During an Arkansas divorce, spouses who are preparing for dissolution will have to settle numerous important family matters. They’ll have to agree on how to divide their property and also how they will share the responsibilities they have toward their children (if applicable).
Custody orders and/or parenting plans split up the division of time with children, while child support orders can require that one parent provides financial support payments for them. Custody and support determinations typically affect each other during an Arkansas divorce. In fact, what the courts decide to do with custody and marital support can also have a major influence on property division matters.
The interplay of custody and support
When determining how much financial responsibility one parent may have for the children after divorce, the courts look at multiple factors. How much each parent earns and any exceptional expenses incurred on behalf of the children are often important factors to consider. The courts typically also look at how many nights the children spend with each parent.
The breakdown of overnight parenting time will influence how much financial responsibility the parents each have toward the children. Overall, the courts want to see both parents fully provide for the needs of the children in a shared custody scenario, and the parent who spends less time with the children may contribute by providing more financial resources in some cases.
How support and custody affect property division
Arkansas state law requires a fair or equitable division of marital assets. When a judge tries to determine what is fair, one of the many factors they will consider is how much parenting time each adult has and their financial obligations related to the children.
For couples with a higher overall standard of living, a judge might award more property to the parent with more time with the children as a means of ensuring that the children continue to enjoy the same standard of living even after the divorce. Although there are formulas to assist with estimating child support obligations, the nuance involved related to the household standard of living and marital assets can sometimes leave to significant deviations from what simplistic calculating software might predict.
Parents who are preparing for divorce need to understand the interplay between custody, support and property division before they can put together an effective divorce strategy.