If you’ve gone through a divorce in Louisiana and have children, you’ve likely dealt with child custody in some form. Either you made an agreement with your spouse regarding child custody or you went to court and had the judge decide on your custody matter. Either way, child custody in Louisiana can be a gut-wrenching situation to go through. You may want to consult with an experienced family law attorney in Louisiana to assist you with custody proceedings.
Many people in Louisiana have questions regarding child custody and temporary child custody. If you don’t agree to custody and visitation with your spouse, you will have to have court and the judge will hear evidence presented by both sides and will make a decision. There are certain factors that come into play when litigating your child custody case. The judge will use the factors presented in Louisiana Civil Code Article 134 and will make his or her decision based on the best interest of the child. These factors include:
(1) The potential for the child to be abused, as defined by Children’s Code Article 603, which shall be the primary consideration.
(2) The love, affection, and other emotional ties between each party and the child.
(3) The capacity and disposition of each party to give the child love, affection, and spiritual guidance and to continue the education and rearing of the child.
(4) The capacity and disposition of each party to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and other material needs.
(5) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, adequate environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity of that environment.
(6) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
(7) The moral fitness of each party, insofar as it affects the welfare of the child.
(8) The history of substance abuse, violence, or criminal activity of any party.
(9) The mental and physical health of each party. Evidence that an abused parent suffers from the effects of past abuse by the other parent shall not be grounds for denying that parent custody.
(10) The home, school, and community history of the child.
(11) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference.
(12) The willingness and ability of each party to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other party, except when objectively substantial evidence of specific abusive, reckless, or illegal conduct has caused one party to have reasonable concerns for the child’s safety or well-being while in the care of the other party.
(13) The distance between the respective residences of the parties.
14) The responsibility for the care and rearing of the child previously exercised by each party.
This is an abbreviated list and you should read more about child custody here.
The judge will take the “Best interest of the child” factors into consideration when making his or her decision to rule on the case. The court may consider other factors, evidence and can place various weights on the importance on each factor depending on the case.
What is Temporary Custody?
There are numerous instances where the court may award temporary custody to a parent or individual. Temporary Custody can be given to a parent, custodian, legal guardian or family member and can last for a specific amount of time or it can be in place until the parent or parents do what is asked of them by the court. It’s not permanent, but can ensure that your children are adequately taken care of if you are not able to at the moment.
While temporary custody is often done by agreement, is not always a parental choice. There are many unfortunate instances where a child may be removed from the home based on abuse or neglect and temporary custody may be awarded to another individual. The parents may have to work a case plan with the State in order to get their children back. The process could take months to years depending on the facts of the case.
What is Provisional Custody by Mandate?
You may have read about Provisional Custody by Mandate when researching child custody. Also known as a “Custody by Mandate Affidavit” depending on your location, this form can be used when you need another individual to help take care of your child such as enrolling them in school or other services. While this affidavit does not transfer your rights to your children to someone else, it does allow the child or children’s parents or legal guardian to name another person to allow then to give your children care, custody and control to allow them to help with certain aspects of child rearing.
A Provisional Custody by Mandate covers topics such as school enrollment, shelter, support, medical care and appointments, disciplining the child, welfare, governmental programs and support. It’s good from one year from the date it was signed by the parties, but you can have them extended in some circumstances.
Only parents or those who have been deemed appropriate by law can utilize this form and the child must be less than 18 years old for it to be effective.
If you have questions about temporary child custody in Louisiana, you must speak with an experienced family law attorney as the law can be complex and difficult to understand.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to dispense legal advice. You must speak with an attorney with any questions.