Arkansas Child Custody Questions & Answers

Q: A judge court ordered the visitation, but my ex is not letting me see my kids on my weekend. Is this contempt?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support for Arkansas on
Answered on Jan 6, 2019
Stewart Whaley's answer
She is violating the visitation order.

Visitation and child support are separate. That is, she had no right to stop visitation because you aren’t paying. Only the judge can modify the visitation.

She needs to go through the court/OCSE to address child support, not keep you from seeing the child. Since she’s withholding visitation, you would basically ask for a hearing to make her explain why she’s not in contempt for violating the court order.

Q: have court ordered visitations with my daughter's but their father has refused my visits for over 2 years. Help?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Stewart Whaley's answer
You need to ask for relief from the court that ordered the visitation.

He is violating an order from that court. For example, you could file a motion for contempt of court for not complying with the order.

Q: Can I file emergency custody in a different state then where my kids live

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Jan 2, 2019
Stewart Whaley's answer
You probably need to file in the state that granted temporary custody. Talk with a family lawyer about specific facts that might impact what you do next.

Q: I'm primary custodian & my 13 yo doesn't want to go to his dad's for c/o visitation anymore. Do I have to make him go?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Nov 7, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
Yes, you have to make him go.

Ask the court to drug test dad (assuming you can pass one).

Petition the court for a modification of the custody/visitation order and stress the failed drug test.

Generally, courts don't like to stick kids in the middle of a parent-fight.

But with a 13 y/o and the facts alleged, a judge might want to hear directly from your son.

Q: If no custady is legally set can on parent legally pick up the kids from school and keep them without returning them

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Nov 6, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
Where you married to him when the children were born or has he legally established paternity in another fashion (acknowledgement of paternity at birth, OCSE enforcement case, etc)?

He may have no parental rights in the first place.

In that case he would have the same right that I do. Zero.

If he is established as the legal father, file an action for custody/visitation. Hire an attorney for that.

Q: My daughter already lives with me and I still pay child support to her mom. Can I get full custody of her?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Arkansas on
Answered on Oct 31, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
There isn't enough information given.

What do you mean by "pay child support?"

If you are the legal father and paying support (through an OCSE paternity action, court ordered child support from a divorce, etc.) you need to determine your custody/visitation situation. Talk to an attorney.

If you have not been adjudicated the father, you have the same parental rights I have. None. Even if you are giving money to mom out of kindness, sense of duty, etc., it is not "child...

Q: Is it legal for my husband to sign parental rights away of our infant son in Arkansas if we both agree?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Arkansas on
Answered on Sep 18, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
He doesn't understand the subject. If "signing away rights to avoid child support" was that simple, millions of dirtbags would do it.

It IS possible for a parent's child support obligation to terminate, but the situations are quite specific. For example, someone else adopting the child would terminate his duty of child support because he would no longer be a parent.

Contact an attorney.

Q: Can you force the non-custodial parent to have visitation time with the child?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Aug 25, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
No, but you might consider looking into options like abandonment, termination of parental rights and any child support issues.

Also consider - what is the likelihood that a "forced" visitation would be positive for the child's development?

I can't imagine the captive, non-custodial parent would be in high spirits.

Q: How does my mother in law obtain emergency custody of her nephew she has had since birth and he is now a year and a half

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Aug 18, 2018
James E Hensley Jr's answer
Guardianship. Grandmother cannot have any felony conviction. Must have suitable home with utilities and a good income. She can't have any miscreants in the home. No bad people can live there.

She could also call DHS. They will come out and look at the place and maybe give her custody. DHS is a double-edged sword. While they don't cost anything and will probably help her with custody, once the parents can pass a drug test DHS will give the child back to them.

Grandmother...

Q: does an order of protection remain if child custody is changed

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Family Law for Arkansas on
Answered on Aug 6, 2018
James E Hensley Jr's answer
Probably won't get into trouble since grandma consented. Still, he could be in some real trouble if she changes her mind. The order tells him to stay away from certain people. It was the Judge who made the order. If step dad wants to see the kids or visit under any circumstances, he must obtain permission from the Judge and not just the grandma.

