Visitation Rights In Louisiana
In Louisiana custody cases, when a parent is not granted custody or joint custody, the court will generally award this non-custodial parent visitation rights with the child. There are some situations, however, in which the court will not order visitation. This happens if the court finds visitation would be contrary to the best interests of the child.
Similarly, grandparents of a child may be granted reasonable visitation if the court finds it to be in the best interests of the child. Prior to granting grandparent visitation, the court will first hold an evidentiary hearing at which the custodial parents may challenge the request. In extraordinary circumstances, a court may also grant visitation to any other blood relative or to a former stepparent or grandparent. An extraordinary situation includes a parent abusing a controlled dangerous substance.
In making a decision regarding grandparent or relative visitation, the court will consider a number of factors when determining whether it is in the best interests of the child. The court will look at the length and quality of the relationship between the child and relative as well as whether the relative is in the best position to provide needed guidance or care to the child. If the child is old enough, the court will consider the child’s preference. The court will also consider the mental and physical health of the parties as well as how well the relative will encourage the child to continue a relationship with their parents.
There are some situations that pose a danger to a child’s health, safety and welfare. In such situations, a relative or grandparent may need the ability to step in through a child custody case. Relatives of children in such a situation may wish to seek help from a family law attorney.
Source: Louisiana Civil Code, “CC 136“, November 06, 2014