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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Gahn

How to Start Child Custody Process in Louisiana

Custody in Louisiana
custody in Louisiana

Embarking on the child custody journey in Louisiana can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance, you can navigate through the process more smoothly. There are two primary pathways to obtaining a child custody order in this state: Consent Agreements and Considered Judgments. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to initiate the child custody process for each:

Custody by Consent Agreements:

What is a Consent Agreement?

A Consent Agreement in child custody matters is akin to a contract where both parents have a say in deciding the terms of custody and visitation for their child. Unlike a more adversarial court trial, a Consent Agreement allows both parties to work together to find a solution that best suits their family’s needs.

  • Consult with a Family Law Attorney:

    • Seek advice from a reputable family law attorney to understand the legal landscape of child custody in Louisiana and ensure your agreement will stand in court.

  • Draft a Custody Agreement:

    • Collaborate with the other parent to draft a written agreement detailing the custody and visitation arrangements.

  • Review and Sign the Agreement:

    • Have your attorney review the agreement, then both parents should sign it.

  • Submit the Agreement to the Court:

    • The signed agreement is then submitted to the court for approval.

  • Obtain Court Approval:

    • Once approved by the court, the agreement becomes a legally binding child custody order.

Custody by Considered Judgments:

What is a Considered Judgment?

A Considered Judgment is a decision made by a judge regarding who gets custody of the child and how visitation will work. This happens when parents can't agree on these matters themselves. The judge will listen to both sides, look at all the evidence, and make a decision based on what they believe is best for the child.

  • Consult with a Family Law Attorney:

    • Engage a seasoned family law attorney to guide you through the child custody process and represent your interests.

  • File a Custody Petition:

    • Your attorney will help you file a formal petition for custody with the court, outlining your request and reasons for it.

  • Serve the Other Parent:

    • The other parent must be served with a copy of the custody petition, notifying them of the court proceedings.

  • Prepare for the Custody Hearing/Trial:

    • Gather all necessary documents and evidence to support your case. Your attorney will help prepare you for the custody hearing or trial.

  • Attend the Custody Hearing/Trial:

    • Both parents will have the opportunity to present their case to the judge regarding child custody arrangements.

  • Receive the Court’s Decision:

    • The judge will issue a considered judgment based on the evidence presented and the best interests of the child, finalizing the child custody order.

  • Adhere to the Child Custody Order:

    • Comply with the court’s decision and maintain open communication with the other parent regarding any changes in circumstances.

Whether you opt for a Consent Agreement or a Considered Judgment, each pathway leads to a legally binding child custody order. The specifics of your situation will dictate the most suitable approach. At Moisant Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing the legal expertise and support you need during this critical time. Reach out to us at 225-803-0596 or via email at for personalized guidance on your child custody case.

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