Louisiana Child Custody
Our child custody lawyer in Louisiana answers frequently asked questions that we receive from new clients. We understand why there are so many questions, too, because there's a lot of misinformation about child custody. Plus, each state law varies significantly or subtly on child custody. We are here to dispel the misinformation, clarify misunderstandings, and provide the right information so you can make smart, informed decisions about your child and your unique situation.
How is child custody determined?
In most states and most situations, when the parents of a child are able to agree on a child custody arrangement, the court will issue an order that confirms the terms of the agreement. When the parties are unable to reach an agreement on their own, they may have to attend mediation or arbitration to see if that helps. When all else fails, the court will hear the matter and issue an order the parties must abide by. The court will consider testimony, the results of a child custody evaluation, and other evidence when deciding child custody. The best interest of the child is always the criteria the court uses in these decisions.
What's the difference between legal and physical custody?
When a parent has physical custody, they actually have the physical child placed with them. This is the parent that lives with the child and takes care of their everyday needs.
A parent that has legal custody is the one that is allowed to make important decisions about the child, including decisions regarding the child's medical care, education, and religious upbringing. Joint legal custody may be awarded to both parents so that they both have input in making these important decisions for their child.
Does custody always go to one parent?
This is an incorrect assumption many people make. The answer is “no.” The truth is that courts often award other types of custody arrangements, such as joint physical custody, joint legal custody, or a combination of both. In Louisiana, some instances require a domiciliary parent designation, though, but that does not mean one parent gets full custody.
The courts always consider the evidence and the best interest of the child to be of paramount concern.
Do I need a child custody lawyer?
It's really up to you if you want a child custody lawyer. As for needing one, that depends on what is meant by that. Child custody laws are nuanced yet stringent. Mistakes are not affordable because the custody of your child is at stake.
In many cases, parents mutually agree on child custody arrangements, and so that makes the matter easier. In some of those cases, though, a parent may have felt compelled to agree, and so having a family law attorney advise you on what's fair (or not) is beneficial. In contentious situations, a child custody lawyer is highly recommended. It takes skills, knowledge, and a lot of perseverance to make sure the child custody arrangement approved or ordered by the court is fair and just and reflects what you had anticipated.
Contact a Child Custody Lawyer in Louisiana Today
If you need help with a child custody case, contact Ethel M. Clay. Our child custody attorney in Louisiana will advise you of your rights and guide you through the process. Contact us online or at 225-906-0435 to schedule a consultation.