In a perfect world, every Louisiana divorce would be swift, fair and satisfactory to both spouses. In such a world, you’d be able to determine that your marriage was no longer sustainable, file some paperwork, sign a few documents, then leave the past behind and happily move on in life. The reality, however, is that divorce is seldom, if ever, easy. In fact, if you and your spouse are at odds concerning the well-being of your children, litigation can be quite stressful.
While you’d no doubt rather avoid all confrontation, you also want what’s best for your kids. If you know shared custody isn’t a good idea because of potential child neglect, it’s understandable you’d want to bring the issue to the court’s immediate attention. Regarding divorce, building a strong support network is key to coping and adapting a new lifestyle. In cases that involve child neglect, it is imperative that you know how to protect your rights and your children’s best interests.
How does the state legally define child neglect?
There might be many things you don’t particularly like about your ex. Some of those things might have been factors that led to your divorce. Even if such issues pertain to parenting, it doesn’t necessarily mean your co-parent is neglectful of your children’s needs. The following list includes issues that would not only warrant further investigation but might convince the court to grant sole custody in your favor:
- A parent who leaves young children home alone all night while he or she goes out to party or stays at the home of a romantic partner
- Not providing for personal hygiene needs of children
- Threatening children by withholding affection unless and until they act a certain way
- An unclean or unsafe living environment
- Lack of adequate food supply, shelter or clothing
- Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
There are other issues that would legally constitute child neglect, too. If you request sole custody on such grounds, you’ll be tasked with showing evidence to the court that confirms your allegations. In short, any time a parent acts or fails to act in such a way that places children at risk for harm or causes them to suffer injury, the court may rule that the parent in question has committed child neglect.
Keeping your kids’ best interests in mind
The thought of co-parenting with the person with whom you no longer want to have a relationship might be highly undesirable to you. However, if there is no reason that your ex should not be around your kids, it is not likely that the judge overseeing your case will penalize him or her for child neglect. If you plan to stake such a claim, you need to have evidence to back it up.
Many Louisiana parents rely on the testimony of others who have had close contact with the children and the other parent in question. A concerned parent is also wise to seek guidance and support from someone who is well-versed in family law matters. You can take comfort in knowing that the court’s main goal is to make sure your children are safe and that those caring for them are meeting their needs.