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Legal Information: Arkansas


February 12, 2020

Can a parent who committed violence get custody or visitation?

Sometimes. Custody or visitation by an abusive parent may be allowed, but only if the judge believes that you and your children can stay safe. To help keep you safe, the judge can order supervised visits or for the pick-up and drop-off of your children to happen in a protected place. The judge may also order the parent to attend counseling and not use or have alcohol and other drugs.

If the judge does not believe that you or your children are still in danger, the judge may order custody or visitation without any measures to protect you or your child. Therefore, it is important that the judge believes you when you talk about the violence. You may want to keep evidence of the violence ready, if you have it.

if you feel there is still a risk of violence, you can ask the judge:

1) for pick-up and drop-off of your children to happen in a protected place,
2) to permit someone other than you to take or pick up the children for visits, and
3) to order only email contact between the parents or messages left on an answering service.