Child Custody in Louisiana: Here's What You Need To Know

November 2, 2018

In most cases, Louisiana courts prefer to grant joint custody to both co-parents. This type of custody designates both co-parents as a custodial parent of the child. Most Louisiana courts and family law professionals believe that it is in the best interest of the child to have a frequent and meaningful relationship with both co-parents, especially in regards to younger children.

Types of Custody

Custody is broken into two categories. They are:

  1. Physical/Actual Custody: The time spent with the child is divided between each of the two parents to promote stable shared care of the child
  2. Legal Custody: This is the right or authority of the parent(s) to make decisions about the child’s upbringing. Typically the parents obtain joint custody or what is often referred to as “legal custody”--This involves shared responsibilities and parenting decisions for the child, such as education, medical care, or disciplinary decisions.

Awarding Custody

The court always awards custody based on the best interest of the child. They use many factors to determine the child’s best interest, particularly:

  • The love, affection, relationship and emotional connection of each parent with the child.
  • The perceived moral fitness of each parent/party
  • The child’s personal history--this can consist of their permanent home, school, and community
  • The parent’s previously held responsibilities with the child
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable, adequate environment
  • The capability of each parent to provide (e.g. food, clothing, and medical attention, moral guidance, etc.).
  • The overall quality of each relationship

Other Scenarios

Additionally, parents may be permitted to choose the custody arrangement amongst themselves.

  • The court will often give preference to the arrangement the parents choose.
  • However, if the court finds the best interest is not what the parents are suggesting the court does not have to adhere.

Parents Who Don't Agree:

  • If the parents cannot compromise after a prompting from the court, then the court will fix the custody arrangement.

The Law Office of Wolff & Wolff is vastly experienced in the area of child custody cases in Metairie and the surrounding areas. If you wish to speak with one of our attorneys regarding your case, please contact our firm today by calling (504) 483-3406 or click here.