Metairie : (504) 838-1551
Mandeville : (985) 893-0610
Gretna : (504) 362-5000

How and when is child custody determined in Louisiana?

Child custody is determined by agreement of the parties or by the court. Child custody is generally decided shortly after the filing of a petition at a hearing if the parties cannot reach an agreement.

  • Joint custody is presumed in Louisiana to be in the best interest of the children; however, if a person objects to joint custody, they can try to convince the court that sole custody should be granted in their case.
  • Shared custody (which basically means the children would spend equal time with both parents) is favored in Louisiana unless it is not feasible or in the best interest of the children.
  • Other factors in determining custody are contained in Article 134 of the Louisiana Civil Code, which focuses on which parent has historically taken care of the children, the relationship between the parent and the children, the moral and physical fitness of the parents, etc.
  • Judges are given great discretion in determining credibility of parents and what is in the best interest of children.