Do You Have to Go to Classes for Temporary Custody in Arkansas?

By Beverly Bird

While parents struggle over custody and other major issues of divorce, their breakup's affect on their children can be overlooked. Several states mandate parenting classes for this reason, to help spouses focus on guiding their children through the divorce process and to prepare for parenting issues when the family is no longer intact. Arkansas offers this option, but classes aren't mandatory in every case. Judges can order parents to attend at any stage of the divorce if they think it might help.

While parents struggle over custody and other major issues of divorce, their breakup's affect on their children can be overlooked. Several states mandate parenting classes for this reason, to help spouses focus on guiding their children through the divorce process and to prepare for parenting issues when the family is no longer intact. Arkansas offers this option, but classes aren't mandatory in every case. Judges can order parents to attend at any stage of the divorce if they think it might help.

Temporary Orders for Custody

Temporary hearings take place early in the Arkansas divorce process. When parents have moved into separate households, custody, visitation and child support issues must be addressed right away. Temporary orders issued at these hearings govern until the divorce is final. If parents can agree to a temporary arrangement, it's unlikely that a judge would order them to attend parenting classes. But, if there's a great deal of friction between parents, the judge has the option of ordering them to attend classes to help them come to terms about custody before the final divorce hearing. Attendance at this class would not affect the temporary custody arrangement -- the judge orders it because it usually can't wait until after the parents attend. The class is meant to help parents achieve a permanent custody order for implementation when the divorce is final.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Parenting Classes

If a judge orders you to attend a parenting class as part of your divorce process, Arkansas state law requires you to complete at least two hours of education. The course should focus on issues and problems unique to divorced parents, and the one you select must meet this and other requirements specified by the state. Online classes are available, and upon completion, the course provider issues you a certificate that you may be required to submit to the court.

Mediation

If attending a parenting class doesn't help you and your spouse amicably agree to a parenting plan, an Arkansas judge also can order you to attend custody mediation. Both parents must meet with a third party, trained and certified by the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. This mediator attempts to guide you toward reaching a final agreement regarding custody and visitation terms that will be incorporated in your decree.

Attorney Ad Litem Intervention

Some divorces are so acrimonious that neither a parenting class nor mediation can help spouses reach an agreement. If you can't resolve issues of custody and visitation on your own, a trial becomes necessary before you can divorce; a judge will decide custody terms for you. Arkansas courts rarely, if ever, order joint custody when parents are opposed to it. If you go to trial, one of you will end up with custody and the other will have visitation. When a custody dispute is particularly heated, Arkansas courts can appoint an attorney ad litem. This trained, neutral third party investigates your family and interviews you, your children, your children's teachers and physicians, and others. He then makes a custody recommendation to guide the judge's decision. Appointing an attorney ad litem is a last resort, one the court hopes to avert by sending you to a parenting class and mediation.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How Soon After We Take Parenting Classes Can Divorce Be Finalized in Georgia?

References

Resources

Related articles

Parenting Classes for Child Custody

The simplest divorces are usually those where you and your spouse divide up your property and debts and be on your way. If you have children, however, it's not going to be quite that easy. Courts take the welfare of children very seriously. Most require that parents participate in a special parenting class as part of the divorce process, even if custody isn't contested.

Divorce Mediation in North Carolina

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution that offers many advantages over litigating your divorce in a family court trial, where you are bound by the judge's decision. Mediation allows you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to retain control over the settlement of your issues. A mediator assists you in working out a resolution to the major issues in a divorce -- such as the division of marital assets, spousal support and custody issues relating to your kids -- that both parties find acceptable.

What If a Child Custody Decision Has Been Made But Changes Occur?

It's not a foregone conclusion that parents move into separate households the minute they decide to divorce; many remain in the marital home together. If you decide to part ways, custody and visitation can become an issue long before your divorce is final. You generally cannot take your children and leave without a court order giving you permission to do so, but you can reach an arrangement by consent or the court can issue one after a hearing. Either way, if your situation changes after the order is in place, you have a few options for modifying it.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Family Mediation Agreement

When it comes to dissolving a marriage and providing for the children involved, courts generally prefer that parents ...

Oregon Divorce Mediation & Arbitration

Oregon courts encourage divorcing spouses to work together and resolve marital issues such as custody and property ...

How to Handle High-Conflict Custody Arrangements

Often, the issues and problems that lead spouses to divorce also make it impossible for them to cooperate regarding ...

Can You Get Divorced Through a Mediator?

Divorce is a court process in which a judge dissolves the legal bonds of marriage and sets terms for the divorcing ...

Browse by category