When a couple gets divorced, one of the most important decisions that must be made is how custody of any children will be divided.
This can be a complex and emotionally charged process, especially if one of the parents is unemployed.
How is Child Custody Determined?
In Arkansas, child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child. This means that the court will consider a variety of factors when deciding how to assign child custody, including:
• The wishes of the child (if the child is old enough to express a preference)
• The child’s relationships between each parent
• The ability of each parent to provide a stable and nurturing environment for the child’s best interest
• The physical and mental health of each parent
• The ability of each parent to meet the child’s basic needs, such the child’s food, shelter, and medical care
• Any history of abuse or neglect by either parent, such as being a registered sex offender, alcohol abuse, or any history of domestic violence
When is Employment Relevant for Physical or Legal Custody?
While employment status is not necessarily a primary consideration when determining custody, it could be relevant in certain circumstances.
For example, if a parent is unable to provide for the child due to a lack of employment, this could be seen as a negative factor in the custody evaluation. Similarly, if a parent has a history of unstable employment or financial insecurity, this could also affect custody arrangement.
However, it is important to note that being unemployed does not automatically disqualify a person from getting sole custody.
What Does the Court Consider Outside of Employment?
There are many factors that the court will consider, and it is possible for an unemployed person to be awarded custody if they can demonstrate that they are able to provide a stable and nurturing environment for the mental and physical well being of the child.
The court looks more at stability than employment. If you can show you have a stable home and can provide for the child’s upbringing, the court will look less at employment issues.
The court will also consider any problems or negatives with the other parent involved and the court will make a decision based on all of the circumstances and not only on a couple of issues with one parent.
What if I Can Pay Child Support Without Having a Job?
If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about your custody rights, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney and family law firm who can help you present your case to the court in the best possible light.
This may include providing evidence of your ability to meet the child’s needs, even if you are not currently employed.
For example, you may be able to show that you have access to other means of financial support, such as savings or support from family members, that will allow you to provide for the child as a parent.
What if I am Trying to Find a Job?
You may also be able to demonstrate that you have the skills and experience necessary to find employment in the future.
In addition, it is important to be honest and transparent about your employment status during the divorce process.
If you are unable to work due to a disability or other circumstances, be sure to provide documentation to the court.
It is also a good idea to be proactive in seeking employment or training opportunities that could help you become more financially stable and able to provide for the child.
How Can I Help My Case Most?
Ultimately, the most important factors in any custody case are what is in the best interest of the child.
While unemployment can be a factor in the custody evaluation, it is not the only factor, and it is possible for a person without a job to be awarded custody in a divorce in Arkansas.
Again, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney and to present a strong case to the court about your ability to provide for and care for your child.