Frequently Asked Questions About Joint Custody In Louisiana
When parents are divorcing, the best interests of the children need to be kept at the forefront of the case at all times. Our attorneys at Rowe Law Firm are dedicated to helping parents understand their rights when it comes to custody and visitation arrangements. We take the time to guide you through the process and are with you every step of the way.
Below, you will find some questions that we are often asked about joint custody matters. To learn more about how we can help in your specific situation, call our firm today at 225-250-1161 or contact us online.
What is joint custody?
Joint custody is when the time that a child or children physically spend with each parent after their parents have divorced or split up is shared between the parents.
Who can file for joint custody?
Either parent can file joint custody at any point in the divorce process. However, if a custody arrangement has already been court ordered, any modifications to that order must be court approved.
Can parents work together to structure a joint custody arrangement?
Yes, divorcing parents can most certainly work together to craft a custody schedule that works for every member of the family. In fact, Louisiana courts encourage parents to work together. It has been found that when parents work together on these arrangements, everyone in the situation is happier, as they have had a say in the process. Parents can work together along with their attorneys or a mediator to create an arrangement that will be subject to approval by a judge.
Does a child have a say in a custody determination?
The courts will consider the wishes of a child in a custody case if they are old enough to understand the situation. This typically means that a child who is at least 12 years old may have a say in a custody arrangement. However, the court does not have to consider a child’s wishes at any age.
Do Louisiana custody laws favor one parent over the other?
While custody laws across the country often used to favor the mother, this is no longer the case. The courts understand the value of a child having relationships with both parents and works to see that a joint custody arrangement supports both the father and the mother.
Do I need an attorney to file for joint custody?
It is not required that you have a lawyer help you file for joint custody. However, it is beneficial to have an attorney on your side throughout the process who can provide you with the insight and information you need. Your lawyer knows the laws and processes for filing, so having an attorney can help the process go more smoothly and ensure that your rights are protected.
Is child support still paid in joint custody situations?
Yes, child support is still calculated according to the state-set guidelines and child support formula. However, if custody is nearly equally split between the parents, with the child residing with both, then that is taken into account when determining child support. The more equal the time spent with each parent is, the less the child support amount will be.