Arkansas Child Custody and Child Visitation
Arkansas courts are inclined to encourage parents to amicably come to a resolution on child custody and child visitation issues. While courts are idealistic, they understand that fairly often they will make the difficult decisions themselves if parents cannot come to a resolution. Child custody and child visitation decisions will be made based on the child's best interests standard in Arkansas. The court will assess a number of factors provided by Arkansas law to determine the child's best interests. While parents may represent themselves in court, it is still highly recommended that a parent retain an Arkansas child custody lawyer when going through child custody or child visitation rights proceedings.
Arkansas Child Custody
Parents in Arkansas may receive either sole or joint custody. Arkansas courts will determine custody by finding what situation is in the child's best interests. They will award custody in a manner that is in the child's best interests and facilitates frequent and continuing contact between the child and both parents. The following factors will be assessed by courts to determine the child's best interests:
If the parent seeking custody of the child is a convicted sex offender, there is a presumption that granting child custody is not in the child's best interests. Additionally, if the parent seeking custody has a pattern of domestic abuse, then there is a presumption that granting custody to that parent is not in the child's best interests. These presumptions may be rebutted if the offending parent can prove that granting custody is in the child's best interests.
In cases where there are problems between the custodial and noncustodial parent, Arkansas courts have the option of prohibiting the transfer of custody from occurring on school property. This is due to the fact that courts want child custody controversies to avoid involving public school personnel and avoid disrupting the educational atmosphere.
The complex nature of Arkansas child custody proceedings requires that you be adequately prepared before going to court. To best prepare yourself for these often long and technical proceedings, you should consult an Arkansas child custody attorney before going to court.
Arkansas Child Visitation Rights
Noncustodial parents and nonparents may be able to receive Arkansas visitation rights. These rights refer to their ability to visit and spend time with the child. Generally, noncustodial parents will receive reasonable visitation rights if it is not against the child's best interests. Additionally, a child's brother or sister is entitled to receive reasonable visitation rights if it is in the child's best interests. Furthermore, a grandparent may petition a court to receive child visitation if it is in the child's best interests.
One seeking child visitation rights can prove that granting those rights is in the child's best interests by showing:
In addition to assessing the above factors, Arkansas courts also consider the child's reasonable wishes when deciding whether or not to grant child visitation.
The complex nature of child visitation proceedings justifies that one hire an Arkansas child custody lawyer with experience working on child visitation rights.