A 2023 Update on Arkansas’ New Child Support and Custody Laws

Child holding a paper cut-out of a family

Child support legislation is crucial in guaranteeing the welfare of children following the separation or divorce of their parents. The year 2023 in Arkansas witnessed a momentous event with the implementation of novel child support legislation, which brought about a transformation in the management of child support and custody matters within the state.

Understanding the Basics

You must be familiar with the basics of child support and custody laws in Arkansas before you can grasp the particular changes that will be implemented by the new legislation in 2023. Even if parents live apart, these rules will make sure that children’s financial requirements are taken care of. Making sure the kids involved are in a safe and nurturing environment is our top priority.

Key Changes in 2023

Critical changes were introduced by the new Arkansas child support legislation in 2023. The changing dynamics of society and the financial burden of having children in the modern world prompted these revisions. Important updates comprise:

Adjusted Income Guidelines

In 2023, the income parameters used to calculate child support payments will be revised, which is one of the main changes to the child support rules in Arkansas. Child support payments must now reflect the true cost of living and the financial burdens of raising children, hence this adjustment was essential. Here are the income guidelines prior to and after the adjustment so you can see the changes:

Income BracketPrevious Guidelines (pre-2023)New Guidelines (2023)
Low-IncomeUp to $15,000 per yearUp to $20,000 per year
Middle-Income$15,001 to $50,000 per year$20,001 to $60,000 per year
High-IncomeOver $50,000 per yearOver $60,000 per year

With these updated income requirements, child support payments are more in accordance with modern society’s actual economic realities, such as families’ individual financial situations and the growing cost of living.

Custody Considerations

Significant changes were made to Arkansas’ child custody rules in 2023, with a main emphasis on what’s best for the child. These revisions take into account a number of criteria for establishing custody agreements, such as:

  • Child’s Age: The age of the child is a crucial factor in deciding who gets custody of the child. Custody determinations may be impacted by the fact that younger children may necessitate more ongoing assistance and care;
  • Parent’s Living Situation: The living situation of each parent is carefully assessed to make sure it’s stable and suitable for the child, and that it offers a safe and caring environment;
  • Emotional Bonds: The significance of the emotional ties that develop between a kid and each parent is highly emphasized. It is believed that a child’s health and happiness depend on his or her ability to keep strong bonds with both parents.

All of these factors related to child custody should be carefully considered so that kids can thrive emotionally and physically.

Flexibility in Payments

More leeway in determining and collecting child support is one of the main changes to the child support rules in 2023. This adaptability recognizes that every family’s situation is distinct and calls for tailored solutions. Here are a few modifications that stand out:

  • Income Variations: Seasonal or irregular income is one example of how the new rules account for variations in income. There is now a more equitable way to modify child support computations to account for these discrepancies;
  • Shared Parenting: Modifications to child support payments are possible when parents divide up parenting responsibilities more fairly. Regardless of the custody arrangement, the child’s needs will be covered through this, which encourages shared financial responsibility;
  • Modification Process: The legislation enacted in 2023 also makes it easier to ask for changes to child support orders. When parents’ circumstances undergo a substantial change, they can now seek adjustments with greater ease.

Enforcement Measures

Improving enforcement of child support orders was one of the main goals of the 2023 revisions, which aimed to protect children’s financial stability. Here are the steps:

  • Income Withholding: Employers are obligated to deduct child support payments from the non-custodial parent’s paychecks in order to minimize the possibility of payments being missed;
  • License Suspension: Parents who are chronically late with their child support payments may have their driver’s, business, or leisure licenses revoked by the state;
  • Credit Reporting: The credit score of the parent who isn’t paying child support could take a hit if the credit bureaus find out about it;
  • Interstate Enforcement: More effective methods for interstate enforcement of child support have been implemented in Arkansas, making it more difficult for parents to avoid paying their fair share just because they move.

Impact on Families

Families in Arkansas will feel the effects of the new child support rules in 2023. They are working toward the goal of establishing a custody and child support system that is more just and equitable. Taking into account each parent’s strengths and circumstances, the goal is to assist the children’s emotional and financial requirements.

Financial Implications

It is critical that Arkansas’s child support legislation for 2023 address the monetary components. Both parents, those with and those without primary care, will feel the effects of these new rules’ altered income guidelines. The following is a detailed analysis of the cost effects:

  • Income Guidelines: New child support rules use each parent’s adjusted gross income as the basis for support payments. This means that the court considers the income, assets, and debts of both parents;
  • Support Payment Changes: Support payments might be increased or decreased depending on the case. That manner, the child’s financial requirements will be considered regardless of the parents’ finances. Remember that these improvements seek fairness and equity;
  • Custodial vs. Non-Custodial Parents: The financial burden varies for parents who are not custodial and for those who are. There may be modifications to the financial responsibilities of non-custodial parents and increases in support payments for custodial parents;
  • Child’s Expenses: The new laws spell out how costs like healthcare, education, and extracurricular activities are to be divided, which could have an impact on child support payments.

