Montgomery, Adams & Wyatt, PLC

Montgomery, Adams & Wyatt, PLC

Criminal, Family and Probate Law
View Practice Areas

How will a court decide who should get custody of my child?

Child custody can be a point of contention for many divorcing couples. If you are used to seeing your child every day, it may seem unsettling to think that this routine could change, and it can be painful to think your ex-spouse might benefit from your lost time with your child. Although it can be challenging to set aside your own feelings, your child's needs should be at the forefront of any custody decision you make.

However, sometimes parents reach opposing views on what would benefit the child most. If you and your ex cannot come to an agreement on child custody matters, a court may need to step in and award custody as it sees fit.

A childs best interests take priority

If a court ends up deciding on the custody of your child, it will do so based on your child’s welfare and best interests. A child’s best interests usually involve maintaining a relationship with both parents, so Arkansas courts prefer to award joint child custody whenever possible.

Joint custody involves both parents sharing the child’s time and the parenting responsibilities. Joint custody does not necessarily require an equal split of a child’s time, but the split usually ends up being close to equal.

Joint custody is sometimes not appropriate

Courts generally try to award custody in such a way that the child can experience frequent and continuing contact with both parents. However, when joint custody is not in a child’s best interests, a court may award primary custody to one parent.

This may occur if evidence strongly shows a parent’s pattern of intentionally causing conflict and disrupting the current custody arrangement. This may also occur in cases involving a parent that has committed domestic violence or who is a sex offender.

Unless the child’s safety is at risk, the court may award visitation time to the parent who does not have primary custody. Visitation time could be unsupervised or supervised, depending on the unique situation.

While it may not always be possible to collaborate with your ex, you should make sure your child’s needs are always put first when child custody decisions are being made. A full understanding of how courts make custody decisions may help you better advocate on your child’s behalf.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Dedicated Lawyers Serving You | Free Consultation

In need of legal advice? Contact the Little Rock family and criminal law lawyers of Montgomery, Adams & Wyatt, PLC, to get your questions answered. We offer a free consultation. Call us now: 501-377-9568.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy


Montgomery, Adams & Wyatt, PLC
308 East 8th Street
Little Rock, AR 72202

Toll Free: 888-758-4887
Toll Free: 888-758-4887
Phone: 501-377-9568
Phone: 501-377-9568
Fax: 501-375-7943
Little Rock Law Office Map