Legal Information: Arkansas

Custody

Updated: 
February 12, 2020

What does a grandparent or great-grandparent have to prove to get visitation?

For a court to award visitation to a grandparent or great-grandparent, the grandparent has to prove that s/he has established a “significant and viable relationship” with the child and that visitation would be in the child’s best interest.1

To establish a “significant and viable relationship” with the child, the grandparent or great-grandparent must prove any of the following:

  • the child lived with the grandparent for at least six months in a row, without the child’s parent living there too;
  • the grandparent was the primary caregiver to the child for six months in a row;
  • the grandparent has had regular contact with the child for at least 12 months in a row; or
  • any other facts that show that the loss of the relationship between the grandparent and the child is likely to harm the child.2

To establish that visitation is in the best interest of the child, the grandparent or great-grandparent has to show that all of the following are true:

  • s/he can give the child love, affection, emotional support, and guidance;
  • the grandparent is willing to cooperate with the custodial parent or other guardian;
  • awarding visitation would not interfere with the parent-child relationship; and
  • the loss of the relationship between the grandparent and child is likely to:
    • harm the child;
    • cause emotional distress to the child;
    • result in the emotional abuse of the child; or
    • result in the emotional neglect of the child.3

1 A.C.A. § 9-13-103(c)
2 A.C.A. § 9-13-103(d)
3 A.C.A. § 9-13-103(e)

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