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Divorce Online<br>Related Legal Information  

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Louisiana divorce - child custody.

Joint or sole custody is awarded based on the best interests of the child. The following order of preference is established:
(1) to both parents; (2) to either parent [without regard to race or sex of the parents]; (3) to the person or persons with whom the child has been living; or (4) to any other person that the court feels suitable and able to provide an adequate and stable environment for the child.
Unless shown otherwise or unless the parents agree otherwise, joint custody is presumed to be in the best interests of the child and will be awarded based on the following factors:
(1) physical, emotional, mental, religious, and social needs of the child; (2) capability and desire of each parent to meet the child's needs; (3) preference of the child, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity; (4) the love and affection existing between the child and each parent; (5) the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity; (6) the desire and ability of each parent to allow an open and loving frequent relationship between the child and the other parent; (7) the wishes of the parents; (8) the child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community; (9) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved; (10) the permanence as a family unit of the existing or proposed custodial home; (11) the distance between the potential residences; (12) the moral fitness of the parents; and (13) any other relevant factor.
The conduct of the proposed guardian is to be considered only as it bears on his or her relationship with the child. The parents must submit a plan for joint custody which designates: (1) the child's residence; (2) the rights of access and communication between the parents and child; and (3) child support amounts. A parent not granted custody is entitled to visitation rights unless that parent has subjected the child to physical or sexual abuse. The court may order the parents to attend a court-approved parenting seminar. [Louisiana Civil Code Annotated; Articles 131, 132, 133, and 134, Louisiana Statutes Annotated; Article 9, Section 306, and Louisiana Case Law].
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