Many of my past articles have dealt with child custody issues here in Louisiana from the view of a divorce attorney. Part of this reason is because this is one of the most common and divisive issues in any family law practice. While it is impossible for us to say for certain what would happen in any hypothetical family law situation, there are sometimes generalities which a divorce attorney can project based on the current status of the law. In child custody, this is no different.
For example, a family law court in Louisiana will generally look to article 134 in making custody determinations. This article is found in what’s called the Louisiana Civil Code, which is basically a large body of laws governing many aspects of Louisiana life. Article 134 has twelve sections, or “factors” which a court is required to work through before rendering any type of decision regarding a custody determination.
Today’s article will deal with one of those factors, factor number twelve. This factor instructs a court to consider “the responsibility for the care and rearing of the child previously exercised by each party” when rendering a decision on a child custody issue.
This factor might lead a divorce attorney to ask questions such as: “What is the history of this parent being a good parent?” It might be obvious to some of my readers why this is a good question to ask. There is a somewhat famous quote along the lines of “The best indicator of one’s future action is one’s past action.” While it may not always be true, this is certainly something that court would be well served to consider. So how exactly do they analyze the “responsibility for the care and rearing of the child”? There are bunches of different ways. For example, who drives the child to their sports practices? Who picks the child up from school? Does one of the parents coach or educate the child, perhaps in a home school type situation? Which parent cooks the meals? Which one disciplines the child? Is one of the parents away a great deal on work, or perhaps emotionally unavailable for some other reason? Has one parent been missing from the child’s life, only to reappear and demand custody of the child?
These are the types of questions which a divorce attorney might ask of the respective parents. If one parent can clearly be shown to have been the supportive and loving parent, while the other was apathetic, distant, or otherwise unavailable, then the former parent is obviously going to have the upper hand. Remember that custody battles are not the place for facetious and inaccurate mudslinging; if one of the parents feels that they truly have the better track record of rearing and raising the child, they must present verifiable evidence to back this claim up. Sometimes the testimony of the child can be used, other times testimony from friends and family members may be persuasive to a court. At any rate, mere accusations from one parent may not normally suffice.
This above is informational only, not legal advice. Will Beaumont. New Orleans
While there are laws on child custody, determining which parent should get how much custody can be tricky. When looking for a divorce attorney, New Orleans has numerous options. One is Will Beaumont who can be reached through Beaumont Divorce, 3801 Canal St #207, New Orleans, LA, 70119 (504) 483-8008.
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