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Do grandparents have custody rights in Arkansas?

Grandparents play important roles in the lives of children. For many children, they are support systems and role models. Many grandparents in Arkansas may even take on the role of parent for their grandchildren if their children cannot. For these grandparents, the idea of not being able to see their grandchildren is devastating.

So, what happens when a parent tries to disallow a grandparent access to the child? Do grandparents in Arkansas have any rights when it comes to child custody and visitation?

The answer to this question depends on the specific details of the situation at hand. In Arkansas, as in most other states, child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child. In most situations, the court gives the child's parents the right to determine visitation with grandparents. However, there are circumstances that give grandparents custody rights.

A common example is when a parent is unfit to care for the child. In this case, grandparents can seek to be the child's conservator. Another situation in which you may be able to receive court-ordered visitation is if your grandchild lived with you for a significant amount of time. In some situations, grandparents are eventually able to pursue full custody rights or even adoption.

If you are seeking custody of your grandchild or would like an enforceable visitation plan, it may be wise to speak with an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can help you understand your options based on your unique situation.

Source: FindLaw, "Summaries of State Law: Grandparent Visitation and Custody," Accessed July 15, 2015

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