We are dedicated to helping families navigate the complex web of family law. We know that family law cases can be among the most emotional, contentious and important legal matters. We represent families in the following legal matters:
Going through a divorce is one of the most difficult things you can do in life. We can guide you through this challenging time and help you take steps to protect your legal interests and achieve your goals concerning your children and financial issues.
We deliver sound legal advice while attempting to de-escalate contentious, emotional situations. Who will have custody of the children is one of the most emotionally charged decisions to make in a divorce. In Arkansas, either the parents have shared custody, also called true joint custody, which is when the children spend approximately equal time with each parent, or one parent has custody and the other parent has visitation. We will negotiate a parenting plan which sets out which parent the children are with during the school year, on weekends, in the summer and on holidays. If no agreement is reached on a parenting plan, the Court will enter an order setting out weekday, weekend, summer and holiday custody and visitation.
Each parent has a duty to financially support their children. Regarding child support, Arkansas uses the Income Shares Model, which is based on the concept that children should receive the same proportion of parental income that they would have received had the parents lived together and shared financial resources. The worksheet used to calculate child support factors in each parent’s income or what that parent could earn in the workforce, the cost of health insurance, work-related childcare expenses, extraordinary medical expenses and additional childrearing expenses. Child support is paid via an income withholding order with the payor’s employer.
Also called spousal support, in limited circumstances either spouse may be eligible for alimony, either on a short-term basis or permanently. An award of alimony is based on the payee spouse’s need, and the payor spouse’s ability to pay.
In Arkansas, unless there are special circumstances mandating otherwise, all marital property is to be divided equally, with each party receiving fifty percent of the marital assets or the value of the marital assets. Property acquired by gift or inheritance is not marital property, and does not have to be divided with the other spouse, so long as the party who inherited or received the property kept that property in their separate name and didn’t commingle it with marital assets.
After your divorce, if your former spouse does not comply with the orders and agreements entered in the divorce action, it may be necessary to take him or her back to court in a contempt action to compel their compliance with the Court’s orders.
Custody, visitation and child support are modifiable until the children graduate from high school or turn eighteen. If an involuntary change in income or employment makes it impossible or inequitable for a parent to pay the amount of child support that he or she agreed to pay in the divorce, a motion to modify child support can be filed to request that the Court modify the child support amount based on the payor’s current income. Similarly, if there is a material change in circumstances that makes a custody order or visitation schedule unworkable or no longer in the best interests of the children, a motion to modify custody or visitation can be filed to request that the Court modify the custody or visitation order entered in the divorce proceeding. Motions to modify can also be filed after a custody, visitation or child support order in a paternity proceeding.
When a child is born to unmarried parents, a paternity action is necessary to establish the father’s paternity of the child, as well as custody, visitation and child support.
If the parents of minor children are unable to care for the children, sometimes a guardianship is necessary to insure that children are in the custody of, and cared for by persons, often grandparents or other relatives, who have the ability to do so. Guardianship cases are often necessary due to substance abuse or mental health issues of the parents.
In certain situations, grandparents may be able to successfully petition the Court for regular visitation with their grandchildren.
We represent parents in dependency-neglect proceedings to assist them in regaining custody of their children. We also represent grandparents and other relatives in dependency-neglect cases to gain custody or placement of children when the parents are not able to care for the children and the alternative for the children is foster care. When parents or other relatives are unfairly placed on the Child Maltreatment Registry, we can represent you in an appeal, which requires a hearing before an administrative law judge.
An Attorney ad Litem is an attorney who is trained, educated, and certified in representing children. If parents are in litigation regarding custody of a child and want their child to have their own attorney or if the judge orders an attorney ad litem be appointed, we can represent the child, so that their voice is heard and their feelings and needs are considered.
The Bennington Law Firm, Inc.
Address: 620 Clinton St.
Arkadelphia, AR 71923
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Monday to Friday – 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Appointments available upon request.
Please contact 870-464-1540 for appointment booking.