Joint custody means both parents share in decision making of child such as education, medical and so on. It does not mean that the parents equally spend time with child. You should speak with local attorney to advise you on your rights. You could file for joint custody in your cross complaint against your wife. Ultimately, most cases end in settlement of all issues. However, please speak with a local attorney from your area. Good luck.
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You need to hire an attorney to represent you in the divorce. She is asking for full custody, so you need an attorney advocating for your position. You need to also ask for full custody. Then that gives you both the possibility of settling for joint custody and each giving up something without surrendering totally to the other side's demands. Courts in Arkansas tend to disfavor joint custody, because they like to have one party required to pay a set amount of child support to make all the financials nice and neat, Joint custody will have to be the result of a settlement reached in the case.
Please note that this answer is given for informational purposes only, and in no way creates an attorney-client relationship beteween the questioner and the responding attorney. You should be aware that Mr. Hamman is only licensed to practice law in the State of Arkansas. You are not a client of the Hamman Law Firm until you and Mr. Hamman have both signed a contract setting forth the scope and limitations of the representation, and the reasonable compensation to be paid by you to Mr. Hamman for that representation.
In Arkansas, it is normal for one parent to have custody and the other to have visitation. Joint custody is rare. This does not mean you have no right to help make important decisions for your child and these rights will often be spelled out in detail in the decree. If it makes you feel better, most courts don't mind saying "primary custody" insead of sole custody or full custody, just to make that clear. For that matter, her having custody doesn't prevent you have visitation that amounts to a similar amount of time with the child. If you haven't already hired an attorney, you really should. Mediation is often a good idea in cases like this as well.
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