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Louisiana Child Custody Law

During the divorce proceeding or sometimes shortly after, either spouse may ask for a determination of custody. Louisiana law encourages the parents to make a child custody plan together; however, the court will have the final say as to what the child custody arrangement will be.

Remy Law Firm will help you come to an agreement with the other party on child custody, or we will go to trial and present the best case possible on your behalf. Even after a court order has been established, if the other parent fails to meet their obligations, our New Orleans Family Law Attorneys will help you enforce the court order.


Types of Child Custody

The Law in Louisiana favors joint custody and to the extent possible equal sharing of physical custody. If a person objects to joint custody, they can try to convince the court that sole custody should be granted in their case. When the court awards joint custody, one of the parents is designated as the domiciliary parent. The domiciliary parent has primary custody of the child and is where the child primarily resides. They also make all of the major decisions on behalf of the child. Typically, these decisions include, but are not limited to, elective medical procedures, the age at which the child should start to drive,  and the school the child will attend; however, the law requires the domiciliary parent to discus all of the major decisions with the other parent before any final decisions are made.

The court allows parents to reach their own agreement on how child custody will be handled. If the two parents fail to reach a mutual agreement, the court will do so. In many cases, the court takes into consideration results of a custody evaluation when coming up with the custody agreement. Child custody is generally decided shortly after the filing of a petition at a hearing if the parties cannot reach an agreement. In all cases, judges are given great discretion in determining the credibility of parents and what is in the best interest of the children.

Article 134 of the Louisiana Civil Code lays out the factors in determining a child’s best interest. The court shall consider all relevant factors in determining the best interest of the child. Such factors may include:

  • The love, affection, and other emotional ties between each party and the child.

  • The capacity and disposition of each party to give the child love, affection, and spiritual guidance and to continue the education and rearing of the child.

  • The capacity and disposition of each party to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and other material needs.

  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable, adequate environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity of that environment.

  • The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.

  • The moral fitness of each party, insofar as it affects the welfare of the child.

  • The mental and physical health of each party.

  • The home, school, and community history of the child.

  • The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be sufficient age to express a preference.

  • The willingness and ability of each party to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other party.

  • The distance between the respective residences of the parties.

  • The responsibility for the care and rearing of the child previously exercised by each party.

Let us get started today!

Remy Law Firm has been helping people with child custody issues for 26 years.

We are ready to help you today.

We offer flat fee billing so that there are no surprises when paying for your child custody matter.

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