Louisiana Child Custody Laws

Louisiana Child Custody Issues & Resources

Louisiana Child Custody

Louisiana child custody is awarded based upon the best interests of the child. In awarding child custody, the Court will follow the following order of preference: 
  • to both parents; 

  • to either parent (without regard to race or sex of the parents);

  • to the person or persons with whom the child has been living; or 

  • to any other person that the court feels suitable and able to provide an adequate and stable environment for the child.  Joint custody is presumed to be in the child's best interests unless it is shown otherwise or unless the parents agree otherwise. 

Louisiana child custody will be determined based upon the following factors: 

  • physical, emotional, mental, religious, and social needs of the child; 

  • capability and desire of each parent to meet the child's needs; 

  • preference of the child, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity; 

  • the love and affection existing between the child and each parent;

  • the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity; 

  • the desire and ability of each parent to allow an open and loving frequent relationship between the child and the other parent;

  • the wishes of the parents; 

  • the child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community; 

  • the mental and physical health of all individuals involved; 

  • the permanence as a family unit of the existing or proposed custodial home; 

  • the distance between the potential residences;

  • the moral fitness of the parents. and 

  • any other relevant factor. 

Marital fault or conduct that affects that parent's relationship with the child will be considered as a factor in awarding Louisiana child custody.

The Court will require the parties to submit a parenting plan for joint custody. The plan must designate the following:

  • the child's residence;

  • the rights of access and communication between the parents and child; and 

  • child support amounts.  

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