Parents who are going through a divorce in Arkansas may have concerns around how child custody decisions work. Ideally, the courts prefer that the parents work out an agreement themselves, but the court will take control if they are unable to.

According to FindLaw, there are different types of custody arrangements. One is sole custody, in which one parent gets both legal and physical custody. There is joint physical custody, in which each parent gets the child for equal periods of time, and joint legal custody, in which both parents are able to make major decisions for the child. The judge may also grant both parents physical and legal custody.

The state makes custody decisions based on what is best for the child. This includes the environment of each parent’s place of residence, the relationships with each parent, work schedules and if there is any abuse in the household. If the child is old and mature enough, his or her preferences may also be taken into account.

Very Well Family discusses additional custody considerations. One is the age of the child, as young children often need more consistency while older children can often handle different arrangements easier. It is also important to consider how willing each parent is to ensure an ongoing and healthy relationship with the other parent.

The judge will look at the child’s current relationship with the community and their environment at school and determine how a move to a different neighborhood would affect the child. Although it may not have an affect on the end decision, a judge will often ask the parents what their preferences are, as well.