Providing family services in divorce, property division, custody arrangements and guardianships, restraining orders, adoptions and any other family matter that may arise.
We understand that welcoming a new child into the home is one of the most important events in a family’s life. Our attorneys can help in adopting a child, whether it is adoption by a relative or step-parent, an agency adoption, an interstate adoption or a foster care adoption.
Nothing is more important to you than your child’s health, well-being and happiness, and we understand this through experience as attorneys and as parents. We can explain to you how Arkansas approaches child custody and the differences between legal custody and physical custody. After getting accurate information about you and your children, we will discuss what custody arrangement you believe would benefit your children and we will plan how to address that in court. After child custody arrangements have been established, if the other parent is not following the agreed schedule, we are always ready to quickly represent you in court to make sure that your children are getting your time and attention as required by the court.
Our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with child support issues. While child support guidelines are firmly established by the court, our attorneys will look at the financial facts of both sides to make sure that both parties’ financial situations are accurately and fairly represented to the court, and then we will help in child support enforcement when a parent is not paying what is owed. We also understand that financial situations change over time, and when it is appropriate, we are there to help you in getting court ordered child support modification or in defending against unjust attempts to have support modified.
We understand that divorce almost always involves strong emotions, hurt feelings, anger or profound sadness. For those reasons, our compassionate and experienced attorneys help guide you through the process in a way that achieves your goals while minimizing the negative emotions that go along with it. When possible, we will help you negotiate out of court with your former spouse. However, if agreement cannot be achieved out-of-court, we will aggressively fight for what is rightfully yours in court. While it is possible to go through the divorce process without an attorney, doing so individually may result in decisions that you regret for the rest of their lives.
In the unfortunate cases where parents are unavailable to parent a child because of death, criminal convictions, abuse problems or other issues, our caring attorneys can assist in having a temporary guardianship or permanent guardianship established for a child or a disabled adult. We understand how critical it is to have proper care and support, and we understand how urgent it is to get a guardian appointed by the court in cases where children or disabled adults have no adult capable of caring for them.
You or your loved ones do not have to live in fear. If you have a justified fear of harm, you are being stalked, you have been threatened, or you, your children or an aging parent have been the victims of violence or abuse, we can get quickly get a court-ordered temporary restraining order, good for 14 days, to keep someone from contacting you or your loved one in any way. After that, we can go through the more formal process of getting an order of protection against the person that is creating fear and violence in your life.
Unmarried parents of a child may have to establish paternity of the father in order for the father to enjoy all of the legal rights and responsibilities of being a parent. Signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity by both parents before the child turns 18 will accomplish this, and if a child is born to a married couple, the husband is presumed to be the father unless paternity is established in another manner under Arkansas law. In other cases, court involvement will be required. Whether you are a mother seeking to establish paternity to enforce the legal rights of your children or you are a father seeking to establish your legal rights to parent your children, we can help.
We can structure a premarital agreement that meets all of your goals. Premarital agreements can help to structure the division of assets in case of divorce. There are often very good reasons to have such an agreement. Often, people with significant assets may marry for a second time, when they have children from a previous marriage. In these cases, it is important to protect assets for the children as well as the current spouse.
Our attorneys are expert at assisting you creating an equitable plan to divide property between you and your spouse in divorce. The courts require equitable division of property acquired during the marriage, so the most challenging issue is often how to divide the big ticket items such as cars and homes when money is still owed on them. If a divorcing couple allows emotion to overtake reason, the result could be the loss of a home or vehicle for both divorcing spouses. Valuation of a business is also frequently a significant issue that needs to be carefully analyzed before property is divided. When possible, we help to keep your assets as whole as possible, If that is what you desire, while making sure that you are treated equitably and fairly in dividing your property.
Spousal support is granted to a spouse after divorce when one spouse has a history of earning considerably more than the other and has been paying all or virtually all of the bills, and when it will take the non-earning spouse some amount of time to begin earning a living wage for his or herself. Spousal support is NOT about maintaining your current standard of living. Spousal support is usually temporary, and it is only permanent in circumstances where the non-earning spouse is not capable of earning a living due to age or disability. We can work with parties involved in spousal support discussions to make sure that your case is being fairly presented in negotiations or in court.
We have extensive experience in putting together visitation schedules for you and your children. While the Arkansas courts have a standard visitation schedule that they follow, depending on the facts of your case, you can alter that schedule with agreement from the other parent. We know what the courts will accept, and we can help you amicably come to mutual agreement with your ex-spouse, in most cases, with limited court involvement, but we will aggressively defend your custody rights in court, if needed.
Attorney Ad Litem
Providing services as court-appointed legal representatives of those who are not capable of representing themselves.
Mostyn Prettyman has experienced attorneys who compassionately and effectively represent the interests of adults who are incapacitated do to mental infirmity in all types of court proceedings as a guardian ad litem. If you are concerned that someone cannot represent their own interests in court or that they are being taken advantage of by another person in other ways, a guardian ad litem may be the answer.
Mostyn Prettyman has experienced attorneys who compassionately and effectively represent the interests of children as a guardian ad litem. We help to make objective assessments as to what is in the best interests of your children with respect to circumstances involving child custody, physical or mental abuse, and family substance abuse issues.
In Arkansas, guardian ad litems are appointed by the court to make sure the interests of a child or incapacitated adult are effectively represented. A party may recommend a guardian ad litem to the court, and the court will take that into consideration. We can thoroughly explain how this process works.