2020 Arkansas Code
Title 28 - Wills, Estates, and Fiduciary Relationships
Subtitle 5 - Fiduciary Relationships
Chapter 65 - Guardians Generally
Subchapter 1 - General Provisions
§ 28-65-110. Rights of relatives

Universal Citation: AR Code § 28-65-110 (2020)
  1. (a)

    1. (1) If a relative has reason to believe coupled with facts to substantiate his or her belief that the guardian of a ward or another person is unreasonably interfering with or denying visitation between the relative and the ward, the relative may file a petition for reasonable visitation with the ward in a court with jurisdiction over proceedings under this chapter that concern the ward.

    2. (2) A petition for reasonable visitation filed under this section shall be verified and shall state:

      1. (A) Whether the petitioner is a relative as defined under § 28-65-101;

      2. (B) Whether the guardian or other person is unreasonably interfering with or denying visitation between the petitioner and the ward;

      3. (C) The identity of the guardian or other person alleged to be unreasonably interfering with or denying visitation between the petitioner and the ward; and

      4. (D) The facts supporting the petitioner's allegation that the guardian or other person is unreasonably interfering with or denying visitation between the petitioner and the ward.

    3. (3)

      1. (A) A petition for reasonable visitation filed under this section shall be served on all parties to a guardianship proceeding that is initiated under this chapter and concerns the ward who is the subject of the petition for reasonable visitation.

      2. (B) A relative who files a petition for reasonable visitation under this section is not a party to a guardianship proceeding described under subdivision (a)(3)(A) of this section.

  2. (b)

    1. (1) If a ward objects to visitation with the petitioner, the petitioner shall prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the ward was unduly influenced by the guardian or another person.

    2. (2) If the ward consents to visitation with the petitioner, does not object to visitation with the petitioner, or is unable to express his or her consent or objection to visitation with the petitioner, the guardian or other person shall prove one (1) or more of the following conditions by a preponderance of the evidence in order to overcome the presumption that visitation between the petitioner and the ward is in the best interest of the ward:

      1. (A) The petitioner physically abused, exploited, neglected, sexually abused, or otherwise maltreated the ward or another adult; or

      2. (B) Visitation between the petitioner and the ward would be harmful to the mental health or physical well-being of the ward.

  3. (c)

    1. (1) An order issued by the court granting or denying a petition for reasonable visitation filed under this section shall include statements of fact and law supporting the court's order.

    2. (2) If the court grants the petition for reasonable visitation, then:

      1. (A) The court may impose reasonable restrictions on visitation between the petitioner and the ward;

      2. (B) The petitioner shall be responsible for paying costs associated with the visitation, including, but not limited to, transportation and supervision costs;

      3. (C) Visitation shall not occur in a manner that negatively impacts the ward's medical or treatment needs;

      4. (D) If the ward is placed in a facility, visitation shall occur at the facility;

      5. (E) Visitation shall be subject to the rules of the facility in which the ward is placed; and

      6. (F) The court may impose on the guardian or other person alleged to have unreasonably interfered with or denied visitation between the petitioner and the ward the cost of filing a petition for reasonable visitation under this section and reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the petitioner as a result of the guardian's or other person's opposing the petition if the guardian or other person:

        1. (i) Unreasonably interfered with or denied visitation between the petitioner and the ward; and

        2. (ii) Opposed visitation between the petitioner and the ward in bad faith.

    3. (3) If the court denies the petition for reasonable visitation, the:

      1. (A) Petitioner may file another petition for reasonable visitation no earlier than one (1) year after the date on which the court enters the order denying visitation if there is a material change in circumstances; and

      2. (B) Court may impose on the petitioner the costs of opposing the petition, including without limitation the costs for subpoenas, witness fees, and reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the guardian or other person alleged to have unreasonably interfered with or denied visitation between the petitioner and the ward.

  4. (d) The court shall not impose costs on:

    1. (1) A person or entity that in good faith interfered with or denied visitation at the direction of the guardian or other person; and

    2. (2) The ward.

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