Are you having a divorce? If you are a resident of Louisiana separating from your partner, you should perhaps acquaint yourself with the child custody rights. The Judiciary of Louisiana considers several factors to make the custody decision. The family courts determine child custody to choose what is best for the child. Below are the Louisiana child custody laws that you should be aware of.
The custody agreement in Louisiana takes into consideration as to who is willing to take the custody of the child. The agreement tries to best accommodate the request provided that it has the child’s best interests.
What are the Best Interests of the Child?
Here is a list of best interests that you should know about.
- The bond between the child and parent.
- Parent’s ability to providing food and accommodation.
- The mental and physical health of the parent.
- What the child prefers. (A child aged above 12 years can voice his/her preference)
- The distance between the parent’s homes.
- The ability of the parents to be affectionate towards the child.
- The ability of the parent to educate and take care of the kid.
- The moral well being of each parent.
- The amount of duration the child has lived in a stable environment.
Third Party Child Custody Laws
A Louisiana court awards custody to third-party as well. There are two conditions for this. First, the child should have spent considerable time with the third-party in a stable environment. Second, staying with either of the parents is dangerous for the kid.
Thus, the child’s custody is given to third-party as well provided that these two conditions are met.
In case the parent does not have custody of the child, he/she will be given visitation rights. However, these rights can also be limited in case the court finds out that it is not for the best interest of the child. It is best to consult family lawyers in Louisiana who can help you understand the laws better. These visitation rights are also given to the third party in case the court finds it appropriate. The court will consider the following factors in order to determine visitation rights.
- The preference of the child. A child aged 12 and above can tell about their preference. The court takes this into consideration while giving the custody.
- The quality of relationship and time spent between the child and parent/relative. If the dynamic has been unhealthy then the court is more likely to deny the custody rights.
- If there is any specific need of the child that can only be catered by the parent.
Joint Custody Rights
In many cases, the Louisiana court also grants joint custody to the parents. It is believed family lawyers that a child should be allowed to stay in touch with both the co-parents. It is considered to be good for the well-being of the child. Child’s custody can be either physical or legal. The parent having physical custody is where the kid stays. They are also responsible for the day-to-day care of the child. On the other hand, the parent with legal custody would make important decisions such as education-related, health-related and the like. Co-parents usually decide among themselves to claim the rights accordingly. It is important to always put the child’s best interest ahead of your emotions.
The Louisiana court usually gives co-parents the freedom to apply for joint custody rights. They can submit their proposal while mentioning the division of rights appropriately. In case parents fail to do so, the court will then make a decision based on the aforementioned factors.