child custody & visitation

   
Children are a precious gift and the love, time, and care given to a child is of utmost importance to parents as well as a court of law.
 
What does an Arkansas judge consider in a custody matter?
 
The only issue relevant to a custody determination is what is in the best interest of the child.  Though the issue is singular, there is a multiplicity of factors considered by an Arkansas court when making the determination.  They include:     1) the psychological relationship between the parent and child, 2) the need for stability and continuity in the child’s relationship with the parent and siblings, 3) the past conduct of the parents toward the child, and 4) the reasonable preference of the child. 
 
Is custody always given to the mother in Arkansas?
 
The good news is that Arkansas courts do not favor one gender over the other in determining in whose custody is in the child's best interest.  The court’s goal will be to order custody in a way that will encourage frequent and continuing contact with both parents, so in some rare instances, the court will order joint custody.
 
If I have joint custody does that mean I don't have to pay child support?
 
Joint custody means the approximate and reasonable equal division of time with the child by both parents.  It is not a favored arrangement in Arkansas and will only be ordered by the court when there is enough proof to demonstrate that the parents are capable of carrying on a mature and cooperative relationship where both parents put aside hurt feelings and animosity for the best interest of the child.  Absent this level of proof, joint custody will not be awarded in Arkansas. 
 
Even when a court does not award joint custody, equal parenting time is the goal of the court and will inform a decision on visitation.  Importantly, a parent’s right to visitation is not dependent on the payment of child support.  Parents can agree to a schedule of visitation, but the final determination is left to the discretion of the court and the court will make the ultimate determination of what is in the best interest of the child.
 
If you are interested in petitioning an Arkansas court for custody, joint custody, or visitation, you will need a skilled attorney working for you.  That is exactly what you will get when you hire Davenport Law, PLLC.  Let our skilled attorney work for you.
    
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