Often, people who are subject to an order of protection violate the order by doing something they believe is good. It is still a violation...

Q: I am the mother of three young boys. They've been staying with grandparents and they won't let me take them.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Aug 2, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
Contact local family law attorneys and/or legal aid (income-based qualification). Assuming ONLY the facts provided, you should be able to get an enforceable order to retrieve the kids. If you can't afford an attorney and legal aid doesn't take the case, there are resources online that explain filing the emergency petition on your own (pro se). However,I would hire an attorney to get this moving fast, done right the first time and because they may hire their own as soon as you start an action.

Q: Can my husband have his parent rights terminated after 7 years no contact or child support?

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Arkansas on
Answered on Jul 20, 2018
James E Hensley Jr's answer
Get a real lawyer. You should not have to wait 3 weeks. Your husband will have some trouble but the mother will have some real trouble saying dad abandoned the child.

Jim Hensley

Q: If my fiance’s child’s mother has been on drugs and in and out of jail would it be pretty easy for us to get custody?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Jun 12, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
You should contact an attorney with child custody experience. You need to establish paternity, them move towards visitation and custody

Q: I have sole custody. Do I have to let the other parent know legally who is around or watching my child at all times?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Arkansas on
Answered on May 27, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
What does “did a paternity mean?”

My guess is a paternity test...

You don’t HAVE to tell him anything.

Unless paternity has been legally established (one of you has to bring a law suit), he has no rights, basically.

https://whlawoffices.com/establish-paternity/

Q: Once you file a Warning Order and the Defendant doesn't respond. Can the judge handle matter's dealing with children?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on May 11, 2018
Richard Lane Hughes' answer
Yes. However, the Judge will still be guided by "the best interests of the child(ren)."

That is, a court what is best for the kids regardless of a default by a parent.

Q: What can be done if a 6 week summer visitation conflicts with required extra curricular school practices?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on May 6, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
The best option will always be mutual agreement.

Options:

1. Quit the activity.

2. Talk to the NCP and work out a schedule that gets the NCP 6 weeks total time (3 and 3, 4 and 2, etc) or some other arrangement. If you can both agree to an alternate schedule, 6 contiguous weeks isn't cast in stone.

A court isn't going to rank cheer leading above the parent-child relationship, so legal action is likely a waste of time and money. Spend it on plane tickets and save...

Q: Can you the other parent file for emergency custody if the other parent got a DWI but the kids were not in his care

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and DUI / DWI for Arkansas on
Answered on Apr 15, 2018
W. Whitfield Hyman's answer
You can, I don't think any judge would grant it.

Q: How many hours of parenting classes are required by the state of Arkansas when seeking joint parental rights

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Apr 14, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
The court may require parents attend at least two hours of parenting class, or, submit to mediation. By the way, the TransParenting course usually assigned in Pulaski County is 4 hours.

Q: I been trying to see my daughter and take care of her but her mother won’t let me since I’ve moved on with my life

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Arkansas on
Answered on Apr 14, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
If paternity has been established (if not, it will be by the time you are paying child support) you can petition the court for visitation. You'll need to prove several factors, including: you are a fit parent, can care for and nurture the child, provide financial support, etc.

Q: Can a ncp agree to sign over rights and not have to pay back child support in Arkansas?

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Child Support for Arkansas on
Answered on Mar 19, 2018
James E Hensley Jr's answer
This can be done with a single-parent adoption. It sounds odd but what you do is adopt your own child. This gets rid of the father and his rights. If the father will sign all the documents, we can get this done a few weeks. Fees are between $3ooo and $5ooo depending on what is needed.

It will not get rid of any support he owes but OCSE will not try to enforce any support obligation once the case is finished.

Jim Hensley

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