We make this central point about Arkansas family law courts on a relevant page of our website at the Little Rock law firm of Robertson, Oswalt, Nony & Associates, namely, that judges “make child custody decisions based upon the ‘best interests of the child.'”

Many adults immediately understand that standard and welcome its application, knowing that the bottom line in any child-related matter applicable to divorce must be firmly focused on what is best for the kids.

Notwithstanding the clarity surrounding that, though, many adults involved in divorce demonstrate a contrasting confusion when they start hearing terms like “legal custody,” “physical custody” and “visitation rights.” Parents can get nervous, notes a recent media article focusing on divorce and custody, believing — often mistakenly so — that a certain designation “will leave them devalued and minimized in their children’s lives.”

That is not necessarily so, and it is a point worth noting that is underscored in the above-cited piece, which points to useful information that can be gleaned from key details that have emerged from the Brad Pitt and Angelina divorce.

Legal custody does not imply exclusivity when it comes to parental rights. Rather, it merely means that a parent having such custody can make important decisions regarding a child’s schooling, health and so on.

And it bears noting that divorcing couples in many instances — and certainly in Arkansas — have joint legal custody of their children.

And the term “physical custody” should not be immediately feared or perceived as something truly awful by a parent. As we note on our site, “Often, in a joint custody arrangement, one parent has primary physical custody and the other … has visitation rights.”

Candidly, custody matters can be problematic and even contentious in some divorces, but that is far from always being the case.

A proven family law attorney well versed in child custody laws and courts’ handling of matters in that important area can answer questions and provide sound legal representation that aims unwaveringly on promoting the best interests of both a divorce client and involved children.