Skip to main content

Custody

Learn about your issue

Louisiana Civil Legal Navigator

Not sure where to start your legal research? Try the Louisiana Civil Legal Navigator. Answer a few questions about yourself and your situation to get customized legal information, local court forms, referrals to legal aid, and more. Available for Divorce, Child Custody, Employment Law, and private Landlord-Tenant Law.

A Guide to Child Custody in Louisiana

This comprehensive guide to child custody in Louisiana covers: Understanding Child Custody, Establishing Child Custody, Modifying Child Custody, and Exercising + Enforcing Child Custody. The guide includes information on paternity, relocation, contempt, failure to exercise or allow custody, the standards for changing child custody judgments, and much more.

Custody and Visitation Rights for Grandparents

Video and answers to Frequently Asked Questions about custody and visitation rights for grandparents.

How Can I Move My Child's Home in Louisiana?

Before a parent relocates, or moves a child's home outside of the state of Louisiana, or more than 75 miles away, there is a legal process that must be followed. The answers to these frequently asked questions about relocation can help parents understand that process.

Issue Guide: Name Change After Divorce

This resource explains the name change process after a divorce.

About Contempt of Court and Enforcing Court Orders

This resource explains the basics of contempt of court and enforcing court orders.

Child Custody and Juvenile Court Jurisdiction

When there is an open juvenile court case, a parent or guardian should know that the district court judge deciding a divorce or custody case may have limited power to make orders relating to the child who is subject to the juvenile court case. As this article explains, the juvenile court judge will still have the power to make orders relating to custody in certain kinds of cases.

Provisional Custody by Mandate

This guide has basic information about provisional custody by mandate in Louisiana. There is also a link to a computer program that will create a form for provisional custody by mandate. Warning: depending on your situation, you may need additional forms or different forms. This guide and the form do not cover provisional custody by mandate for any other state. The computer program includes the basic form. The guide and the computer program do not tell you what form you need for your particular situation or how to use the form. If you do not know which form or form or forms you need or how to use your form or forms, try to find a lawyer to help you with your case.

Understanding the Best Interest of the Child

Louisiana courts use the "best interest of the child" standard to determine custody. This article lays out the factors that make up the "best interest of the child" test used by the courts and explains how the factors can influence a judge's decision on custody.

What You Should Know about Custody

Frequently asked questions and answers about custody issues.

What is Emergency Ex Parte Custody?

In some cases, there may be a need for a court order relating to child custody before the other parent or party can be heard before the Court. A custody order entered before the other party has an opportunity to respond is called "ex parte," and they are available in limited, usually emergency, circumstances.

Getting Help From the Court in Your Custody Case

In a child custody case, parents may need to ask the Court for help to make sure that important issues are thoroughly considered. This article discusses asking the Court for help related to a parent's drug use, mental health issues, or unwillingness to come to an agreement about issues relating to the child.

Child Custody

Get answers to frequently asked questions about child custody in Louisiana.

Modify Prior Voluntary Transfer of Custody

Sample motion and consent order for use in a state district court, when both parents agree to change physical/legal custody of a minor child.

Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP)

The Department of Children and Family Services’ Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) provides cash assistance of $450 per month for each eligible child who resides with a qualified relative other than a parent. A child may meet the eligibility requirements for both the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) and Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) but may only receive assistance in one program.

Who Gets Custody? Who Pays Support?

Information provided by the Lousiana State Bar Association on the grounds for divorce, information on child custody and visitation, relocation of the child, child and spousal support, and property rights.

ABA Information on Child Custody and Support

Information from the American Bar Association on child custody and support, including deciding factors for custody and guidelines for support.

ABA Military Pro Bono Project

The ABA Military Pro Bono Project—managed by the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP)—accepts case referrals from military attorneys on behalf of junior-enlisted, active-duty military personnel facing civil legal issues, and it works to place these cases with pro bono attorneys. The Project is also the platform for Operation Stand-By, through which military attorneys and other pro bono attorneys may seek attorney-to-attorney guidance.

