When going through divorce proceedings in Baton Rouge, if you and your ex-spouse have children, you will have to agree on a plan for child custody. If both of you cannot work out an amicable agreement amongst yourselves, the court will make the decision for you. The four major types of child custody in Louisiana are:

Sole custody - One parent has sole custody of the child. The other parent may have visitation rights, but the custodial parent has the final say on most important decisions regarding the child (an exception is relocation, which usually requires consulting the non-custodial parent). Any parent wishing to achieve sole custody must show by clear and convincing evidence that sole custody will serve the best interest of the child.

Joint custody - Louisiana law provides that joint custody is strongly preferred. Typically one parent is designated as the domiciliary parent. The domiciliary parent has the authority to make all major decisions concerning the child, but the non-domiciliary parent may ask the court to review these decisions. If no domiciliary parent is designated, then both parents have equal decision-making authority. The child may spend more time with one of the parents, but neither parent is deprived of decision-making powers.

Split custody - An uncommon custody plan that places some of the children with one parent and the remaining children with the other parent. Because the courts are reluctant to separate siblings, this arrangement is rare in Louisiana.

Non-parental custody - Custody is granted to someone other than the natural parent of the child, for example, a relative or close friend of the family. Normally this occurs only when it is proven that neither of the parents is suitable to raise the child.

If you have an experienced family law and divorce attorney standing by you throughout the divorce process, you will have a better chance of getting what you want for you and your children. Having a lawyer who knows about the legal issues surrounding child custody will make is possible to bring a more persuasive argument to the bargaining table and increase your chances of winning the custody plan you want.


At The Layfield Law Firm, you will receive personalized handling of your case. Beau Layfield has abundant experience in child custody problems. When you come to The Layfield Law Firm you will work with Beau Layfield. He does not push his work off on lower level associates. You will have the advantage of Beau Layfield's successful experience and he will carefully prepare your case to assure it will be resolved as efficiently as possible. If your divorce is already finalized, but you are unhappy with the child custody arrangement you were awarded, he may be able to help negotiate a modification that would allow more time with your child and give you more decision-making authority. His goal is to help you get a child custody arrangement that will make you and your child happy for the long-term.

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