Emotional and Social Considerations

To guarantee the children’s general welfare, the Arkansas child custody rules of 2023 place an emphasis on emotional and social factors in addition to financial ones:

  • Child’s Relationship: The laws place a premium on the relationship between each parent and the child. When deciding who gets custody of a kid, the courts look at the relationship the youngster has with each parent as well as their emotional ties and attachments;
  • Stable and Nurturing Environment: Courts consider each parent’s capacity to offer a stable and caring environment when deciding who gets custody of a kid. Included in this category are things like housing, regular habits, and social support;
  • Social Factors: The new regulations include account for a range of social variables that could impact judgments on child custody. Factors like as the child’s connection with extended family, school and community links, and history of abuse or neglect may be considered;
  • Flexibility in Custody Arrangements: The laws of 2023 encourage parents to have some leeway when deciding how to divide up child custody. In this way, parents can coordinate their schedules and other obligations to come up with a child custody arrangement that works for everyone involved.

Navigating the Legal Landscape

Navigating the new child support laws in Arkansas 2023 can be challenging for parents. It’s important to seek legal advice to understand how these changes might affect individual cases. Lawyers specializing in family law can provide valuable guidance and representation in these matters.

The Importance of Legal Assistance

Understanding and complying with the new child support laws in Arkansas necessitates professional guidance. Family law attorneys specializing in child custody and support cases can provide invaluable assistance. Here’s how legal assistance can be essential:

  • Legal Expertise: Family law attorneys possess the knowledge and expertise to interpret the intricacies of the new laws, ensuring that parents are fully informed about their rights and responsibilities;
  • Customized Advice: Attorneys can offer personalized advice tailored to each parent’s unique circumstances, helping them make informed decisions regarding child support and custody arrangements;
  • Representation: In cases where disputes arise, legal representation is crucial. Attorneys can advocate on behalf of their clients, negotiate settlements, and represent parents in court if necessary;
  • Documentation: Lawyers can assist in gathering and organizing the necessary documentation to support claims related to income, expenses, and other relevant factors.

Available Legal Resources

Parents seeking to navigate the new child support laws in Arkansas can access a variety of legal resources to help them through the process. These resources include:

  • Legal Aid Services: Legal aid organizations offer free or low-cost legal assistance to individuals who may not have the financial means to hire a private attorney. They can provide guidance on child support matters and help with legal paperwork;
  • Family Law Attorneys: Family law attorneys are well-versed in the new child support laws and can provide comprehensive legal representation and advice tailored to individual cases;
  • Online Resources: Numerous online platforms and websites provide information and resources related to child support laws in Arkansas. These resources may include FAQs, forms, and guides to help parents understand and navigate the legal landscape;
  • Government Websites: The official website of the Arkansas Department of Human Services often provides updates, forms, and guidelines related to child support laws. It’s a valuable resource for staying informed about legal changes;
  • Local Legal Clinics: Some communities offer legal clinics where parents can receive basic legal advice and assistance related to child support and custody matters.


The new child support laws in Arkansas 2023 represent a significant step towards a more equitable and realistic approach to handling child support and custody matters. These changes reflect the evolving needs of families and aim to ensure that the best interests of the children are always at the forefront. As families navigate these new laws, it’s crucial to stay informed and seek appropriate legal guidance to ensure the best possible outcomes for all involved.


How do the new child support laws in Arkansas 2023 affect existing child support orders?

Existing child support orders may be subject to review and modification in light of the new guidelines. Parents can request a review of their current support orders to see if adjustments are warranted under the new laws.

Can custody arrangements be modified under the new child custody laws in Arkansas?

Yes, custody arrangements can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances that warrants a revision. The new laws aim to serve the best interests of the child, and any modifications will reflect this principle.

What should I do if I cannot afford the new child support payments under the revised guidelines?

If you’re facing financial difficulties, it’s important to seek legal advice. You may be able to request a modification of the support order based on your current financial situation.

How are child support payments calculated under the new child support laws in Arkansas 2023?

Child support payments are calculated based on several factors, including the parents’ income, the number of children, and the specific needs of the children. The new guidelines provide a more detailed framework for these calculations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *