Establishing the identity of a child's biological father can have far-reaching consequences. Paternity affects a number of rights, including a child's right to inherit, the father's obligation to provide for the child's financial support and eligibility for a number of state and federal government benefits. Also, a father may suffer from a genetica disease, and proving paternity can help treat a child if they have been affected by the disease.
In Louisiana, most parents in a divorce context are awarded joint custody of their minor children. "Joint custody" means that each parent must have "frequent and continuing contact" with their minor children. Child support is awarded to the parent deemed the "domiciliary" parent, or the parent with whom the child stays the most, unless there is an award of equal or nearly equal "shared custody." It is important for Louisiana residents to know what child support is and what it may be used for in the context of providing for a child.
A divorce will have a big impact on any children from the relationship. Children may worry about how their lives will be affected as their parents untie the binds that hold their family together, and they may have concerns over whether divorce will mean that they need to move into a new home. Children may be afraid of the changes that they will need to live with in the "new normal" of their lives, and parents in Louisiana should be aware of what rights they have when it comes to helping their kids make transitions into their new post-divorce lives.
When a person decides that they want to adopt a child, they have made the choice to be responsible for that child and to include them in their family. In some cases, families in Louisiana may look to adopt children from foster care or from private domestic agencies. In other cases, they may seek to grow their families through adoptions from foreign countries. However, one of the most common forms of adoption that occurs is that of step-parent adoption.
Under certain circumstances, grandparents in Louisiana can seek visitation time with their grandchildren. Their options are somewhat limited, however, as parents generally retain a considerable amount of power over who spends time with their kids and may be able to persuade courts to refuse grandparents such time. It is important to understand the law surrounding grandparent visitation in Louisiana.
It may be a misconception among readers of this Louisiana legal blog that family law attorneys only handle divorces. While divorce is a common reason that individuals may seek the counsel of attorneys who work in this field, family law encompasses much more than just ending marriages. It can cover the creation of new family relationships, the modification of agreements that govern family interactions and more.