Divorce is a complicated process – especially when there are children involved. Substantial assets can also present issues, but if these factors are considered in the initial divorce planning, the settlement can be crafted to include the necessary shields and attorneys can help protect both children and financial assets.
Changes for child custody proceedings
A bipartisan bill to protect children in custody and visitation negotiations and court proceedings, sponsored by Senator Regina Barrow and co-sponsored by 29 of her colleagues, has passed and will take effect immediately. Barrow, 52, is a Democrat member of the Louisiana State Senate for District 15 in East Baton Rouge Parish.
The bill, No. 291, Act No 412, amends the civil code to allow consideration of additional factors in child custody cases. Previously, consideration of bad acts of the part of a parent or guardian were not necessarily part of the child custody process. Earlier judicial language suggested that the best interests of the child would determine custody, but it was virtually impossible to have evidence of bad acts introduced. As a result, the majority of cases were decided based on equality or equity for parents.
Barrow’s bill introduces new language that will consider additional relevant factors, like the potential for abuse of the child, as defined by Children’s Code, Article 603.(2), making this a primary consideration for judges and magistrates.
The code clearly defines abuse as any action or lack of action that endangers the physical, mental or emotion health of a child:
- Inadequate supervision
- Exploitation or overwork
- Sexual exploitation
- Involvement, aiding or tolerating of a child in any type of sexual act
- Exposing a child to a pornographic display
- Coerced abortion
Now parents will be held responsible for the actions of other people, like partners, distant relatives and friends that come in contact with the child or children. Parents will be held responsible for any abuse while the child in in their custody – even if they did not personally commit the abuse. They are required to protect the child and prevent harm and abuse caused by other family or household members or any person the child may encounter while in their care.
If you are involved in a child custody case, and you believe that your former partner or spouse may not provide a safe, wholesome environment for your child or children, please keep a journal and detail incidents that you believe may be important in regard to custody and visitation. For a free case evaluation, please call the law offices of Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf. We are dedicated to obtaining positive results for you and your loved ones.
Mitigating the stress of divorce
Divorce can be a traumatic experience, but the better prepared each side is, the less stress there will be on the entire family. Preparation makes it easier for your lawyer to recognize your priorities and protect your rights.
The following items should be addressed, and a comprehensive list should be prepared for your attorney:
- Bank accounts
- Cash on-hand
Some couples struggle to reach an amicable resolution – for many years, that was simply the way it was. But in recent times, former partners have realized that is not the best way – there are more harmonious approaches to separation and divorce, like:
- Divorce mediation
- Collaborative divorce
- Joint custody
- Shared parenting
At Miller, Hampton and Hilgendorf, our team of trained professionals has more than 30 years’ experience – and the expertise to obtain positive results in the most complex divorce and child custody negotiations. When you need answers, we are here to help.
Please contact us online, text or call 225-343-2205 to schedule a free case evaluation.
Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf
3960 Government Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70806