Arkansas Family Law Questions & Answers

Q: sole legal custody parent has not gotten glasses or eye exam for vision impair son for a year. Can the NCP get legal cus

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Apr 5, 2019
Chris W. Burks' answer
Thanks and the standard for a change in custody in Arkansas is a material change in circumstances. You could argue that the child's poor attendance and performance in school, coupled with worsening health amounts to a change in circumstances. There are many factors a Court will consider, but it is worth you speaking with an attorney based on what you decribed

Q: After Adoption is finalized. Can Grandparents of the deceased biological parents sue for visitation rights?

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Arkansas on
Answered on Mar 6, 2019
James E Hensley Jr's answer
An adoption severs all ties with the parent and their relatives. See Section (a)(1) below.

Ark. Code Ann. Section 9-9-215. Effect of decree of adoption.

(a) A final decree of adoption and an interlocutory decree of adoption which has become final, whether issued by a court of this state or of any other place, have the following effect as to matters within the jurisdiction or before a court of this state:

(1) Except with respect to a spouse of the petitioner and...

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: Is it illegal to give someone a phone against their parents will but for the phone to be a gift to the person.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Arkansas on
Answered on Dec 23, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
illegal? No.

If the parents take it, what exactly would you want to happen?

If the child is being starved and mentally abused, why not use the phone to call DHS?

Q: Me and my girl friend were arguing she does not pay any bills here and has a place of her own I call my step mom and as

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Domestic Violence for Arkansas on
Answered on Nov 29, 2018
James E Hensley Jr's answer
Goodness. I hear that a lot. The cops show up and the wrong person is arrested. I was a cop years ago and the rules provided that if there are marks, bruising, scratches on one person, the other person would be arrested.

The reason is to end the argument for the night and give folks time to cool down. Usually, there is an order of protection in place to ensure the fight does not continue.

I'll also say though that if you were not the offending party, the Court should not...

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: 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 a judge make it to where you can't get your birth certificate?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Arkansas on
Answered on Aug 31, 2018
James E Hensley Jr's answer
Typically, there is a new BC issued once you are adopted. If you are looking for your original BC, try the Arkansas Department of Human Services in Little Rock. You may also have to reopen your adoption case. It is sometimes difficult to reopen a case.

To answer your question, it was not necessarily the Judge who restricted your access to the file and your BC; it is the law. These records are sealed for a variety of reasons - and one of those reasons are so you can't get the birth...

Q: Fiancee never misses a CS payment, yet we can barely financially survive. What do we do?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Arkansas on
Answered on Aug 26, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
When child support was set, did dad make sure OCSE was aware of the older dependent?

Whether the mother has a job or not, dad still owes support for minor children.

Not an accountant, but grandmother can collect tax credit, IF she meets several tax code requirements.

Might be, might not.

A reviewing attorney will have a lot more information, look for issues you could be missing or don't realize are important.

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.


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: 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.

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.


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: 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: Can child support be stopped if the child has turned 18, moved into her own house, but is still in school?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Arkansas on
Answered on Apr 14, 2018
Stewart Whaley's answer
Moving into her own house doesn't change anything.

If 18 and "school" means high school then you will continue paying, see § 9-14-237(a)(1)(B)

"If the child is still attending high school, upon the child's high school graduation or the end of the school year after the child reaches nineteen (19) years of age, whichever is earlier;"

If 18 and "school" means any form of higher education AFTER high school, support automatically terminates as a matter of law....

Q: Who should file for the 6 month hearing on an appointment of guardianship?Does it expire if no hearing occurs?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arkansas on
Answered on Mar 15, 2018
Lydia Seifner's answer
If the papers say the Court will schedule the review hearing, then let the court be responsible for scheduling the hearing. If it is over six months, they are likely busy, the Court will get to it.

Q: My ex and I have joint legal custody but our kids want to live with me, they're 11 and 13. Can they choose in AR?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Arkansas on
Answered on Jan 27, 2018
Skye Martin's answer
The preference of the children could be a factor, but it’s less likely when they’re still so young. Child custody is determined by the best interest of the child and there are a list of factors that judges consider. I recommend consulting an attorney to determine your best strategy for getting the kids back.

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