Arkansas Law Blog

Family Law

Grandparent Visitation in Arkansas

  If you want to understand the law, you have to understand this: It’s about striking a balance between competing interests (or rights, as the case may be). The law surrounding grandparent visitation in Arkansas is an excellent example of how this balance works—and why achieving this balance can be so difficult. On one hand, you have parents and their…

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Interesting Legal-Lawyering Stories

July 2014 MEE Subjects

In the spirit of ongoing generosity (and remembering how incredibly stressful that studying for the Bar was), here are my predictions for the MEE section of the July 2014 Bar: 1) a Civ Pro question (surprise there always is); 2) I’m 50/50 on Family Law, and Contracts; 3) Wills (No Trusts); 4)  Commercial Paper (No Secured Transactions); 5) No Constitutional or…

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Interesting Legal-Lawyering Stories

Bowen Law School Makes "Best Value" List

As a recent graduate of UALR’s William H. Bowen School of Law, I feel comfortable saying that Bowen students aren’t usually excited about law school rankings. Until someone decides to publish a list that ranks something like “Proximity to Malvern, Arkansas,” “Likelihood to be Attacked by a Goose,” or “Weirdest Yard Sculpture,” Bowen is unlikely to rank anywhere near the…

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Family Law

Common Law Marriage in Arkansas?

One of the worst parts of my job is that I often have to be the bearer of bad news. Recently, a woman called my office for information about receiving some of her partner’s retirement benefits. She was convinced that because she had lived with her partner for nineteen years, she had a “common law marriage” and should be treated…

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Family Law

How to Establish Paternity

I talk to a lot of dads—many of whom have fathered children outside of marriage. When they ask about their rights (How to set up visitation, Can I keep the mother from moving away, etc.), they are inevitably surprised to learn that they have virtually no rights. Until they go to court and establish paternity, they are about as important…

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Family Law

What is a "Transparenting Class?"

The divorce and child custody process always requires one to navigate two important policy concerns: 1) We don’t want people to have to jump through unnecessary hoops to get divorced. 2) Most people need help in working together to co-parent. There’s no clear answer to this conundrum, but the legislature’s answer is at at least workable: Ark. Code Ann. §…

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Estate Planning

Comprehensive Estate Planning – Your Legacy

When most Arkansans think of estate planning, the only objective they have in mind is to transfer assets and belongings  to the people and organizations they want to have them after they die. They also consider the possible delay (probate) and costs (fees and taxes) and want to decrease both of those. That is a correct purpose. But great estate…

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Family Law

Emancipation in Arkansas

I haven’t done a formal survey, but there seems to be a lot of interest in minors getting rid of their parents. Unfortunately, however, there doesn’t seem to be much clarity about the details. Perhaps this will help. What is Emancipation? The term “emancipation” is broadly used by Arkansas courts to describe either a) the date upon which one turns…

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Elder Law, Estate Planning

Healthcare Costs during Retirement

In the practice area of Elder Law we often deal with how to pay for the medical costs of our clients. Most of the time people do not call until they are facing a $6,000.00 a month bill from the nursing home. Most people spend a large amount of money on healthcare before they ever enter a nursing home. Although…

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Family Law

Covenant Marriage: Why or Why Not?

As an Evangelical Christian who practices family law, I am often caught in a tenuous place when it comes to marriage. On one hand, I strongly believe in an obvious “Plan-A”: people get married, love each other, and stay married forever. On the other, there are practical realities that I cannot change, namely that sometimes a marriage dies long before…

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