Louisiana Law: 6 Important Must-Knows in Legal Custody Cases

Must knows in legal custody cases

Winning child custody in court necessitates excellent legal representation. Whether through divorce, separation, or under different circumstances, lawyers must carefully walk clients through the process and help them understand the ramifications of certain decisions and situations before arriving at the best one.

When looking for a divorce lawyer or attorney, remember these six important must-knows in legal custody cases:

Must-Know #1: Strictly Follow the Process

You cannot skip step one or start with step two. The legal procedures must be strictly observed by all parties involved for fair, balanced proceedings, which involves:

  • Drafting and filing of paperwork.
  • Negotiations, if possible.
  • Undergoing a hearing or trial.

Must-Know #2: The Different Kinds of Custody

Legal custody comes in two basic forms:

  • Legal: A particular parent is responsible for raising the child or children by law
  • Physical: A parent whom the child lives or spends time with.

However, Louisiana law follows three different kinds of custody that share similarities to the above types and descriptions:

  • Sole: Only one parent has a full legal responsibility in raising the child or children. Sole custody may also include both legal and physical custody of the child or children.
  • Joint: Both parents share legal responsibility for the child or children. However, this does not mean equal physical custody rights. A father or mother with primary physical custody is called the domiciliary parent.
  • Shared: Both parents have equal legal and physical custody of the child or children. Shared custody is also one type of joint custody.

Ensure you hire the best divorce lawyer for these cases, so each legal custody option is made available to you and explained clearly to benefit the concerned parties.

Must-Know #3: Drafting and Filing Paperwork

Drafting and filing paperwork assures both parties their cases are legally documented for their protection. While it can be a daunting process for first-timers, your lawyer should walk you through the process, which includes:

  • Drafting the paperwork or motion for custody.
  • Sending the other party said paperwork, motion, or petition.
  • Receiving the other party’s opposition or countermotion.

This must-know could be prolonged for months or years depending on the condition of the other party. Good lawyers stick with their clients in these circumstances and ensure that the process will yield the best results.

Must-Know #4: Negotiations

If both legal parties can agree to their terms and conditions, this is where negotiations come in. The parents’ lawyers will act as their representatives, making a case for each to arrive at an amicable custody arrangement for the child’s or children’s best interests.

It is still in your best interest to have legal representation even if you are on good terms with your soon-to-be-ex or ex-partner. An attorney at your side guarantees fair, balanced proceedings.

Must-Know #5: Making a Case

If negotiations don’t pan out, however, this is where a trial or hearing is required. Both parents need to present their case to a court judge who will hear both arguments and decide according to state law evidence.

While the law permits you to represent yourself, it is still best to hire the best divorce lawyer as they are trained for these situations.

Must-Know #6: Avoid Common Custody Mistakes

Winning a legal custody battle includes preserving your testimony in a court of law. Avoid these common mistakes at all costs, even if the other party has committed one or more of them:

  • Moving the child or children without informing the other parent.
  • Denying the other parent access to the child or children.
  • Assassinating the character of the other parent in front of the child or children.
  • Assassinating the character of the other parent on social media.
  • Perjury (lying to the court after swearing under oath).

Let us help with your legal custody case in Shreveport, LA.

The Final Verdict

Legal matters where children are involved can be a mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing experience for either parent. Even with these six must-knows, the best way to make your case is through a lawyer. They can help you make the best decisions throughout this stressful process.

In need of the best divorce lawyer in Shreveport, LA? Request a consultation from the Law Office of Christopher M. Stahl. Our law office specializes in family law, criminal defense, and civil disputes, among others, and a recipient of the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys (AIFLA) Ten Best Attorneys of 2017.

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