You Deserve Justice

Do you always have to share custody when you divorce in Arkansas?

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2021 | Child Custody & Support |

Getting married to the wrong person can be an expensive and often emotionally-damaging mistake. Having children with that person will make separating from them that much more difficult.

Divorce is typically costly and stressful, but it will cost more and be a lot more difficult when you have children with your spouse. Not only do you have more issues to address in the divorce itself, but you will also have to see each other frequently after your divorce.

Shared custody requires frequent interactions between former spouses when they exchange the children. They may also need to share parenting time on special days and renegotiate custody when their situation changes. Do you have to share custody with your ex when you divorce in Arkansas?

The state assumes that shared custody is best for the kids

Under Arkansas state law, the most important matter when making custody decisions is what is in the best interests of the children in the family. Shared custody is usually what is best for the children. There is even a recently passed state bill that would make shared custody the presumption in most divorces.

In other words, if the Governor signs this bill into law, most couples can expect to share parenting time and decision-making authority after they divorce. However, the presumption would be rebuttable, which means that either spouse can submit evidence to show that shared custody might actually be dangerous for their children.

When might an Arkansas judge award you sole custody?

You might be able to negotiate sole custody arrangements with your ex if they don’t want shared custody. When both parents want custody, a judge will have to review the family circumstances carefully to decide the best solution.

If one parent has evidence of domestic abuse, abandonment, addiction or other issues that affect the other parent, those concerns may influence how a judge splits custody. If the supporting evidence makes the judge believe that one parent could neglect or actively harm the children, they may award the other parent has sole custody.

If you don’t have a compelling reason why your ex might be dangerous or damaging for your children, then your chances of securing sole custody in litigated proceedings are likely slim. Understanding what influences custody decisions can help you fight for the best terms possible in your Arkansas divorce.