Arkansas Criminal Lawyer

What Do I Need to Know About Child Custody Laws in Arkansas?

Like most other states, Arkansas courts usually approve child custody arrangements that would ensure the best interest and welfare of the child. In cases where the child is old enough to give consent or is emancipated, the legal system will consider their choice. If you are currently fighting for child custody, you should talk to a child custody lawyer.

Some other, other factors that the courts may also look at in order to award child custody include the following:

  • Which parent will permit the child to maintain contact with the other parent and/or grandparents with the least amount of friction and hassles?
  • Has there been any domestic violence towards the other parent, child or other family members? How serious was the altercation? Was there any incidence of verbal, emotional or physical abuse and did the legal system get involved?
  • Does one parent have any emotional or physical issues that may prevent them from looking after the child?
  • Has one parent ever been accused or convicted of being a sex offender?
  • What is the living environment of the parent who wants custody of the child?
  • Is the parent financially stable? Do they have a job? What type of social support does the parent have to ensure that the child will always be safe and well looked after?
  • Does either parent have a criminal history?

The judge will carefully assess all the above factors before making any decision on child custody. The bottom line is that the child has to be well provided for, be safe and grow up in a positive environment.

Can Grandparents Have Custody of the Child?

The courts in Arkansas will only grant custody of the child to the grandparent(s) when it is in the best interest of the child. This may occur if neither parent is alive, is incarcerated or if neither of the parents is fit to raise a child. In Arkansas, the law clearly states that the grandparents are entitled to be aware of the child custody proceedings.  In general, the grandparents are heard by the court during child custody proceedings if:

  • The child is less than 12 year of age
  • The child has resided in the home of the grandparent(s) for at least six consecutive months
  • One or both of the grandparent(s) have been acting as a primary caregiver and also provided financial assistance to the child
  • The child was residing with the grandparent for at least six consecutive months the year before the child custody hearings took place

If the grandparents meet the Arkansas legal requirements and can qualify for child custody, they must provide the court with their contact information so that they can receive all notifications about the court proceedings.

Visitation Rights

If the parents are working on a joint custody arrangement, both parents are obligated to abide by the provisions outlined by the court. For example, if the mother remains the primary custodian of the children and if the father is entitled to have the children every weekend or every other weekend, this arrangement is legal and should be followed. If one parent has sole custody but the other parent has been granted visitation rights under supervision, the parent with the sole custody should follow the court’s arrangement.

Grandparents who wish to visit their grandchildren can make a petition with the Arkansas courts to allow them the legal right to do so. The courts may ask the grandparent to take a paternity test to determine their relationship to the child.

Legal Counsel for Child Custody Cases

Child custody cases can be complex, and that is why it is best to seek the advice of a child custody lawyer. Some couples manage to handle their divorce and custody arrangements quite amicably, but there are other cases that are not so smooth. Many people are unaware of the court’s requirements and the factors that are considered when granting custody. It is important that you discuss all these elements with a child custody lawyer so that you know where you stand.

Child custody cases are often emotionally stressful. The well-being of the child is always a top priority. At Arkansas Lawyer, we understand that custody battles can be challenging. That is why our child custody lawyers are here to help. We want to make sure that the court hears your side of the story. Discuss the situation with our child custody lawyer so that they can prepare an argument on your behalf based on your circumstances. Call our child custody lawyers today to schedule an appointment.