In most Arkansas divorce cases, the most emotional and difficult decisions couples have to make are those that concern their children. After sharing a home with your kids, it may not be easy to make a decision that changes how often you see them.
Making child custody decisions can become even more complicated if you and your spouse cannot see eye to eye on almost every parenting decision. In such a situation, making child custody decisions can become contentious. Below are some ways custody decisions are made.
Joint custody is the preferred custody arrangement
As a parent, you want the best for your children. Therefore, you may be overwhelmed if child custody disputes arise during your divorce. However, the Arkansas family court grants custody based on the welfare and best interests of the child.
There is a rebuttable presumption in Arkansas that joint custody is in the child’s best interests. Therefore, a judge will most likely grant joint custody if either parent cannot provide evidence that may change the judge’s mind. When the judge grants joint custody, it means that you and the other parent have the authority to make important decisions about how the child is raised.
If you agree to have joint custody, remember to request that the divorce ruling requires both parents to reside in the same state. If you forget to include this, the other parent may be able to move to another state and take your child.
You can contest child custody
While joint custody is the default custody arrangement, you can contest the custody if you and your spouse cannot agree on custody matters. When you contest custody, you may need to provide evidence to the court why you should have custody.
By making joint custody the assumed standard, child custody matters have been greatly simplified, giving children access to both parents. However, if you’re going through a divorce, consider seeking legal guidance to ensure you make the right decision for yourself and your children.