Jonesboro Child Custody Attorney

For parents, our children are one of the most important aspects of our lives. Most parents want the absolute best for their children, but child custody issues can become challenging to navigate during a divorce. Some parents may use their child as a bargaining tool or a way to control an ex-spouse. Arkansas custody and visitation laws are in place to prevent this type of manipulation from happening. 

With the help of an experienced attorney, you can advocate for the best custody and visitation arrangement possible. If you are undergoing a divorce or another matter involving physical or legal custody of a child, the Law Offices of Bryce Cook are here to help. We will ensure that your rights are protected as we help you navigate the process. Contact our Jonesboro family law attorney at the Law Offices of Bryce Cook today to schedule your initial consultation.

The Benefits of Hiring a Jonesboro Child Custody Attorney

Suppose you were in the middle of a child custody dispute or anticipate a dispute after petitioning the court for a divorce. In that case, you should consider hiring an experienced family law attorney. There are several reasons why hiring a seasoned family law attorney can help you with your case. Attorney Bryce Cook is highly experienced when it comes to Arkansas child custody laws. 

He can help you file for a child support modification or help you gain the best child custody arrangement possible in your case. Additionally, these types of cases are often time-consuming. It can be difficult to juggle your child custody matter while working full-time and mean your other personal and familial obligations. Attorney Bryce Cook will review your case carefully and provide you with skilled legal advice and an effective legal strategy. 

Arkansas Laws

Child custody is one of the most important aspects of family law, and it can become an issue when two parents decide to divorce. Child custody matters can also come into play when a couple has a child or multiple children when they are unmarried. Some parents can agree on how long each parent will spend with their children. However, when parents cannot agree, one or both parents may petition the court to decide on their arrangement. When parents go through a divorce, custody is an essential aspect of the final divorce decree.

The Difference Between Physical and Legal Custody

There are two forms of child custody in Arkansas: primary physical custody and joint custody. Physical custody refers to a parent’s ability to have the child living with him or her at home. Legal custody refers to a parent’s ability to make decisions on behalf of the child. Arkansas courts try to award joint custody whenever possible because they understand that children benefit from having their parents involved in their lives.

Joint custody allows each parent to have equal time with their children and permits each parent the right to make important decisions regarding religion, health care, education, and after-school activities. When both parents wish to have joint custody, courts will try to award joint custody unless doing so would harm the child.

Primary physical custody happens when a child lives primarily with one parent. The other parents may be given the right to visitation according to a schedule of visitation. If the parents can’t decide on a schedule for one parent to visit the child, the court may have to interview and propose a schedule. In some cases, the court may award one parent sole physical and legal custody typically because the other parent is unfit to care for the child. For example, if a parent has a history of drug use or criminal behavior, the court may award one parent sole custody.

Determining the Best Interest of the Child

In Arkansas, judges consider the best interest of the child when making child custody decisions. Judges cannot assume that the children should go with one parent over the other parent because of that parent’s gender. To determine the best interest of the child, judges will consider several different factors, including the following:

  •  Whether a parent will attempt to estrange the child from the other parent
  •  Whether a parent will promote a healthy parenting partnership
  •  The character of each parent
  •  Whether one parent has difficulty holding down a job
  •  Each parents living conditions
  •  Whether a parent lives with relatives or friends who could negatively impact the child
  •  The amount of time each parent spends with a child
  •  Whether either parent has abandoned the child in the past
  •  Whether either parent has a history of abuse
  •  Whether either parent has a history of criminal behavior

Modifying Child Custody Agreements in Jonesboro, Arkansas

As children grow and the needs and obligations of parents change, modifying a child custody order may become necessary. Sometimes existing orders that once worked well are no longer adequate to meet a family’s needs. When this happens, a parent can petition the court to modify an existing order. Courts will not prohibit a modification without good reason. 

The parents petitioning the court for modification need to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. This change often involves one parent moving out of state, job loss, or the diagnosis of a medical condition. If you need to request a modification or challenge a proposed modification, attorney Bryce Cook is here to help.

Discuss Your Case With a Jonesboro Child Custody Lawyer Today

Attorney Bryce Cook has a proven track record of successfully representing parents in child custody cases. He understands that these are some of the most challenging cases due to the emotions and stakes involved. Whether you are going through a divorce or would like to modify your child custody or visitation agreement, Bryce Cook is here to help. Contact the Law Offices of Bryce Cook today to schedule your initial consultation.