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I'd like to know how to Amend an Arkansas state divorce

I'd like to know...

I'd like to know how to Amend an Arkansas state divorce decree with a child custody update, so to speak. I'm Military and had orders to move out of the state, I have primary and physical custody of our Daughter according to the decree, but he's telling me that I have to pay 100% of the travel costs for his visitation. Is that right? Even though I'm Military and I had no choice, I still have to pay for all of it if he wants to see her? I have many other questions, but I'd like to start there. Thank you.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in AR family court?

I have not, I'm not sure what that means. Would that involve the dreaded "taking him to court" scenario? I dont want to take him to court.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this yet?

I tried to reach out to my military legal office, but obviously they cant represent me in court, so I wasn't sure who to turn to or what to do next.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Hes not letting me talk to my daughter, it started yesterday and its been established that my daughter and I talk daily, so I dont know what to do about that either. I've been trying to call since I got home, I'm at training until 12 April, then I have OJT for a month. He's had her since 1 January and this is the first time I've had problems like this with not being able to speak with our daughter. The reason he's had her is because I'm at Military training.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The Military Legal Office in New Mexico could only give me sites to explore for my own Attorney, they didn't really give me a, "Here's what you gotta do next" sort of thing, they aren't Arkansas law trained. I asked my Ex-Husband if he could amend the divorce decree shortly after I got my orders, since he still lives in Arkansas, and he told me its too expensive and complicated. So I'm looking in to it myself. Trust but verify, and from what base legal told me its not that complicated or expensive. I file some paperwork, pay some fee, and poof done. However, I am struggling to find who, what, where, when, why and how much out of all the Arkansas State Law websites. Its like I'm looking at Egyptian tablets, no offense.
Answered in 17 hours by:
3/21/2018
Josie-Mod
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 8
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Hi, I'm Josie, a moderator for this topic.
I've noticed you have not yet received a response to this question.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I am ok with continuing to wait for an answer.
RayAnswers
RayAnswers, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 46,331
Experience: 30 years as a family law lawyer .
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Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

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Like any case involving custody, a judge will consider a child’s best interests to decide a relocation case. Specifically, a judge will look at the following factors to decide if a relocation is appropriate:

  • the parent’s reasons for the relocation
  • educational, health, and leisure opportunities available in the new location
  • the noncustodial parent’s present visitation and communication schedule and potential impact of relocation
  • the effects of the relocation on immediate and extended family relationships, and
  • the child’s preference, if the child is of a sufficient age and maturity level to form an opinion.

Arkansas case law typically favors a custodial parent’s right to relocate with the child. However, a noncustodial parent can rebut that presumption by showing that the relocation would negatively impact the child. All a custodial parent needs to demonstrate is there is some advantage to the family unit with a relocation.

For example, in one Arkansas case, the court allowed a mother to relocate with her children even though the divorce decree said neither parent can permanently leave the state. The mother filed a motion to modify custody allowing her to move with the children to North Carolina with her fiancé. Because the children’s mother was able to show that with a move, she would be able to spend more time with her children and improve their educational opportunities, the court allowed the mother to move with the children and maintain primary custody.

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The Arkansas Supreme Court’s recent decision in Singletary v. Singletary, 2013 Ark. 506, sheds light on how joint-custody arrangements affect another contentious aspect of Arkansas family law: a custodial parent’s attempt to relocate across state lines. Arkansas law gives the custodial parent (the one with primary custody of the children) the presumption that any relocation with the children is in their best interest. This is known as the “Hollandsworth presumption” because it was first announced in the Arkansas Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Hollandsworth v. Hollandsworth, 353 Ark. 470, 109 S.W.3d 653. This presumption means that the non-custodial parent can’t prevent the children’s relocation simply because it would make visitation more difficult. Arkansas law defers to the custodial parent.

In Singletary, the Court made it clear that in a true joint-custody arrangement, no parent—even if they are the primary decision maker for the children—can lean on the Hollandsworth presumption. Instead, courts must analyze any challenge to child custody under the traditional framework: First, has there been a material change in circumstances? And second, is the change in custody in the children’s best interest?

From a practical perspective, this makes the joint-custody option much less favorable to the parent who might otherwise be granted sole or primary custody of the children. He or she will not enjoy the Hollandsworth presumption when deciding whether to relocate with the children. On the other hand, it makes the joint-custody option much more favorable to the parent who would probably not be able to get sole or primary custody of the children. In that case, the parent who shares joint custody with the other parent would not need to overcome the Hollandsworth presumption in order to stop another parent’s relocation efforts.

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Here you will need a lawyer to motion for relocation.The court decides whether it is in the child's best interests and terms of visitation and who pays.

You have to go through the courts unless you are able to resolve.The court would look at age of child here and whether she is old enough to fly alone.You can keep trying to resolve this, offer to split the travel costs.

Understand he court counterclaim and seek custody of here in Arkansas this could get complicated.You are going to need local Arkansas Family lawyer here to motion the court if you cannot reach agreement.

I appreciate the chance to help you and wish you the best here.

If you can positive rate5 stars it is much appreciated.

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Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 46,331
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
First off, thank you for replying. I'm running into some trouble with my Ex-husband recently so I'm actively seeking legal assistance to get matters straight in the books! I asked him years ago when I first got my orders overseas to have the divorce decree amended and he didn't. Now I'm going to learn about my rights and just do it myself. Thanks so much for the information and the link to get a lawyer, looks like this is headed to court, which is probably for the best. Have a great day!

You too and prayers to you.

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