Jonesboro Attorneys

Arkansas Child Custody FAQ

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 general questions.

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 The Law Office of Paul Ford, 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.

Schedule your initial consultation today; call 870.853.3621 and let us review your divorce case!