Traditionally, family court judges presiding over divorce cases in Louisiana tended to grant sole child custody to mothers. A lot of people think this is still the practice today. But this is a myth.
As in every other state, Louisiana’s custody laws require that the judge’s primary focus be on the children’s best interests. Decades ago, the rule was to generally presume that it was in a child’s best interest to live with their mother. But that rule no longer exists. Instead, family court judges consider several factors unrelated to the parents’ genders.
Who has more time to give?
One of these considerations is how much time each parent can spend with the kids. It is likely that both parents work, but one parent might work around 40 hours per week and the other might spend 55-60 hours at work. In a case like this, the judge might order the parent who works 40 hours per week to have majority custody, with the other parent getting two or three days per week of parenting time. Also, if one parent has moved out of state, the judge will consider how to balance the children’s need to spend time with that parent with the cost and inconvenience of having the kids fly or drive to get to them.
Sharing, but not necessarily 50/50
Today, the trend is toward sharing child custody as long as both parents are fit to raise them. This does not mean that parents will split custody 50/50 in every case. For example, it could mean joint custody with one parent having more custodial time than the other. But the parents’ genders will not be the reason behind the judge’s reasoning.
Most divorcing spouses in Baton Rouge settle their child custody matters with the help of experienced and committed divorce attorneys.