Custody of Minor Children & Child Support
Going through a divorce can be a very difficult and stressful time in a person’s life. At the Story Law Firm, we are here to help you through this trying time in your life, whether you have made the difficult decision to file for divorce or your spouse was the one who filed for divorce. There are many different legal issues involved in a divorce, including division of marital assets and debts, custody of your minor children, and determining whether you will pay or receive money to assist in the care of your children.
Determining which spouse will have custody of the minor children is one of the most contested issues in divorces. In Arkansas, an award of joint custody is generally favored in a divorce. However, the main concern of the court is the best interest of the children, and the court will make a determination of custody that is in the children’s best interest. The court will look at several factors in making this determination, including the wishes of the children and the parents, the child’s relationship with each parent, and whether there have been acts of domestic violence committed by either parent, among several others. When primary custody of the children is awarded to one parent, the custodial parent, the other parent, the non-custodial parent, will have the right to visitation with the children. Visitation schedules vary slightly from one county to another in Arkansas, but usually consist of the non-custodial parent having the children every other weekend, one day or night during the week, and alternating holidays.
The award of child support is also a big issue in divorces that is somewhat tied to the issue of child custody. Each party has the equal duty to support their children. The court will usually order the non-custodial parent to pay child support for the care of the children. The amount of child support is based primarily on the non-custodial parent’s take-home income. The courts use the Family Support Charts, contained in Administrative Order Number 10, to determine the exact amount of child support the non-custodial parent will pay.
I hope that this may clear up a few questions you might have regarding this sensitive issue. If you know of someone this information may help, please feel free to pass it on. And finally, if you need help, please contact us at the Story Law Firm. We would be glad to assist you in any way we can.
by: Katie Freeman, Attorney at Law