Child custody is one of the most important aspects of family law cases. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it is not an issue. The courts prefer to award joint custody to the parents, as opposed to sole custody. Sole custody arises when you have one parent who is not fit to care for the child. What makes a parent unfit to care for a child? Drug abuse and violence are the two primary causes of a parent to lose custody. Keep in mind that the violence does not have to be directed at the child. Under Louisiana law, if a spouse is found to have committed family violence against anyone in the household then that spouse is presumed to lose custody. If a spouse does lose custody, they have to jump through certain hoops in order to regain custody of their child. For someone with a drug addiction, this would include 6 to 12 months of random drug tests. It would also include enrollment in some sort of AA or drug treatment plan. For someone with a history of family violence, this would include enrollment and completion of a court-approved anger management course. So even if a parent loses custody, there is a path to regain that custody.
The court’s primary concern is the safety of the children. We have handled quite a few custody dispute cases, some of which had merit, and some of which were completely fraudulent. In these cases, time is of the essence so please call us immediately if you face this situation.