Hot Springs Family Attorneys Provide Effective Guidance to Clients
Arkansas family law firm handles divorce, child custody, adoption and other matters
Family law problems can often lead to stressful and contentious legal disputes. At the law firm of Schnipper, Britton & Stobaugh in Hot Springs, Arkansas, we understand the difficulties you face and we will work closely with you to find effective solutions. Airing divorce, child custody or other disputes before a judge can be taxing, but our dedicated attorneys know how to balance zealous representation with compassionate support for you and your family.
Why should I hire an attorney for my family law case?
Legal decisions regarding child custody, property division and other facets of divorce can affect you for the rest of your life. Unless you have an intricate understanding of how judges make decisions based on the law, you can put yourself at a distinct disadvantage. Our attorneys have the knowledge necessary to protect your interests in your divorce or other family law matter.
Hot Springs lawyers guide you through the Arkansas divorce process
To file for divorce in Arkansas, you must meet certain requirements. In most cases, one spouse must have lived in the state for at least 60 days before filing. If you are seeking divorce based on no-fault grounds, you and your spouse must have lived apart for at least 18 months. For all divorces, there is a 30-day waiting period from the time of filing until the final decree is entered.
Arkansas offers the following types of divorce:
- Absolute divorce — This refers to the permanent dissolution of a marriage so that the spouses are no longer bound together and each is free to remarry. An absolute divorce decree settles matters of alimony, child custody, visitation, child support and distribution of property.
- Limited divorce — Also called a “divorce from bed and board,” this type of decree settles all the issues of a divorce, including financial and parenting matters, but does not leave the parties free to remarry.
- Separate maintenance (legal separation) — This status means the spouses are still married but live apart in separate households. The arrangement allows spouses to share benefits such as military pensions and health insurance policies.
Our attorneys can guide you through whichever of these processes best serves your needs and objectives.
What is a “covenant” marriage?
A covenant marriage is a marital union that both spouses promised in writing would be lifelong. If you and your spouse are in a covenant marriage, you must seek authorized marriage counseling prior to filing and your grounds for seeking a divorce are more restrictive. You must prove that your spouse committed adultery, physically or sexually abused you or your child, used illegal substances or committed a felony crime. You may also be able to divorce from a covenant marriage if you and your spouse have lived separately for two years.
How are child custody and child support determined in Arkansas?
Child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child. Factors the judge will consider include the mental and physical well-being of the parents, the relationship between the child and each parent and the child’s particular needs. Both parents may be awarded legal custody, which is the authority to make important decisions for the child. But the child may live with one parent while the other parent has a visitation schedule. Child support is determined based on the child’s needs and the parents’ resources. We can help you get the custody and support arrangements that are best for your situation.
Experienced counsel for a variety of adoption scenarios
When you are seeking to welcome a child into your home through adoption, there are often legal and personal challenges lying ahead. Our Hot Springs lawyers are experienced at assisting with various types of adoptions, which include open, private and agency adoptions as well as those involving foster parents, stepparents or grandparents. We can also assist with international adoptions. We will advise you on how the requirements and procedures differ for each of these types. When you retain our legal services for your adoption, you can rely on our knowledge and dedication. We will work to protect your rights, to advance your goals and to give you peace of mind.
Contact a high-quality family law firm for help with your divorce or other matter
At Schnipper, Britton & Stobaugh in Hot Springs, we represent Arkansas residents in the full range of family law matters. To schedule a consultation, call our firm at 501-762-0887 or contact us online.