Senate Passes Alan Clark’s Child Custody Amendment Act – Arkansas Times
February 1, 20211:57 p.m.
The Senate passed today It is. Alan Clarks SB 18 to change custody and visiting law advocate joint custody unless there is “clear and convincing” evidence to the contrary. The vote was 31-2.
Clark said he was motivated by the belief that fathers are not treated fairly. The state’s judges and attorneys oppose the legislation and have developed an alternative that says the standard for changing custody or visiting should be “preponderance of evidence,” which is the standard for other aspects of domestic relations cases .
Sen. Missy Irvin The existing law harms a parent, husband or wife because it discriminates against those who cannot afford to challenge court decisions. She and other supporters said custody decisions should start with a two-parent guess. That is the existing standard in court, but the standard for deviating from it is not as high as Clark seeks.
Clark said he expected the bill to face stiff opposition in the House and that he expected the bill to be changed, but he wanted the Senate to pass the bill as it is currently being written. However, he complained about late-coming criticism of the bill Senator Stephanie Flowers found that a judge had testified against the bill in committee.
Flowers said the bill would tie the hands of judges “to tell the courts what is in the best interests of the children”.
I suspect the vote was overwhelming because some potential opponents did not want to be put on record with the expectation that they would return to the Senate with House amendments. I definitely hope so.