As you approach the child custody negotiation portion of your Louisiana divorce, you may be wondering what you can do to secure the best possible parenting schedule. You want what is best for your child, and you want the custody outcome to reflect that.

At Southern Oaks Law Firm, we often counsel our clients on how to incorporate the best interests of the child factors listed by the state to improve their chances of creating a solid parenting schedule the judge will approve.

The parents

In any custody determination, the judge will consider each parent’s ability to raise the child. This includes physical health, mental health, emotional stability and moral fitness. It also includes the capability and history each parent has of providing for the child, including a home, food, clothing, health care and other essential necessities.

If one parent was the primary caretaker of the child, that could be a relevant factor.

Stability

A stable home environment is critical to helping children feel safe and secure in the midst of all the turmoil of divorce. This does not mean the judge will automatically favor the parent who remains in the family home, although the desirability of keeping the child in the same school and community may affect the decision.

Relationships

Preserving each parent’s bond with the child is the ultimate goal in any custody case. A judge may react negatively to a particularly one-sided schedule that leaves one parent with little time to spend with the child. If there are other signs that one parent is trying to keep the child from the other, this attempt may backfire. The courts want to see that each parent is willing to help the child maintain a relationship with the other parent.

While these factors may all apply, the statutes include the caveat that the judge may also consider any other factors that he or she believes may be relevant to your case. More information about custody and divorce matters is available on our webpage.