About Paternity

Find out about paternity in Louisiana. Why it's important to prove your child's paternity. How to prove paternity. How to fight a paternity suit.

Agenda for Children

Agenda for Children has served as Louisiana’s statewide child advocacy organization, as well as our region’s leading support organization for early childhood education (children ages 0-8). We work to inform public conversations on children, advocate for better policies that impact children and families, increase access to high quality early care and education, improve the quality of those experiences, and connect people to community resources. Specifically, our work improves child well-being by empowering the adults who have the greatest impact on children’s lives.

Child Custody Dictionary

A plain-language guide to understanding words used in child custody cases. Click on the terms to see the definitions and find links to in-depth articles explaining more complicated issues.

Child Custody Guided Assistant

This Guided Assistant tool can help you find information and forms related to your child custody issues. This tool is not legal advice. This tool does not not take the place of legal advice from a competent attorney licensed in your state and familiar with the law and facts of your legal issue.

Child in Need of Care Cases

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) starts Child in Need of Care (CINC) cases when they determine that a child has experienced some form of neglect. While the goal of CINC cases is "reunification," or having the child go home, parents need to know about the CINC process and parental rights and responsibilities during the process.

Establishing Paternity

This resource explains how paternity is determined by operation of law and how paternity can be established, changed, or disavowed by a man presumed to be the father of a child by operation of law.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Resource Guide

The resource is about custody, visitation, and other legal problems that face grandparents. This is about making child custody orders and parenting plans, modifying, and enforcing. It also including getting visitation for dealing with different family members like grandparents.

Guide to Juvenile Court in Orleans Parish

Basic information from the Orleans Juvenile Court Delinquency Division.

Guide to Relocation with Your Child

In Louisiana, changing the address where a child lives most of the time can be classified as a "relocation," and if the move is more than 75 miles away, the person moving the child may have to follow a special procedure before the relocation. This guide explains when Louisiana's relocation law applies and how the relocation procedure works.

How to Order Louisiana Birth Records

Louisiana is a "closed record" state. This means that birth and death certificates are not public records. All requests for birth or death certificates must include proper identification, appropriate fees, and a completed application.

Legal Representation in Child Protection Cases

Representation of children in child protection cases is overseen by the Louisiana Supreme Court, which designates appropriate programs for qualified legal representation in accordance with a plan for service delivery approved by the Court.

Modifying or Changing Child Custody Judgments in Louisiana

This resource explains when the law allows a party to ask for a change in a custody judgment. It also discusses the reasons why the Court might agree to make the change and the different standards that apply to consent judgments versus considered judgments of custody.

Registering Out-of-State Custody Judgments in Louisiana

Before a Louisiana court will change or enforce a custody judgment originally entered by an out-of-state court, the custody judgment must be registered with the appropriate Louisiana court. This resource gives a step-by-step explanation of how to register an out-of-state custody judgment.

Understanding Custody by Consent

This resource explains how a Court can approve a Consent Judgment when parents agree on the issue of custody and what the Court will consider in deciding whether to approve the agreement.

Understanding Louisiana Child Support Guidelines

In Louisiana, Courts use a fixed formula to calculate child support. The formula is part of the Louisiana Child Support Guidelines. The formula uses the total amount of both parents' monthly incomes and the number of children they have to determine basic child support. In addition to basic child support, the formula allows for add-on expenses. Together, basic child support and add-on expenses equal total child support, which is the amount the paying parent owes each month.

Visitation and Who Has the Right to It

Answers to some frequently asked questions about visitation.

Volunteers for Youth Justice

Programs include Youth Programs, The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA), Truancy Assessment Service Center (TASC), Court Programs (FINS), and Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, together with its state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home, and the opportunity to thrive. TASC is a prevention program, providing early identification and assessment of school absences for children grades K-5. Through this program, children and families are given the opportunity to informally and voluntarily resolve chronic absenteeism without court involvement. FINS or Families in Need of Service are programs for families on the verge of crisis due to the ungovernable behavior of a child. The primary goal of FINS is to secure appropriate services to remedy the family’s dysfunction. TBRI® is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI® uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI® is connection.

Back to top