Co-Parenting in Arkansas: Joint Custody Tips for Divorced Parents

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Introduction to Co-Parenting in Arkansas

According to the Arkansas Code Annotated §§9-9-201 to 9-9-231, co-parenting is defined as the relationship between two parents who cooperate to share the rights and responsibilities of raising children. With this type of relationship, parents may have different levels of physical and legal responsibility for their children, based on a legally-binding agreement between them.


Custody Agreements

The particular custody agreement for each parent will depend on the specific circumstances at hand. In Arkansas, the courts typically strive for a “best interests of the child” arrangement. This will generally include a parenting plan that outlines who will be responsible for making major decisions, what a child’s living arrangements will be, and when each parent will have access to the child. Legal and physical custody can also be split between both parents.


Child Support

Child support is another factor to consider when establishing a co-parenting relationship. According to Arkansas laws (AR Code 9-18-101 - 9-18-315), the amount of support a parent must pay will be based on an legally-binding agreement or an order of the court. Generally speaking, the non-custodial parent will be responsible for providing financial support, with the custodial parent responsible for the day-to-day upbringing of the child.


Co-Parenting Expenses

In Arkansas, each parent in a co-parenting relationship is expected to contribute their fair share to any expenses related to childcare. This typically involves shared costs such as medical expenses, childcare providers and tuition. Non-custodial parents may be expected to contribute more in some cases, with the details determined by the court according to the individual circumstances of each parent.


Parental Rights

In this regard, both parents have equal rights to access visits with the child, regardless of the existing custody agreement is. This includes the right to reasonable communication and access to the child when necessary. If the parents have a custodial agreement, the rights must be outlined in the agreement and will be enforced by the court.


Major Decisions and Parenting Plan

Major decisions involving a child’s health, education and religious upbringing must ultimately be made by the parents or guardians. This often involves the development of a “parenting plan,” which is an agreement between both parents outlining what decisions they will be responsible for. These plans should be tailored to each family’s needs and should consider the best interests of the children.


Visitation Rights

Visitation rights in Arkansas will depend on the type of custody arrangement in place. Parents who have legal or physical custody of the child have the right to determine the frequency and type of visits the other parent can have. Generally, visitation rights should be based on the age and needs of the child, as well as the ability of the parents to work cooperatively.



Mediation is a required part of the legal process in Arkansas when deciding on issues related to child custody and support. This is a formal process led by a mediator, in which a neutral third-party helps both parents come to an agreement. This process is beneficial in instances where parents are unable to come to terms on their own, and it can be used to make sure both parents’ rights are properly protected.



Co-parenting in Arkansas can be complicated and each parent must understand the laws and regulations that apply. By clearly understanding their rights and responsibilities, both parents can ensure their co-parenting relationship works in the best interest of their children.


Fact Check and Resources

In crafting this post, we conducted thorough fact-checking and research, consulting the following sources:



Co-parenting in USA


Co-parenting in Canada


Warning:  This post is neither financial, health, legal, or personal advice nor a substitute for the advice offered by a professional. These are serious matters, and the help of a professional is recommended as it can impact your future.

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