When parents in Arkansas separate or divorce, one of the most important and emotionally charged areas of concern revolves around child custody. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, the matter often ends up in court. Determining what type of custody arrangement aligns with the best interests of the children is the main purpose of the whole process. Here are some of the main types of child custody in Arkansas.
Physical versus legal
In Arkansas, as in most states, child custody encompasses physical and legal custody. Physical custody basically refers to where the children will reside and who will provide daily care and responsibilities like food and clothing. Legal custody refers to which parent will be making the important decisions regarding the welfare of the child such as health care and education. Sole or joint custody is then applied to both types of custody.
Shared parenting or co-parenting
If parents can reach an agreement on shared custody, courts in Arkansas will allow co-parents to submit their custody plan to be reviewed and approved. Child custody laws in Arkansas have certain requirements for shared parenting plans. These plans and agreements must contain details about how time and expenses will be split among parents, along with other important factors.
Help with child custody
In past decades, courts in Arkansas assumed it to be in the best interest of the children to remain in the custody of their mother until they reached a certain age. However, in recent years, laws have changed to give equal opportunities to both parents regardless of gender. Parents in Arkansas who have questions about any aspect of child custody may want to speak with a family law attorney who can examine how laws will affect their specific situation.