blurred judge in courtroomThis is the next blog post in my series on obtaining a temporary child custody order in Little Rock and other parts of Arkansas. My previous article discussed gaining temporary custody due to an emergency. It is important for parents to remember that disagreements over how to raise a child generally do not constitute an “emergency.” Courts will typically see a matter as urgent if the health or wellbeing of a child is truly at risk. It is, therefore, strongly suggested that you speak with an attorney as opposed to taking matters into your own hands. In this article I will discuss the process of making a temporary order permanent. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Little Rock child custody lawyer.

Arkansas parents must go through discovery and trial in order to make a custody order permanent

After the Judge makes a temporary change, each side will be given an opportunity to conduct discovery. This is the process by which information is gained from the other side in a lawsuit. There are several methods for gaining information. These methods can be used to obtain records and documents, written answers to questions, and the sworn testimony of witnesses. If the other side does not provide the requested information then a “Motion to Compel” may be necessary. This is a request to the Court for an Order commanding that the materials be provided. If a party is compelled to provide materials, but continues to refuse to do so, then the Court may possibly place them in default – meaning that they will lose the case.

It will be necessary to attend trial after the completion of discovery. Absent a settlement, attending a trial is the only way in which a temporary custody order may be permanent. There are no juries in Family Court. This means that the Judge will be the sole decider of the facts. The party requesting the change will be given the opportunity to present evidence. The responding party will then present their case and the first party will conclude with “rebuttal.” Each side will then make a closing argument and the Judge will issue his or her ruling. The case will then be concluded and, absent an appeal, each side will be required to adhere to the new Order of the Court.

Parents should retain an attorney to assist them with discovery and trial

Conducting discovery and attending trial involve complicated issues of law and procedure. Not knowing how to go through the discovery process can result in a parent not having necessary evidence at the time of trial. Moreover, the rules of evidence will be enforced at trial. It is important to have an attorney familiar with the rules. Doing so will help to increase the chances that the Court will consider the information you submit and, importantly, that the other side does not improperly submit information. When considering counsel for your family law matter, it is important to retain someone with extensive trial experience.

If you are going through a child custody dispute then contact our office today to speak with a Little Rock lawyer. My office takes pride in providing the highest level of service and we understand that this is an important time in your life. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an appointment. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the remainder of Arkansas.