Common Sense Conclusions about Child Custody in Louisiana
In the state of Louisiana, there are a few different laws which govern how a court will determine where a child should end up if his or her parents get divorced. Despite the fact that there is more than one source of authority on this point, it is safe to say that there is only one overriding consideration: the best interests of the child.
In an attempt to make the best interests of the child a more tangible and objective concept, the Louisiana legislature has crafted a series of factors or criteria by which a judge may analyze a family law scenario and come to a determination about where to award custody of the child. As previously noted, all of these factors are written with the spirit of “the best interests of the child” coursing through their legal veins.
One common factor involves the scholastic, personal, and community history of the child. I think it is fairly easy to see how this factor could be of great importance when determining the best interests of the child. If a young boy or girl has a great deal of friendships, school ties, or other social networks that they have been building up for many years, it simple would not square with justice to have them uprooted and placed with a parent who lives far away.
Yet another factor involves the mental and physical fitness of each parent who is asking for custody of the child. Sometimes we may see a scenario in which one parent simply does not have the mental or physical tools to deal with a young person living in the home. For example, there was a case a while back wherein the parent had just been involved in a vicious tractor trailer accident which rendered them nearly immobile. That parent then got involved in a custody battle for his five children. Each of the children was under ten years of age. As you probably can imagine, a court would be hard-pressed to find that a man who had difficulty taking care of himself was in a good condition to care for five small children.
While sometimes the results may sound or appear to be harsh, remember that the best interests of the child are being served. In that last example, it really would not be as safe or productive for those small kids to be living with a parent who could not attend to them in an emergency. To take another example, let’s say that a parent is involved in an accident and as a result, their mental capacity is significantly diminished. Would it be in the best interests of the child to ask that parent to take care of the child as though there were nothing wrong with them? Of course, many people would agree that a parent needs to be mentally fit to raise the child. If they are not, then their custody of the child should be reduced accordingly.