Coming to an agreement on child custody and visitation terms is no small
task in a divorce. Because the court usually has to get involved, it can
be a little hard for those inexperienced or unfamiliar with the laws to
know what to expect. While your case will be unique to the exact situation
of your family, let’s take a look at some common answers to some
Do courts automatically prefer mothers?
This used to be the case, but is not anymore. Courts are required by law
to now consider both parents on equal footing in a child custody case,
regardless of their gender. Now, if either parent has a history of things
such as alcoholism or domestic violence, then the court absolutely will
consider this when making a custody determination. However, it will consider
this for either the father or the mother.
Does my child have a say in what parent they live with?
Arkansas is a state where the court does take the child’s preference
into account when making a decision on child custody and visitation. Once
again, this is not the only deciding factor, but one of several. Additionally,
a child must be capable of making this decision for themselves in order
for their testimony to be considered. Those who are not yet of sound mind
will not have their wishes considered.
Is a judge’s decision or custody order permanent?
No. You have the ability to appeal or motion to modify a child custody
agreement after a divorce has been finalized through the court system.
In many cases, parents may wish to do so after a major change in one of
their lives, such as accepting employment in a location that requires
them to move an excessive distance away, or to a new state. Modifications
allow you to submit new evidence to the court when asking for the decision
to be changed, while appeals attempt to overturn the initial decision
without allowing you to present new evidence.
What types of custody are there?
There are two types of custody. Physical custody is who has the responsibility
for the child’s physical living and care. Legal custody is the ability
to make decisions regarding the child’s life, such as where they
will go to school, how they will be raised in terms of religion, and what
kinds of medical care they will receive. Often times the parent with primary
physical custody will also be given legal custody.
If you need assistance with child custody for your divorce case, it is
important that you contact a skilled Jonesboro family attorney as soon
as possible. At
Ford & Cook, PLC, our attorneys have fought to put the laws to work protecting those facing
a legal issue for over 30 years. No matter the size of your divorce, we
recognize its importance to you and your family, and we strive to provide
you with top-rated legal counsel and spectacular client service.
initial consultation today; call 870.853.3621 and let us review your divorce case!