En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Legal Statutes: Arkansas

UPDATED September 15, 2017

Back to Arkansas overview

Subchapter 1. General Provisions.

back to top9-10-113. Custody of child born outside of marriage

(a) When a child is born to an unmarried woman, legal custody of that child shall be in the woman giving birth to the child until the child reaches eighteen (18) years of age unless a court of competent jurisdiction enters an order placing the child in the custody of another party.

(b) A biological father, provided he has established paternity in a court of competent jurisdiction, may petition the circuit court in the county where the child resides for custody of the child.

(c) The court may award custody to the biological father upon a showing that:

(1) He is a fit parent to raise the child;

(2) He has assumed his responsibilities toward the child by providing care, supervision, protection, and financial support for the child; and

(3) It is in the best interest of the child to award custody to the biological father.

(d) When in the best interest of a child, visitation shall be awarded in a way that assures the frequent and continuing contact of the child with the mother and the biological father.

Acts of 1981, Act 665, § 1; Acts of 1987, Act 488, § 1; Acts of 1987, Act 667, § 1; Acts of 2003, Act 1185, § 13, eff. July 16, 2003; Acts of 2007, Act 654, § 1, eff. July 31, 2007.