DIVORCING: Courtney and John Goodson Facebook/Courtney Goodson for Supreme Court

John Goodson,
the Texarkana lawyer and member of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, filed Thursday for divorce from his wife, Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson of Fayetteville.

The divorce suit, filed in Miller County, cites as grounds the boilerplate reason of “general indignities of the nature and extent that render the marriage intolerable.”


The couple married Nov. 26, 2011. The filing says they ceased to live together as husband and wife Jan. 17.

The suit says John Goodson anticipates the couple will reach an agreement for division of marital property. If not, the court should divide property in the manner prescribed by law, the suit says. Goodson filed the suit for himself.


The couple’s courtship became an issue in Goodson’s unsuccessful race for chief justice two years ago and her successful race for election to a second term last year. Dark money groups attacked her for marriage to a trial lawyer and financial support she received from other lawyers (including Goodson in her first race). Ads also made hay of expensive gifts she’d reported from Goodson before they wed and a trip to Europe on a Tyson-owned yacht arranged by a friend and trial lawyer. Goodson said she took pains to avoid participating in cases with connected lawyers. In her election last year, Goodson attempted to use the dark money attacks to political advantage. She defeated her opponent, David Sterling, handily.

Goodson divorced her first husband, Mark Henry, shortly after election to her first term on the Supreme Court. Here’s background from that time.


Justice Goodson has not filed a response to the lawsuit, according to court records. The record doesn’t reflect if she’s been served with the suit.