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What Is Joint Custody?

In Louisiana, a divorcing couple may be awarded joint custody of any children they have together. This type of custody arrangement is only set in place in cases where it is both feasible and in the best interests of the child to spend a roughly equal amount of time with each parent. The court may define certain characteristics of the agreement, but it is the responsibility of both parents to see that the agreement is honored.

The court will clearly define the allocation of time that each parent will have physical custody of any minor children. The goal is to ensure that both parents have ongoing and frequent contact with the child. One parent will usually be named as the domiciliary parent. This individual will have the authority to make major decisions on the child’s behalf. Unless evidence is shown to the contrary, it shall be assumed that the domiciliary parent is acting in the child’s best interests.

There are cases where a domiciliary parent is not named by the court. In these situations, both parents will be awarded equal rights and responsibilities. Either parent can dispute the arrangement if they believe they can show good cause to do so.

When going through a divorce, joint custody is often considered the best arrangement for all parties involved. However, this may not always be the case. When a parent is concerned that the other party is not acting in the child’s best interests, that parent can work with an attorney to have the matter reviewed and custody arrangements adjusted accordingly. An attorney can provide assistance by giving parents more information about the law, helping them understand their rights and filing the necessary forms with the court and other parties.

Source: Louisiana Legislative, “SUBPART B. JOINT CUSTODY“, November 12, 2014

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