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Louisiana Family Law Blog

What are factors that influence child custody?

Children who go through divorce with their parents have to be taken care of just as well as when they were in a two-parent household. Parents have the responsibility to care for their children and to help them reach their potential, even if the parents no longer live together or maintain a romantic relationship.

The most important thing you'll do doing your divorce is coming up with your custody arrangements. Your child custody arrangements must be formed in your child's best interests and should consider all factors that could influence your child's well-being. By the age of 11, most courts in Louisiana will allow children to state their preference in custody disputes and when asked for their preference by the court.

What's the average child support payment?

Child support is an important aspect of many children's lives. It helps provide them with some of the income that they're missing as a result of not living with both parents at the same time. It can cover food, clothing, other necessities or even activities that a child wants to participate in.

One thing some parents ask is what the average child support payment is and what to expect if they have to pay child support. The average child support payment isn't something you can come up with easily. In fact, since child support payments are based on your income and other factors, you can't just look at averages and know what to expect.

What should you do if you're worried about parental kidnapping?

There is nothing more threatening than the idea that a parent could flee with your child in tow. You do your best to make sure your parenting plan is fair, but your ex-spouse keeps saying it's not enough. You noted recently that your child has been talking about a trip, and your ex-spouse even got your child a passport. You're extremely worried.

Of course, if your ex-spouse plans to take your child out of the country, they should run it by you first. In many cases, they'll need to get approval from the court, too. However, if you have heard nothing about the trip other than snippets from your child, it's time to speak up.

How the Hague Convention can help you get your kids back

If your former Louisiana spouse hails from another country and takes your children there to visit his or her family and friends, naturally you expect him or her to bring the children back at the end of the scheduled visit. But what if (s)he does not?

Unfortunately, international parental abduction has become a major issue for many divorced parents. If you are one of them, you may be able to get help under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. In 1980, this international treaty was signed by 98 nations, including the United States. All member nations agreed not only to honor and respect each other’s custody laws, but also to help return parentally abducted children to their home country.

3 tips for better co-parenting arrangements

In most people's relationships, the most important person is their child. They want to make sure their child grows up loved and cared for. This is normal, and it can be the norm even after a divorce.

Not all divorces have to be complicated or end in conflict. Parents can co-parent together and make their relationships with their children and their ex-spouses better instead of living with conflict. Here are a few tips on how to make co-parenting work for you.

Why would you need to modify child support?

Sometimes, it's necessary to ask the court to modify your child support arrangements. To do this, you'll have to ask the court to modify your support order.

You may have several reasons for seeking a child support order modification. There are a couple common reasons that judges see often including:

  • A change in jobs/earnings
  • A change in living conditions
  • A change in the custodial parent's living conditions
  • Changes to custody orders

Get to know your community property state's laws

Louisiana's laws respect that marriages are built on the backs of two adults. That means that all they do supports the other person and that they share in their responsibilities. As a result, when two people in a committed relationship divorce, they are expected to divide their marital property fairly and evenly.

Louisiana is a community property state. Marital property is divided 50-50 except for in some extreme cases where it can be shown that one person should receive much more than the other. Louisiana is one of few community property states with considerable exceptions to the 50-50 rule.

Your child's wishes will be heard in Louisiana

With a child, going through a divorce can be difficult. However, if that's what you have to do, then most people will find a way to get through the situation successfully.

Your main concern is with the health and happiness of your child. Every state has its own rules regarding custody and visitation, which you should be sure to learn more about. Louisiana is part of the states who have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act, giving the state the ability to recognize custody orders from other states and jurisdictions.

Can you modify child custody agreements in Louisiana?

When you have an existing child custody order in place in Louisiana, you may, at some point, wish to modify that agreement for one reason or another. Maybe you wish to spend more time with your child than you currently do and you have recently moved to make this geographically possible. Perhaps you have concerns about the quality of care your child receives when he or she is with the other parent, and you believe that spending more time in your home would be in your child’s best interests. Regardless of your reasoning for wanting to change your current child custody arrangement, there are certain steps you must take in order to initiate the process.

First, you need to recognize whether you have a valid reason for requesting the change to your current custody agreement. To be successful in your pursuit of a child custody modification, you need to demonstrate to the court that a substantial change in your circumstances has occurred that warrants the custody change.

Work with your spouse to divide your assets fairly in divorce

When you look at everything that you've accrued during your marriage, it might be frightening to think about losing any of it in divorce. The reality is that divorces do mean that you'll likely end up with less than you have in your marriage, but that's with the trade-off that you'll be single and able to do what you'd like in your own life.

Despite this, it's important to know how your assets will be divided. There are two ways that you can divide assets, either through a judge's decision or by working out an arrangement with your spouse. Louisiana is an equitable distribution state, which means that you are not guaranteed 50 percent of the marital assets. As such, it's normally a good idea to work with your spouse to come up with a fair arrangement. The process of property division is called community property partitions in Louisiana.

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