AR regulation ranges the taking part in area in little one custody instances

“This is the greatest burden of proof we have.”

by: Lauren Krakau

Posted: May 18, 2021 / 8:59 PM CDTUpdated: May 19, 2021/06:00 CDT

NORTHWEST, Ark. (KNWA / KFTA) – A new law in Arkansas is doing it Easier for separated parents in order to obtain joint custody of their children.

ACT 604 is the new joint custody law in Arkansas that notifies the judge of joint custody Got to be ordered in any new family law case unless there is “clear and convincing” evidence that it is not in the best interests of the child.

A very high standard is clear and convincing. You’d need to have some really strong evidence that it’s not in the child’s best interests to get over this.


Family law attorney Leslie Copeland said that joint custody means parents are spending money equal Spend time with the child and have common legal decisions.

“This means they have to deliberate and agree on any major decisions that the child is involved in,” she said. “This can include school choices, extracurricular activities, or medical decisions.”

She said when the parents can’t agree They are then ordered to go to mediation to try to resolve the dispute before the judge interferes.

Joint custody can be a win-win situation for the parent and child if the parents can work together, communicate and be parents together.


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Copeland said this new law had its advantages, such as:

  • For fathers – She said that in a traditional custody situation, they could spend more time with their children and take more responsibility for their children’s daily activities.
  • For mothers – She said it gives them more time to work and increases their economic opportunities while receiving more support in caring for the children.
  • For the kids – She said it allows them to have the same time with each parent, which gives them the best of both works.

Research shows that the key factor in achieving positive long-term outcomes for children is parent collaboration.


However, Copeland said there is a downside.

“This is an attempt to find a single solution for all families and all children,” she said. “It’s not always appropriate for parents to make decisions together, especially when there is a power imbalance or when they just can’t get along.”

My interest in participating is that the system treats fathers as unimportant overall.


Senator Alan Clark, main sponsor, said ACT 604 does not mean that joint custody is always the solution.

“We have threaded the needle very well, it needs clear and convincing evidence,” he said. “We certainly don’t want a parent who is physically or sexually abusive to be forced into the mix.”

He said that the legislation pays attention to the best interests of the child.

“We will achieve better results in most cases if the law is followed,” said Sen. Clark.

Which exactly is Copeland’s hope.

Joint custody is difficult, but it is the best situation for the child when the parents can get along!


Under this new law, Senator Clark said if either parent does not want to have a relationship with the child, they do not have to have joint custody.

Copeland said a common misconception people have about joint custody is that parents don’t have to pay child support. She said that even in a joint custody situation, one parent may still have to pay child support if the parties’ incomes are not equal.

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