Custody Cases & Modification of Custody
Domestic Relations Practice Area
Custody Cases & Modification
Contested custody cases are often complex and extremely emotional. If you and your ex-spouse, or partner, cannot agree who is the best person to have custody of your minor child, you have a “contested” custody case. The court will determine who is the proper spouse/partner to have custody of the minor child considering the best interests of the child. In Arkansas, neither the mother nor the father, of a child is favored in child custody cases.
Although all relevant facts may be considered under the best interests of the child standard, the court will consider factors, such as the following, when making a child custody determination:
The child’s preference;
The respective home environments of parents;
The parent’s work schedules;
The economic resources available to each parent;
Whether the siblings of the child reside with the parent;
The character of the parents;
Whether a parent alienates the child from the other parent, or whether a parent facilitates frequent contact with the other parent;
The respective caring roles of each parent (for example, who takes the child to doctor’s appointments, feeds the child, helps the child with his or her homework, etc.); and
Whether there has been any addiction, drug use, misconduct, neglect, or abuse allegation against a parent.
Attorney Ad Litem
Frequently, in child custody cases and modification of custody cases, an Attorney Ad Litem will be appointed. An Attorney Ad Litem is a qualified attorney who is appointed to represent the best interest of the child. In most cases, the Attorney Ad Litem will complete home visits and interview the following persons: the child; parents; daycare employees or school teachers; therapists or treating physicians; family members; and siblings of the child. Following an investigation, the Attorney Ad Litem will make a custody recommendation to the parties and the court.
Modification of Custody
In order to prevail on a “Motion to Modify Custody,” you must prove that a material change in circumstances has occurred since the entry of the decree of divorce or last custody order.
Contact M.W. Law, PLLC today to schedule a consultation to discuss child custody and the legal options available to you.