Understanding Child Custody And Support

Some of the most disputed issues that surface during divorce involve child custody and child support. At Dowden & Smith, LLC, our compassionate attorneys are invested in helping you resolve any child-related issue you may be facing. It makes no matter how complex or ugly your divorce may be, we can help you. Contact us today to learn what rights and options you may have regarding both custody and child support.

Determining Child Custody

If parents are unable to agree on a custody arrangement during divorce proceedings, the court will generally have to step in and resolve the dispute for them. As with most custody issues, the court must consider what is in the child's best interests, which requires the examination of several factors, including:

  • The ability of each parent to provide the child with basic necessities, including food, clothing and medical care
  • The ability of each parent to give the child love and affection, and to continue with the rearing and education of the child
  • The emotional ties between each parent and the child, as well as the love and affection shared
  • The physical and mental health of each parent
  • The morality of each parent, and how this impacts the welfare of the child
  • The willingness of each parent to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent
  • The distance between each parent's residences
  • The preference of the child, if he or she is old enough to express a preference
  • The home and community history of the child

In most cases, courts will award joint custody to both parents, unless, of course, there is clear and convincing evidence that sole custody is in the best interests of the child.

It is also crucial to note that many unique issues may arise during military divorces in Louisiana, particularly given the state's laws regarding service members. However, when it comes to child custody, the most important thing to remember is that a parent cannot be denied custody solely due to deployment.

Compassionate Legal Guidance From Trustworthy Attorneys

If you have any questions regarding child support guidelines or child custody rights in Louisiana, contact Dowden & Smith, LLC, to speak to a caring lawyer today. With an office in Leesville, we assist clients throughout Vernon Parish and the surrounding areas, including those in Fort Polk. For a FREE initial consultation, reach out to us online or call us at 337-404-6605.