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Topic Tuesday



This week's topic is child custody. Child custody is a complicated topic because everything normally depends on the situation between the parents and child, etc. There are a couple different scenarios of child custody we will cover today. We will cover child custody and guardianship. Both child custody and guardianship require court orders to go into effect. A child custody agreement is normally between two parents. If the parents are married, they do not have a child custody agreement. In the case they get divorced, child custody is normally handled with child support and visitation also in mind, along with the other paperwork and decisions in a divorce. We are seeing more child custody disagreements between unmarried parents than we have in the past. After speaking with individuals that have knowledge on child custody cases, they said that the father's name being on the birth certificate has no guarantee of rights for that individual, that paternity must be confirmed for all relevant purposes. The child support enforcement office handles paternity in the case of child support if the father is not helping to support the mother with expenses. In most cases, law enforcement cannot side in a quarrel about visitation and support between parents unless there is a court order involved. It is best that if you believe that there is going to be a disagreement to get an attorney. A guardianship is normally done by grandparents or relatives to take care of a child or children in the case that the parents are unable to or refuse to. A guardianship also requires an attorney visit to figure out what is possible, and all depends on the situation with the parent's health and involvement. In Arkansas, grandparents have the right to see their grandchildren. It is found that grandparents may be court ordered visitation unless the parent can prove why the child is better off without the grandparent's visit. Grandparents rights are not enforceable by law enforcement. These orders can only be handled in the court room with attorneys present.

We at the Sheriff's Office always recommend consulting with an attorney if you need assistance with child custody or a guardianship.

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