What are the Arkansas Child Custody Laws?
In recent decades, child custody laws have undergone drastic changes. Arkansas child custody laws have also undergone several changes. As such you should be aware of the latest ones if you are a divorced or separated parent in the state for any kind of eventualities.
A brief overview of child custody laws in Arkansas
The courts in Arkansas permit legal and/or physical custody of kids on the basis of various determining factors. These are governed by laws pertaining to custody relocation.
Judges of family courts in Arkansas have a great deal of authority for making decisions related to child custody and consider the factors mentioned below:
- Parents’ work schedules
- The home environment of each parent
- Preference of the child
- History of alcohol or drug abuse
- Relationship between the parents
Kinds of child custody allowed by child custody laws of Arkansas
Child custody laws in Arkansas enable different kinds of custody, which share certain common features with many other states in the United States of America. These include legal and physical custody of children. Physical custody signifies the regular responsibilities and taking care of the kid including shelter, clothing, and food.
On the other hand, legal custody denotes the crucial decision-making duties for the kid such as decisions related to religion, health, and education. Joint or sole custody should be applied for each of these custody types. When sole custody is given, only one of the parents will get custody and in case the court awards joint custody, both the parents will divide the responsibilities.
The court usually grants visitation rights in scenarios where a single co-parent gets the sole physical custody. A majority of professionals and family courts in Arkansas consider ongoing contact with both the parents for the child’s best interests in a majority of scenarios.
Courts and family laws in Arkansas create opportunities for both parents. Child custody laws in Arkansas enable co-parents to submit their custody plan so that it is easy to arrive at a joint custody agreement. Child custody laws in the state need this plan so that there are proper details about the split of custody time, division of expenses, as well as, other key factors related to the joint custody agreement.
In case both the parents are unable to arrive at the agreement for joint custody, the laws of the state, as well as, the courts ascertain custody depending on the child’s best interests.
In Arkansas, laws pertaining to child custody have changed in recent years. In the past, the courts in the state used to adhere to the doctrine of the “Tender Years” wherein it was presumed that it is in the best interest of the child that he/she remains in the mother’s custody until they attain a specific age. However, things are not the same since then as the child custody laws in Arkansas have awarded equal chances to both the parents irrespective of their genders. These days, the courts ascertain the awarding of custody based on the child’s best interest.
Child custody law in Arkansas for unmarried parents
When an unmarried woman gives birth to a child in Arkansas, the kid’s legal custody is awarded to her until the latter attains the age of 18 years. However, courts and child custody laws in Arkansas can give custody to another person in case awarding the custody to the mother is not in the child’s best interests. In such a case, a court may usually grant the custody of the child to their biological father. However, the latter has to prove in the court of his ability to take care of his offspring financially, as well as, physically and is in the best interest of the child.