Arkansas Divorce Guide

Visitation (Parenting Time)

During the separation or divorce process, Visitationthe parents are afforded the opportunity to complete an Arkansas Parenting Plan and submit it to the court for approval. If they are unable to fully agree, the court will impose its judgment on the care for the children.

Get the Parenting Plan done ASAP. You won’t like the court’s plan

Typically that will involve every other weekend, a weekday evening visit that doesn’t include an overnight, alternating holidays, Mother’s and Father’s Days, and a number of weeks in the summer. Make sure you have specific details about who picks up and drops off, at what time, the right of first refusal if the custodian needs a sitter, etc. Determine the conditions of birthdays, how they’ll be celebrated and who is able to do what. The more you have in the decree, the less you’ll argue over. Be aware that you have to guide your side of the divorce. Don’t rely that your attorney will think of everything. You set the course; your lawyer navigates.

Typical considerations by the court will be alternate weekend visitation (3-day weekends included), mid-week visitation, sharing of the children during periods of school recess -winter, spring and summer, New Year’s Eve, Easter, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with one parent or the other in alternate years, Father’s Day with Father, Mother’s Day with Mother, alternate years on the children’s birthdays, and open communication by phone and computer.

Be aware that you have to guide your side of the divorce. If you get versed in Kansas divorce laws and you get an agreement to a Child Custody Agreement in place, you stand a much better chance of getting what you need from the divorce. Don’t rely that your attorney will think of everything. You set the course; your lawyer navigates.

You cannot meet your ex at your child’s school

State law (Title 9-Section 13-104) prohibits exchanging your child (one parent hands off the child to the other) on school grounds. This is specific to when your child is in the care of one parent and the other parent is to take over custodial care. Lawmakers created this prohibition to avoid disruptive events at your child’s school. One parent dropping off and the other picking up at prearranged times and days if prearranged with the school’s Principal, is allowed.

Your child’s scholastic records

The non-custodial parent who has been awarded visitation rights is entitled to a copy of the current scholastic records of the child. The request must be made directly to the school district or college your child attends. The custodial parent is not responsible for providing said copies to the other parent.

Your child’s preference for which parent he/she wishes to live with is recognized by the court

The circuit court may consider the preferences of the child if the child is of a sufficient age and capacity to reason, regardless of chronological age. [A.C.A. § 9-13-108] [Based on Arkansas Code Title 9, 9-13-101 to 9-12-110]

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