Child custody in the State of Louisiana is based on Louisiana Civil Code – Articles 132 and 134, which provides that custody determinations shall be based upon the best interests of the children. There are two levels of child custody:
Legal custody generally means the right to make major life decisions of the child, such as medical decisions, educational decisions, religious upbringing, and general welfare. Legal custody is generally shared between the parents, unless one of the parents has been abusive or neglectful or it has been proven it is not in the best interest of the child for the parents to share legal custody. In that situation, one parent could have sole legal custody.
Physical or residential custody is a term used to explain who has physical custody or who primarily provides for the child’s needs on a day-to-day basis.
Physical or residential custody is the battleground in many divorces. It is the most challenging and problematic matter that can be presented to the court. Under Louisiana Supreme Court rules, the first step taken by the Court in a contested custody matter is to send the parties to court-sponsored mediation. The Court-ordered mediation is free and confidential.
In Louisiana, if mediation fails, the next step is for an evaluation with a therapist. The therapist prepares a report, and that report is shared with the litigants and the judge. If an agreement is not reached, the third step (and the second step in many other Parishes) is to go to a contested hearing/trial with witnesses and testimony in court.
At the family law practice of Jeanne Marie Bourque, we discuss with our clients our client’s visions of how to move forward, their parental rights, and the best interests of their children. We guide our clients legally through the process, helping them with the structure of their family and explaining the State of Louisiana child support and child custody laws and child support help for men. If necessary, we have litigated child custody cases and possess the required skill and years of experience in handling all phases of a trial.
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To schedule a consultation, contact Louisiana child custody attorney Jeanne Bourque Law.
Your Child Custody Attorney Jeanne Bourque is a member of the Lafayette Bar Association and experienced in all divorce and legal/physical child custody matters.
- 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 of 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.
[Based on Louisiana Civil Code – Articles 132 and 134]