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Hammond Legal Blog

Child custody interference is a violation of law in Louisiana

One of the things that parents sometimes run into with child custody orders is an ex-spouse who interferes with the orders. For example, one parent may regularly say that he or she is sick or that the kids are sick, so they don't have to drop them off on time. Another example would be refusing to send a child home or refusing the child's requests to call the other parent if the court order and parenting arrangement allowed it.

Police and sheriffs respond to domestic complaints many times each year, but people can do better and save these emergency workers time and energy. While separations and divorces are hard, a court order is there to make sure you do what you're meant to do. If you aren't, then you're interfering with custody and could end up back in court. Parents who regularly interfere with custody for no good reason may lose custody or go from a custodial to noncustodial parent.

Does one or more of these issues apply to your teenager?

Raising teenagers in a modern world is definitely not for the fainthearted. Like most good parents in Louisiana, you likely view your teen with great pride, and he or she probably brings much joy in your life, that is, when he or she is not exasperating you when hormones and emotions that seem to take over his or her body. This description is par for the course in most households with teenagers.  

If you happen to be one of many whose problems have grown a lot more serious than fluctuating hormones and mood swings, you can take comfort in knowing you are not alone in the struggle. Many parents are doing their best to help their teenagers overcome legal problems, many of which are alcohol or drug related. To help a teen get back on track, it's a good idea to analyze underlying issues, such as what prompts juveniles to experiment with these substances? It's also good to know where to seek support.  

3 custody schedules to help you manage after divorce

There are several ways that you can set up custody and visitation to benefit you and your child in Louisiana. First, you need to know some terms. First, the domiciliary parent is the one who has a home where the child lives. The other parent is the parent with visitation. Physical custody refers to the person who has physical custody of a child during a certain time. Normally, both parents have physical custody at one point or another, but there is one parent who has domicile in most cases.

There are three kinds of schedules to have in place. One is a residential schedule, another is the holiday schedule and a third is the summer break schedule. These schedules are important, because they determine where your child will be during those time periods.

Should you seek alimony?

If you're going through a divorce, one of the things you may have asked your spouse for is alimony. Your attorney should have spoken to you about alimony and what it entails, but it's always a good idea to learn more about the topic.

Alimony is a type of support awarded to spouses who have not been working or who have supported their spouses through school or their careers. For example, if you are a parent and stayed home to provide child care while your spouse went to school or work, you may be in a position to seek alimony. Similarly, someone who worked to pay for a spouse's schooling may seek alimony as a kind of repayment for the gesture.

Sole custody: Your right to decide on important factors

As a parent who would like to seek sole custody, it's a good idea to understand exactly what that means. Sole custody means that you'll have the exclusive physical and legal custody of your child. You will not have to ask the other parent for permission to allow your child to do certain things, but the other parent will need to ask you if he or she intends to travel with the child or seek medical attention for him or her, for example.

In many cases, parents share legal custody while one parent has sole physical custody. That means that both parents have a right to make decisions in the best interests of the child but only one has primary custody while the other may or may not have visitation rights.

How can you decide on custody time?

It's not always easy to determine who should have custody of a child after a divorce, but there is a checklist you can go over that could give you an idea of how much time each parent currently spends with a child and how that should work out following the divorce.

Here's an example: If you are the primary caretaker and always provide your child with care while your spouse works, then you would mark down that you provide meals and feeding, do the grocery shopping and do laundry, for example. If there are shared responsibilities, mark those down as well.

Can you date while you divorce?

You're going through a divorce, but the process isn't quick. You've waited months and still have different issues you need to address. In the meantime, you'd love to start dating again. You want to meet new people and get your life back on track.

You don't see the harm in dating while you're going through a divorce, but could it end up causing you problems? Possibly, which is why it's usually better to wait to date until your divorce is resolved.

Are visitation schedules standardized?

There are many different kinds of visitation schedules for people who are separated or divorced and need to share time with their children. Determining the best kind of arrangement isn't always easy, but that may be because you're unaware of the multitude of possibilities.

There are dozens of options. A common option includes one parent having the children during the week and the other having them on the weekend. Another common option is having alternating weeks with your children.

Getting a divorce: The basics in Louisiana

If you want to get a divorce in Louisiana, the first thing you need to do is to determine if you want an at-fault or no-fault divorce. Louisiana does recognize both, but the most common is a no-fault divorce. In a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse agree that the marriage has broken down but do not place the blame on one person or the other. Choosing an at-fault divorce is normally best if you plan to try to seek custody of your child or have a dispute about your property and want to have an edge over your spouse.

There is a waiting period you must go through before your divorce. In Louisiana, the waiting period is 180 days after filing or the service of a divorce petition. That means that you and your spouse may not live together and must be separate for approximately six months before you can file for your actual divorce to become final.

Defending your interests against various types of drug charges

Louisiana laws and federal laws regarding the use of illegal drugs are strict. They come with serious penalties, and if convicted, a person can face consequences that will alter the course of his or her life. If you are facing any type of drug charge, your future and your freedom could be at stake.

You would be wise to take your situation seriously, regardless of the type of drug charge you are up against. It can be beneficial to seek defense help as soon as possible after an arrest or as soon as you learn you are under investigation. It is never too early to have experienced counsel by your side and to start taking the initial steps of building a strong defense. Drug charges are serious and difficult to fight, but you do not have to face it alone.


Brett K. Duncan & Co.
500 E. Morris Avenue
Hammond, LA 70403

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