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Legal Information: Arkansas

Custody

Updated: 
February 12, 2020

When can a grandparent or great-grandparent petition for visitation?

A grandparent or great-grandparent can file a petition for visitation if any of the following are true:

  • the parents have divorced, or separated, or one of the parents has died;
  • the child was born to an unmarried mother (only a maternal grandparent can file a petition unless paternity has been established);
  • the judge finds by “clear and convincing evidence” that the primary custodian of the child is unfit; or
  • the judge finds by “clear and convincing evidence” that there are important (compelling) circumstances in favor of grandparent visitation. When making that decision, the judge can consider any of the following factors:
    • the love, affection, and other emotional ties between the grandparent and child;
    • the length and quality of the relationship between the grandparent and child;
    • the mental and physical health of the grandparent, the parent, and the child;
    • any positive and negative effects of visitation being granted or denied;
    • the wishes of the child;
    • the reason the parent denied visitation;
    • the reason the grandparent is asking for visitation;
    • any history of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence;
    • whether the parental rights of the parent to which the grandparents are related have been terminated; and
    • other factors that impact the best interest of the child.1

1 A.C.A. § 9-13-103 (b)