Texarkana Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody disputes can leave a person feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and at a loss for what to do next. While state courts determine custody based on the “best interests of the child,” this standard is often difficult to determine without the help of a knowledgeable family attorney.

A Texarkana child custody lawyer could aid you in navigating the Arkansas custody process and advocate for your parental rights during this difficult time.

Child Custody in Texarkana

Under Arkansas law, a judge will determine child custody based on the “best interest of the child or children.” This seemingly simple standard is far more complex than parents often think. Custody disputes typically occur in difficult situations, such as during a divorce, a paternity action, or guardianship cases.

To determine what the best interests of the children are, a judge will consider numerous factors such as:

  • Each parent’s home environment
  • Parent work schedules
  • Financial resources
  • Quality of living
  • Character traits of each parent
  • Criminal or abuse history
  • Drug or alcohol dependency
  • Neglect allegations
  • Child’s preferences (in certain situations)

A judge can consider many other factors in addition to these. They will ultimately attempt to determine the best situation for the children, taking all the facts into account. With the help of a local child custody attorney, a parent could present their case to the judge which argues they should retain custody of their children.

Types of Child Custody Decisions

There are several different types of custody under Arkansas law, each with its own benefits and challenges.

  • Joint physical custody: Children spend about equal time with both parents.
  • Joint legal custody: Both parents have legal authority to make decisions for their children.
  • Joint physical and legal custody: Both parents have legal rights to make decisions, and the children spend roughly equal time with both parents.
  • Sole physical and legal custody: Only one parent is permitted to make legal decisions for children, and one parent is the primary residential parent. Visitation is typically permitted for the other parent.
  • Third party custody: A party that is not the parent, such as another relative, friend, or the state, takes care of the children.

The judge overseeing the case will determine which type of child custody is most appropriate in that specific situation. This determination is made on the “best interests” analysis. A parent’s role during a custody dispute is to show what the best interests of the children are, and to prove to the judge that they are able to provide a loving, caring, and supportive environment for the children.

How to Modify Child Custody Arrangements

In many cases, child custody was previously determined in another hearing, but circumstances have changed, and require a new arrangement. When this happens, the current custody agreement for the children may no longer work. In order to make a change in the arrangements previously set by the court, a parent must file a motion for modification of child custody with the help of a Texarkana children’s custody attorney.

In order to prove that custody arrangements should change, the party must show that a “material change in circumstances” has occurred and a new arrangement is in the child’s best interests. This change in circumstance could range from one parent moving further away, to a parent losing a job or otherwise having a significant change in income.

Contact an Experienced Child Custody Attorney in Texarkana

When it comes to the care and well-being of your children, the legal proceedings that determine their future should be conducted fairly and accurately. If you are in a child custody dispute in Arkansas, or believe you will be soon, a legal professional could make all the difference. These conflicts can be complicated and emotionally-charged, but you do not have to handle this task alone.

Get in touch with a Texarkana child custody lawyer for help today.