Judge pounding gavelThis is the next post in our series on the handling of cases involving unmarried parents in Little Rock, Arkansas. Our last article discussed the rights and obligations of unwed parents. Arkansas is like many other states in that it generally considers the rights of a father to be equal. This means that the Court will not express a preference for one parent on the basis of gender. In this article we will discuss a very important topic – the need for parents to obtain a custody order regardless of whether they are currently on good terms with each other. It is important to retain an experienced attorney so that your matter is handled properly. If you require assistance then contact us today to speak with a lawyer.

A child custody order will provide a set structure to unmarried Little Rock parents

It is becoming increasingly common for Little Rock residents to have children without having ever been married. It is also not uncommon for these parents to go their separate ways and to continue operating on friendly terms. They may share custody of the child between themselves, pay child support, and provide a positive environment for their offspring. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for one to get along with their ex long-term, especially when children are involved. If the relationship breaks down, and the parties never obtained a child custody and support order, then there will be problems.

Under Arkansas law, if paternity has been established, then the parents will be seen as having equal rights to the child. This means, for example, that any visitation schedule the parties have been following would not be considered enforceable. Say, for example, that the father typically has the child Friday through Sunday and the mother has the child Monday through Thursday. Now say, at the end of Sunday the father refuses to return the child to the mother. Given that there is no Court order in place, the father is seen as having just as much right to have the child on any given day as the mother. Law enforcement, therefore will not get involved. By having a Court Order in place the parents can protect themselves in the event that their relationship ever breaks down.

Little Rock parents should obtain a custody order which fits their current circumstances

For the reasons explained above, parents should obtain a custody order that fits their current circumstances. This is true even if you are getting along with your ex. If you have a schedule that you are following, then the other parent and yourself may obtain an order which simply memorializes your current arrangement. This will protect the status quo in the event that the relationship breaks down.

If you require the services of a Little Rock child custody lawyer then contact our office today. Our attorneys pride themselves on providing quality service and we are ready to assist you. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of Arkansas.