Winning sole physical custody requires a deep understanding of Louisiana child custody laws and a strong justification for why the custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. A physical custody and legal custody arrangement is typically sought when joint custody may put minor children at risk or in other circumstances where awarding custody to both parents isn’t in the child’s best interest. Navigating these complex and sensitive issues is challenging, and the guidance of experienced attorneys becomes crucial for learning how to win sole custody in Louisiana.
The Baton Rouge child custody attorneys at The Law Offices of Ossie Brown are well-equipped to assist divorcing parents in working out the best arrangements for custody of the child. Our extensive knowledge of Louisiana law, as well as our compassionate approach, can help ensure that the resolution of the child custody case serves the best interest of the child while also respecting the rights and concerns of the parents.
To learn more about Louisiana child custody laws and to get started on your case, call our law firm at 225-343-1111 today.
What is Sole Custody?
Sole custody in Louisiana is a child custody arrangement where only one parent is granted exclusive legal and physical custody of the child.
Physical custody refers to a legal designation in which a child lives with one parent, while legal custody of the child allows the domiciliary parent to make long-term decisions about the child.
Sole legal custody is often pursued in situations where one parent is deemed unfit due to reasons such as substance or alcohol abuse, a history of domestic violence, or an inability to provide a stable environment for the child.
If one parent is granted custody solely, the court’s primary consideration is the best interest of the child. It’s important to note that even when sole custody is granted, the non-custodial parent may still have supervised visitation rights unless it’s determined that supervised visitation would be harmful to the child.
Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody in Louisiana
In Louisiana, the legal concept of custody is typically categorized into two main options: sole and joint custody.
Shared custody, or joint custody, where both parents get equal physical custody, is often the reasonable preference. Joint custody involves both parents sharing decision-making responsibilities and parenting time with their child. Shared custody ensures that both parents play an active role in the child’s upbringing.
In contrast, sole custody grants the domiciliary parent exclusive decision-making authority and physical custody of the child, while the other parent may have limited visitation rights and will typically pay child support.
When is Sole Physical Custody in the Child’s Best Interests?
A family court judge may deem a primary physical custody agreement to be in the child’s best interest, depending on relevant details. Louisiana courts consider several factors:
- Risk of Harm: One parent has a history of child abuse or family violence
- Parental Fitness: One parent is unable to provide a stable environment due to poor mental and physical health or substance abuse.
- Consistency and Stability: The domiciliary parent offers a substantially more stable environment than the other parent.
- Child’s Preference: If the child is old enough, their preference may considered for the custody applied.
- Parental Cooperation: If there’s a history of extreme conflict, depending on other relevant details, one parent might be considered to reduce ongoing conflict and its impact on the child.
Courts evaluate clear and convincing evidence, often consulting with child welfare experts for parenting arrangements before going against the standard, joint custody arrangement.
It’s important for parents seeking full custody to consult with experienced Baton Rouge family law attorneys who understand Louisiana child custody laws and can support your child’s best interests as well.
Do’s and Don’ts For Winning Sole Custody
When pursuing sole legal custody in Louisiana, it’s crucial to understand the do’s and don’ts that can significantly impact your case.
What Not To Do If You Want Full Custody
Bash Your Ex-Spouse or Invent Negative Stories
Negative comments or behaviors towards your ex-spouse, especially in front of your child, can be detrimental to your child custody case. The court determines the custody order partially on a parent’s ability to foster a positive relationship between the child and the other parent; thus, disparaging remarks can be seen as an attempt to alienate the child from the other parent.
The court focuses on the child’s best interest, so inventing negative stories about your ex-spouse during a custody battle can significantly undermine your case.
Arrive Late or Frequently Reschedule Visits With Your Kids
Arriving late for pickups or visits during a custody dispute in Louisiana can have significant negative implications for your case. This can raise doubts about your ability to provide a stable environment as a parent, which is crucial in determining custody arrangements.
Frequently rescheduling your parenting time can also adversely affect your case. The court may see this as an indicator of unreliability. Parents who maintain a regular visitation schedule can foster a close and continuing relationship while strengthening their case by demonstrating their dedication as parents.
Alcohol or Substance Abuse
Substance or alcohol abuse is a major red flag in custody cases in Louisiana and can severely hinder your chances of seeing your child, as this directly impacts your ability, as a parent, to provide a safe environment for your child.
In extreme cases, the court makes the difficult decision to remove visitation rights from the parent.
Purposely Disobey the Court’s Orders
Purposely disobeying the court’s orders in Louisiana can have severe repercussions for your pursuit of sole custody. Compliance with orders from Louisiana courts is not only a legal obligation but also a demonstration of your respect for the legal process and commitment to the best interests of your child.
What To Do
In a Louisiana sole custody case, perception is everything. How you present yourself as a parent in court and even in daily interactions can significantly influence the outcome of your court case. The court will closely observe your conduct to assess your suitability as a custodial parent.
Be Cooperative With Your Ex-spouse
Being cooperative with the other parent is a critical aspect of winning sole custody in Louisiana. Working amicably with the other parent shows the court your commitment to your child.
This behavior not only provides a healthier environment for your child but also shows the court that you prioritize your child’s emotional well-being over personal conflicts.
Exercise Your Parental Rights
Exercising your rights as a parent is essential in the pursuit of sole custody in Louisiana. This means actively engaging in all aspects of your child’s life, from attending school functions and medical appointments to being involved in their daily routines and extracurricular activities.
Ask For an At-Home Custody Evaluation
Asking for an at-home custody evaluation can be a strategic move in a Louisiana sole custody case. This process involves a court-appointed evaluator visiting your home to assess the living environment and your interaction with your child.
Understand Louisiana Child Custody Laws and Document Everything
Understanding family law is an important step when pursuing primary custody in Louisiana. Familiarizing yourself with Louisiana child custody laws, guidelines on child welfare, and the factors courts consider when determining custody arrangements can provide valuable insights into how to strengthen your case and ultimately obtain custody of your child.
Documenting everything is a critical practice when seeking primary custody in Louisiana. Keeping detailed records of all interactions, expenses, visitations, and any significant events related to your child can provide invaluable evidence in court.
Hire an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer
Hiring an experienced family law attorney is a crucial step in pursuing a sole child custody order in Louisiana. A skilled attorney can provide invaluable guidance, from navigating complex legal procedures to offering strategic advice tailored to your unique situation.
Child custody lawyers understand the nuances of family law and how to effectively present your case to the court, ensuring that your side is articulated clearly and compellingly. An experienced lawyer can also assist in negotiating with the other party, managing documentation, and providing representation during a court hearing.
Call Baton Rouge Child Custody Lawyers at The Law Offices of Ossie Brown Today
If you’re facing a child custody battle in Baton Rouge, reaching out to the experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Ossie Brown can be a pivotal step toward securing a favorable outcome. Specializing in family law, our legal team offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise in navigating the complexities of child custody cases.
Whether you’re seeking sole custody, joint and shared custody, equal physical custody, equal legal custody, or you just need advice on any other aspect of custody agreements, our dedicated Baton Rouge family law attorneys provide personalized, compassionate legal counsel.
Don’t navigate this challenging journey alone; contact us today at 225-343-1111 for the legal support and expertise you need during this impossible time.