Grandparents may seek child custody in limited circumstances in Louisiana. Grandparents may intervene in a court case and seek custody after the parents filed for divorce. They must prove that the parents' custody will substantially harm the child. This is a heavy burden and the parents could still maintain custody even though the child would be better if the grandchildren had custody. Typically, the judge must find that the parents are abusing or neglecting the child to award the grandparents custody.
Visitation rights are different than child custody rights for parents in Louisiana. Determining who is around the child, nonetheless, is also very significant. Visitation is the time that a parent may spend with the child. Custody is the right to make important decisions about education, health and other important matters in the child's life, even if the child lives somewhere else.
Disputes over child custody are not restricted to families. Schools often become involved and must implement procedures to protect children. Access to school records, not abduction, is the biggest complaint involving schools from non-custodial parents according to a security consultant. Unless a specific court order prohibits access, however, a non-custodial parent has a right to their child's records.
Louisiana's paternity laws are outdated, complex and provide inequities in matters such as child custody. Recently-introduced legislation may correct some problems, but may not fully address other issues.
Courts across the country have departed from their outdated bias concerning child custody. Now, custody orders and agreements are now tailored to meet the needs of families. This can provide more flexibility for families in Louisiana going through a divorce.
When parents in Louisiana divorce, one of the most important aspects of their split involves who will have custody of their child. There are two types of child custody. Knowing the difference is important for planning for a family's future.