This is the next post in our series on the handling of Little Rock, Arkansas child custody cases which involve unmarried parents. Our last article discussed the handling of discovery in child custody matters. It is important to understand that the discovery process is crucial to gathering needed evidence. Without properly conducting this process, one may find themselves unable to present important facts at trial. In this article we will discuss what one should expect from the trial process. If you are litigating a case then it is important that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you. Contact our Little Rock lawyers today to schedule an initial consultation.
Trials in such cases will begin with each side making an opening statement to the Court. The Plaintiff (the parent who initiated the case) will present their evidence and witnesses first. The defendant (the other parent) will then present their evidence and witnesses. The Plaintiff will then have an opportunity to present “rebuttal” evidence. Rebuttal is not a time for the Plaintiff to make new arguments. They may only use this portion of the case to directly respond to any claims made by the defendant. Once all of the evidence has been presented then each side will make a closing statement to the Court. The matter will be decided by the Judge as all matters in Family Court are decided without a jury. The Judge may issue his or her decision immediately after trial ends or the final order may be issued shortly thereafter. The issuance of the final order will mark the completion of the process.
We cannot stress enough that you should retain an experienced attorney to assist you in the litigation of any such matter. The rules of evidence are complex and they will be enforced. If you or your counsel do not properly present evidence to the Court, then it may not be admitted. If it is not admitted then the Judge will not consider it as part of his or her decision making process. Failing to have all of your evidence considered could result in a situation where, even though it is in the child’s best interests for you to have primary custody, the Court will rule in favor of the other party. By retaining counsel, who is familiar with the trial process, you help to ensure that your matter is handled correctly from beginning to end.
Our Little Rock child custody lawyers assist unmarried Arkansas parents with the establishment of a court order. We are experienced in trial matters and we are ready to assist you. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of Arkansas.