Where To Find Family Court Records In Arkansas?
Arkansas circuit courts have authority over all family cases such as marriages, divorces, domestic violence, child support, and adoption. Family court records are usually handled by the county clerk or circuit clerk where the case was recorded. Interested persons can make copies of these records at the office of the clerk. Child support cases are handled by Arkansas’ Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), which was organized by the Department of Finance and Administration - Division of Revenue to ensure all child support payments are made. Marriage, birth, or death records of over 100 years ago are available to the public. However, the clerk’s office charges a service fee of $10 for every search, no matter the result. Therefore, requestors must be very specific when looking for a case file.
The records contained in documents related to family court include both marriage and divorce records. Both types of records have information that is considered very personal to the parties involved, and it is recommended that those parties maintain these records with care to make changes in the future. The personal nature of these records results in both being considerably more difficult to find and obtain when compared to other types of public records. In many cases, these records are not available through either government sources or third party public record websites.
What Is Family Law In Arkansas?
Arkansas family laws are a vast range of statutes associated with divorces, marriage, adoption, child custody, and other legal cases concerning family or domestic matters. Below are instances covered by the family law in Arkansas:
Adoption: State law implies that anyone is allowed to be adopted; however, a child older than ten years of age must consent to this adoption. The court is permitted to dismiss the child’s consent if the adoption is in the child’s best interest. Anyone is allowed to adopt in Arkansas, including unmarried persons and couples with kids.
Marital Property: Arkansas family law introduced “equitable division” for matrimonial properties. Equitable division means a judge will similarly divide the couple’s belongings, not necessarily 50–50, but in a fair manner for both parties. The couple might agree on how the properties should be shared, but a judge must create a plan in case of disagreements.
Child Custody: The family code permits parents’ legal and physical custody of the kids, depending on certain conditions. There can be a modification of child custody by court order if the change is in the child’s best interests. This change can also be because of “material change in circumstances” like one of the parents stationed for military service.
Divorce: According to Arkansas Code Title 9—Family Law statute, a couple can only have a no-fault divorce if there has been a separation for 18 consecutive months. If not, the court will determine whether the reason for the divorce is relevant enough. A fault divorce costs more and is difficult to prove. A couple may file for a divorce if there’s proof of adultery, incarceration, drug abuse, impotence, and domestic violence. If both parties agree before the court but have not been separated for 18 months, a judge can grant a divorce.
What Are Family Court Cases And Records In Arkansas?
Family court cases are lawsuits involving domestic relations. In Arkansas, the Clerk of Circuit Court is in charge of maintaining all files regarding legal actions from family affairs. Some of the cases heard in the circuit court include;
Divorce Cases: Dissolving a marriage comes with various difficult decisions such as the couple having a mutual understanding to share obligations, properties, and debts. If the couple has children, an agreement must be made to have custody of the children.
Child Custody Cases: This is one of the most quarrelsome cases, especially for divorced couples. If both parties have issues deciding on who’s keeping the child, the court will intercede. Decisions regarding who gets custody take several factors into account, such as the child’s needs, the mental health of each parent, and each parent’s income. After examining these factors, the family court will arrive at a decision.
Adoption Cases: Arkansas family law has several rules encircling adoption. These laws were put in place to put the child’s best interest first. Individuals interested in adopting a child must follow these rules. However, the paperwork involved is quite lengthy and can cause delays. Adopters should get a family law attorney to increase the progress of the process.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless the said record is juvenile case information
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
Are Family Court Cases Public Records In Arkansas?
According to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act passed in 1967, family court cases are public records in Arkansas, but there are exceptions. The general public has efficient access to all county and state government public records and is allowed to make copies. Nevertheless, Arkansas statutes consider marriage and divorce records as private records, therefore only allowing people such as the couple, the immediate family members, authorized genealogists, the government at all levels, legal representatives, and individuals with a certified court order access to the records. Birth, death, marriage, or divorce records over 100 years are publicly accessible.
How Do I Find Family Court Records In Arkansas?
Interested persons can visit the Arkansas Department of Health to find vital court records and the Arkansas Department of Human Services to find adoption records. A copying fee may be required, and the requestor may have to provide certain information about the records to ease the search. The location of these agencies are:
4815 W. Markham Street, Slot 44
Little Rock, AR 72205
Phone: (501) 661–2336
Fax: (501) 661–2717
Arkansas Department of Human Services
Division of Children and Family Services
PO Box 1437,
Little Rock, AR 72203–1437
How Do I Find Family Court Records Online?
Parties can search for family court records online on Arkansas Courts through a public access platform where all case information is stored. Family court records can be found by using the names of persons involved in the or case number. The Public CourtConnect platform gives access to case information like parties involved in the case and details of the court proceedings and the judgment.
What Is Arkansas Custody Law?
Arkansas has two types of child custody, which include physical and legal custody. Physical custody involves daily responsibilities for the child, such as shelter, food, and clothing. Legal custody is about making critical decisions for the child, such as health, religion, and education. If both parties can reach a mutual agreement, a custody plan can be submitted to the court for approval. The plan must document how custody time, expenses, and other significant necessities regarding shared custody, will be split. If both parties can’t agree, the Arkansas family court will determine the custody plan with the child’s best interest.
If the child’s mother is unmarried, the mother will have legal custody of the child until the child is 18 years old. It may not be in the best interest of the child to stay with the mother. In that case, the biological father gets custody, following the child’s financial, physical, and mental capability. The usual custody plan allows one parent to visit the kids during the weekends, with school breaks and revolving holidays, and the primary parent takes care of the child for the rest of the time.
How To Find Family Court Lawyers In Arkansas?
The Arkansas court Self Help has a section dedicated to helping interested persons find an experienced lawyer for family cases. Individuals with family issues can utilize this means to find a professional family court attorney in Arkansas. The Arkansas Legal Services Organization gives low-income Arkansans with Self Help forms to aid overloaded Arkansas courts. The attorney search allows requesters to search for attorneys in Arkansas by name, city, and zip code. For more inquiries provided in the attorney search about a lawyer, contact the Clerk’s Office at (501) 682–6849 or visit: