Louisiana courts encourage parents to create their own custody agreements to submit to the court for approval. If your parenting plan is reasonable, it will more often than not be approved. However, if parents cannot see eye to eye, a Louisiana court will ultimately make the final determination as to what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. We will help you avoid costly and emotional litigation whenever possible.
Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody:
- Joint Custody: Louisiana Courts favor joint custody awarded to both parents. When parents have joint custody, they share equal legal authority regarding major decisions about their children’s lives. The amount of time each parent spends with the child (i.e. physical custody) will be determined by a joint custody plan. Parents with joint custody can have shared/equal time with their children when it is appropriate under the circumstances.
- Sole Custody: Sole custody is rare; however, it is allowed for in certain situations, such as when a parent is unfit or unable to make reasonable decisions concerning the welfare of the minor child. Even if sole custody is awarded to one parent, the other may still have visitation rights and time with the minor child. The visitation may be supervised under certain circumstances.
Non-parent custody and visitation rights:
We also have experience with child custody and visitation issues involving grandparents and other non-parents. When an award of custody to either parent would result in substantial harm to the child, the court can award custody to a non-parent. In certain situations, visitation rights can also be awarded to non-parents.
Depending on the type of custody and visitation schedule awarded, one parent may be entitled to an award of child support which is based on the incomes of both parents. An award of child support may be modified if the circumstances of either parent materially change. Our firm has experience in obtaining and altering child support awards.