LouisianaChild Custody Law
Louisiana Child Custody Guide :: Table of Contents
Child custody is defined as the guardianship over a child, which covers both physical custody and legal custody. In a child custody dispute the court may award joint custody to both parents or sole custody to a single parent.
Child custody cases in Louisiana can be either contested and resolved by court order, or noncontested and defined in a child custody agreement between the parents. A custody agreement or order will legally determine, at minimum, the following things:
- Where the child lives (physical custody)
- Who is involved in making parenting decisions (legal custody)
- How the visitation schedule with non-custodial parents or relatives is arranged
This page describes how a contested child custody case is handled in the Louisiana court system, and what factors are used to determine which parent gets custody.
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After a breakup or divorce in Louisiana, couples with children must come to a child custody agreement that describes which parent the children will live with, how visitation will be scheduled, and how the non-custodial parent will pay child support.
Some of the factors considered by Louisiana in child custody cases include the child's wishes and any history of domestic violence. Louisiana considers joint custody orders to be in the best interests of the child where possible.
What Factors are Considered in Determining Custody?In any custody or visitation case, the court, upon its own decision, or the decision of any parent or party, or upon decision of the child, can hire an attorney to represent the child if the court decides such an appointment would be in the best interest of the child.
If there is a lack of agreement, or if the agreement is not in the best interest of the child, the court will grant joint custody. However, if custody in one parent is shown through clear and convincing evidence to serve the best interest of the child, the court wilLAWard sole custody to that parent.
The court will hire an attorney to represent the child if any party presents a case that a parent or other person caring for the child has sexually, physically, or emotionally abused the child, had knowledge of the abuse, or should have known that the child was being abused.
If the parents are on amicable terms they may agree to custody terms in a parenting agreement between themselves, or via a mediator. If child custody is disputed, however, they will have to receive a child custody order from a Louisiana judge, who will attempt to make a custody decision that is in the "best interests of the child".
In the state of Louisiana, a number of factors are taken into account by the courts when determining who gets child custody. This section describes Louisiana's custody factors, considerations, and presumptions when evaluating a custody order.
Is there a set list of statutory factors for calculating child custody in the state of Louisiana?
Louisiana has a list of statutory factors that are considered by the court when determining a custody order. This list may include factors such as the child's age, the living situation of each parent, any history of abuse or neglect from either parent, etc. Although there is a statutory list of factors, consider other factors at its discretion depending on the particular circumstances of the case.
Do judges in the state of Louisiana favor joint custody?
Judges in Louisiana are authorized to order either joint or single-parent custody of a child subject to a custody dispute.
Courts in Louisiana are presumed to generally favor custody orders granting joint custody between both the parents where possible. However, the judge will evaluate each case individually when determing whether joint custody is in the best interests of the child.
Do Louisiana courts encourage parents to cooperate together to raise the child?
It is not particularly encouraged that the parents cooperative together to raise the child.
Are the child's wishes considered when determining custody in the state of Louisiana?
In Louisiana, the court does consider the child's reasonable wishes when determining which parent wins custody. The judge may take the child's age, maturity, and judgement into consideration when considering the child's custody preference.
Do Louisiana courts consider domestic violence when determining custody?
Louisiana has laws that explicitly permit the consideration of domestic violence in conjunction with child custody. This may mean that domestic violence is a statutory factor in custody determinations, that the court has a presumption against custody for abusers, or that special procedural considerations are imposed in cases involving domestic violence.
Do the courts in the state of Louisiana have the right to hire an attorney or Guardian Ad Litem to represent the child?
Louisiana has statutory authority for appointment of a guardian ad litem or attorney specifically to represent the child in a custody case. This person advocates for the best interest of the child, and is tasked with investigating the family situation and advising the court what custody situation would be in the best interests of the child.