If you’re going through a divorce in the Baton Rouge, LA area, you’ve probably heard a lot of opinions about what kind of child custody is best. But it’s important to remember that there isn’t a universally best option that is recommended for child custody arrangements, it all depends on family dynamics post-divorce. The point of this article is simply to share what experts are saying about the benefits and detriments of joint custody in general. Whatever kind of custody you want to pursue, we’re here to help you achieve your family’s best possible outcome.
What Types of Custody Does Louisiana Offer?
- Sole Custody
One parent has sole custody of the child. The other parent may have visitation rights, but the custodial parent holds final say on important decisions. Sole custody is awarded only when one parent proves to the judges that their sole custody will serve the best interests of the child.
- Joint Custody
In this preferred type of custody, one parent is usually designated as the domiciliary parent and will have the authority to make all major decisions concerning the child, but the non-domiciliary parent may ask the court to review these decisions. In some cases, no domiciliary parent is designated and both parents have equal decision-making authority. In a joint custody agreement, the child may spend more time with one of the parents, but neither parent is deprived of decision-making powers.
- Split Custody
This arrangement divides siblings between parents. Following the Best Interests of the Child Standard, courts are reluctant to separate siblings, making this arrangement is rare in Louisiana.
- Non-Parental Custody
Sometimes, judges rule that neither parent is suitable to raise the child. In these cases, someone other than the natural parents of the child is granted custody, such as a relative or close friend of the family.
What Makes Joint Custody Work or Not Work?
Louisiana judges generally prefer awarding joint custody because in most cases it is believed to be best for the child(ren) involved. According to Our Family Wizard, joint custody laws in Louisiana can apply to both physical and legal types of custody. A co-parent with physical custody acts as the primary residence for the child and handles the day-to-day care of the child. A co-parent with legal custody handles all of the important decision making for the child; including decisions regarding education, religion, health issues, and so on. Co-parents split both legal and physical aspects with joint custody.
So is joint custody ideal? If both parents are healthy and stable and want to provide loving homes for their children, joint custody works well. But if parents are not on good terms, and joint custody just means continuing to place children in the middle of a war zone, then joint custody can end up being unhealthy for children.
What’s Best for Your Family?
Robert E. Emery Ph.D. points out that a “best and worst” conclusion regarding joint physical custody is commonly held by family psychologists. Most experts agree that joint physical custody is ideal, but only if the parents commit to making it work for their children. If you’re going through a divorce or adjusting your custody agreements in Louisiana, you can trust Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf for guidance and representation! Call us at 225-343-2205 or contact us online!
3960 Government St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806