Can you please explain what “Singletary” means? I was told last year when I divorced that Joint “legal” custody was pretty much standard divorce decree language in Arkansas and as long as the decree designated a primary custodial parent, then that parent could relocate outside Arkansas. The lawyer I talked to seemed as confused as I am about how to interpret my decree now and wasn’t much help.
I guess what I’m asking is what is joint custody now under singletary? Is it the actual equal division of physical time or does just having the term joint legal custody in your decree make it a joint custody arrangement? Joint custody was NOT the intent when we signed. And our visitation is NOT 50/50. So What exactly is it that makes joint custody now? Thanks for your time.
Judges in Northwest Arkansas take joint custody very literally. Although there has been recent case law that has changed so that now joint custody is considered preferred, it still means an even division of time. The children spend half of their time with one parent and half with the other parent.
However, the Courts also are very open to allowing one parent to move with the children when the move can be shown to be considered an overall improvement for the family–closer to relatives, a better job, better standard of living, or some other such reason. It may be that you need to go back to Court to have your decree modified to clarify the language. Joint “legal” custody means joint custody, which means a 50/50 time split. So if you have that language in your decree and you have not been splitting your time with your children evenly, the language should be modified.