Deciding how to parent after a divorce may just be one of the biggest challenges Louisiana couples face when they end their marriages. As societal views on parenting have changed, so has the way that parents deal with child custody issues. In the past, one parent (often the mother) had sole custody of the children with visitation for the other parent (often the father). Thankfully, times have changed and now parents often continue to share the parental duties as much as possible, which usually benefit everyone in the family, especially the children.
Louisiana parents need to be aware of the fact that joint custody and shared parenting time are not equal. Shared parenting time does not require or imply a 50/50 split of time between each parent. Instead, parents can come to an arrangement regarding parenting time that best suits their schedules and the schedules of the children. Many parents attempt to get the time they each spend with the children as close to equal as possible without causing undue stress to the children.
Parents who choose a shared arrangement also share equally in the major decisions that may substantially affect the futures of the children. This often includes religious training, education and health care, among other things. Parents can also determine how to best share the financial needs of the children that may arise above and beyond any obligation to pay child support.
Sharing child custody allows each parent to remain involved in the lives of the children. Even when a marriage ends, parents can continue to work together for the best interests of their children. To make sure that any agreement the parents devise will meet with the approval of the court, it would be advantageous to involve an attorney in negotiating, drafting and executing the agreement.
Source: Findlaw, “Shared Parenting vs. Sole Custody“, Accessed on June 18, 2017