Focusing on the child’s welfare is paramount in any Louisiana child custody case. A child’s emotional and mental well-being, happiness and safety are the key factors courts consider in custody decisions.
Knowing what components go into child custody determinations can help you prepare for your case. Emotions often run high in child custody disputes, and that can impede your cause. Knowing what to expect could help you remain calm and collected.
Custody disputes and your child’s best interests
An experienced child custody attorney can help you understand exactly what factors go into your child’s best interests. When possible, a loving and supportive relationship with both parents is ideal. In some instances, this arrangement is not practical. Keep in mind that all decisions made by you, your child’s other parent or the courts can leave lasting effects on your child’s growth and development.
Factors considered when ascertaining a child’s best interests
A child’s best interests can be difficult to determine in certain situations, and most courts will consider many factors. When establishing what is best for the child, judges will contemplate the following aspects:
- Child’s preference (age-appropriate)
- Child’s special needs, if any, and how each parent cares for the child
- Stable home environment
- Parents’ physical and mental health
- Siblings’ custody arrangements
- Ability to interact with extended family such as both sets of grandparents
- Whether there is or was a history of domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse or child abuse
- Age and sex of the child
- Religious and cultural issues
- Whether the child would change schools or communities
- Relationships with other members of each household
Finding the best attorney to assist with your child custody
If you are seeking sole custody of your child, finding an attorney that you trust is the first step. An attorney familiar with family issues can assist in expressing your cares and concerns to the court, gathering necessary evidence and explaining Louisiana law.