, a circuit court shall
grant the grandparent a right to intervene pursuant to
Rule 24(a) of the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure.

(B)(i) A grandparent shall be entitled to notice and shall
be granted an opportunity to be heard in any child custody
proceeding involving a grandchild who is twelve (12) months
of age or younger when:

(a) A grandchild resides with this grandparent for at
least six (6) continuous months prior to the grandchild's
first birthday;

(b) The grandparent was the primary caregiver for and
financial supporter of the grandchild during the time the
grandchild resided with the grandparent; and

(c) The continuous custody occurred within one
(1) year of the date the child custody proceeding was
initiated.

(ii) A grandparent shall be entitled to notice and shall be
granted an opportunity to be heard in any child custody
proceeding involving a grandchild who is twelve (12) months
of age or older when:

(a) A grandchild resides with this grandparent for at
least one (1) continuous year regardless of age;

(b) The grandparent was the primary caregiver for and
financial supporter of the grandchild during the time the
grandchild resided with the grandparent; and

(c) The continuous custody occurred within one
(1) year of the date the child custody proceeding was
initiated.

(iii) Notice to a grandparent shall be given by the moving
party.

(3) For purposes of this section, "grandparent" does not
mean a parent of a putative father of a child.

(4)(A) The party that initiates a child custody proceeding
shall notify the circuit court of the name and address of any
grandparent who is entitled to notice under the provisions of
subdivision (a)(1) of this section.

(B) The notice shall be in accordance with § 16-55-114.

(b)(1)(A)(i) When in the best interests of a child, custody
shall be awarded in such a way so as to assure the frequent
and continuing contact of the child with both parents.

(ii) To this effect, the circuit court may consider
awarding joint custody of a child to the parents in making
an order for custody.

(B) If a grandparent meets the requirements of
subdivisions (a)(1) and (a)(2)(B) of this section and is a
party to the proceedings, the circuit court may consider the
continuing contact between the child and a grandparent who is
a party, and the circuit court may consider orders to assure
the continuing contact between the grandparent and the child.

(2) To this effect, in making an order for custody, the
court may consider, among other facts, which party is more
likely to allow the child or children frequent and
continuing contact with the noncustodial parent and the
noncustodial grandparent who meets the requirements of
subdivisions (a)(1) and (a)(2)(B) of this section.

(c)(1) If a party to an action concerning custody of or a
right to visitation with a child has committed an act of
domestic violence against the party making the allegation
or a family or household member of either party and such
allegations are proven by a preponderance of the evidence,
the circuit court must consider the effect of such domestic
violence upon the best interests of the child, whether or
not the child was physically injured or personally
witnessed the abuse, together with such facts and
circumstances as the circuit court deems relevant in making
a direction pursuant to this section.

(2) There is a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the
best interest of the child to be placed in the custody of
an abusive parent in cases in which there is a finding by a
preponderance of the evidence that the parent has engaged
in a pattern of domestic abuse.

(d)(1) If a party to an action concerning custody of or a
right to visitation with a child is a sex offender who is
required to register under the Sex Offender Registration
Act of 1997, § 12-12-901 et seq., the circuit court may not
award custody or unsupervised visitation of the child to
the sex offender unless the circuit court makes a specific
finding that the sex offender poses no danger to the child.

(2) There is a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the
best interest of the child to be placed in the care or
custody of a sex offender or to have unsupervised
visitation with a sex offender.

(e)(1) The Director of the Administrative Office of the
Courts is authorized to establish an attorney ad litem
program to represent children in circuit court cases in
which custody is an issue.

(2) When a circuit judge determines that the appointment of
an attorney ad litem would facilitate a case in which
custody is an issue and further protect the rights of the
child, the circuit judge may appoint a private attorney to
represent the child.

(3)(A) The Supreme Court, with the advice of the circuit
judges, shall adopt standards of practice and
qualifications for service for attorneys who seek to be
appointed to provide legal representation for children in
custody cases.

(B)(i) In extraordinary cases, the circuit court may
appoint an attorney ad litem who does not meet the required
standards and qualifications.

(ii) The attorney may not be appointed in subsequent cases
until he or she has made efforts to meet the standards and
qualifications.

(4) When attorneys are appointed pursuant to
subdivision (e)(2) of this section, the fees for services
and reimbursable expenses shall be paid from funds
appropriated for that purpose to the Administrative Office
of the Courts.

(5)(A) When a circuit judge orders the payment of funds for
the fees and expenses authorized by this section, the
circuit judge shall transmit a copy of the order to the
office, which is authorized to pay the funds.

(B) The circuit court may also require the parties to pay
all or a portion of the expenses, depending on the ability
of the parties to pay.

(6) The office shall establish guidelines to provide a
maximum amount of expenses and fees per hour and per case
that will be paid pursuant to this section.

(7) In order to ensure that each judicial district will
have an appropriate amount of funds to utilize for ad litem
representation in custody cases, the funds appropriated
shall be apportioned based upon a formula developed by the
office and approved by the Arkansas Judicial Council and
the Subcommittee on Administrative Rules and Regulations of
the Legislative Council.

(8)(A) The office shall develop a statistical survey that
each attorney who serves as an ad litem shall complete upon
the conclusion of the case.

(B) Statistics shall include the ages of children served,
whether the custody issue arises at a divorce or
post-divorce stage, whether psychological services were
ordered, and any other relevant information.