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What does the best interests of the child mean in Louisiana?

When Louisiana parents decide to end their relationships, they realize that they will need to find a way to continue parenting. This means that child custody arrangements need to be made through either direct negotiations or the court. Regardless of how custody is decided, parents may want to have at least some understanding of what “the best interests of the child” means in Louisiana law.

The court will use this standard regardless of whether it makes the custody arrangements or approves a parenting plan submitted by the parents. Numerous factors go into determining what will serve the best interests of the children. Perhaps an obvious factor is the relationship and love between the children and each parent, and these are primary factors.

This often involves ascertaining the ability of each parent to love, care for and raise the children. The distance between the parents’ homes and their ability to provide an education also bear consideration. In addition, the court will want to ensure that the children are adequately fed and sheltered. The physical health, mental health and moral fitness of each parent are also scrutinized. The court may also take into account the preference of a child that is age 12 or older.

Understanding these considerations when it comes to what a Louisiana court will consider to be in the best interests of the child may help a couple create a parenting plan that will meet with the court’s approval. It may also help each party determine what evidence will support his or her position if the matter is put before the court instead. In either case, it may be beneficial to obtain the advice and guidance of a family law attorney to help ensure that a parent’s goals are met when it comes to child custody issues.

Source:, “Get to Know Child Custody Laws in Louisiana,” Debrina Washington, Accessed on July 22, 2017

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