Louisiana law favors joint legal custody of children whose parents are divorce or separated. The ideal is to keep two caring involved parents in the child’s life even when those parents no longer live together in the same household with the children. This usually means that the children spend some time in the mother’s home and some time in the father’s home. The term “shared custody” generally implies that the children spend approximately equal time with each parent, but the arrangements are as different and varied as the situation. The work schedules of the parents, the school and extracurricular schedules of the children, the ages and temperaments of all involved, and the geographical proximity of the parents’ homes also affect how the parents care for the children.
The pros and cons of various custody arrangements will be addressed in a different section of this website. Here we just want to make available to you some samples of custody plans. Any individual custody plan will be unique and may include some but not all of the issues addressed in the sample plans attached below. If there are special circumstances or special needs for either parent or any child, those may be addressed in the individual custody plan for that family.
The term “family” is important to note here. Often neither parent, who is divorced or divorcing, no longer considers the other parent “family,” and from a legal perspective, that is true. From the child’s perspective, each parent is and will always be his or her family, no matter what the parents’ relationship to or feelings toward each other. It is essential that the divorce parents keep this always in mind. Whatever future relationships and alliances each parent may form after divorce, the child will always have “mom’s side of the family” and “dad’s side of the family” for life. That’s the way the child thinks about it, and that’s the way the divorce parents need to think about it, too.
The sample custody plans below are taken from the Handbook on Louisiana Family Law 2012 edited by Kerry Triche and published by West, a Thompson Reuters Business. This handbook is widely used by Louisiana family law attorneys. It is available in the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, and may be available in public libraries throughout the state.
If you have particular questions about custody plans in general or your custody plan in particular, please feel free to e-mail us at <email@example.com>.