According to the CDC, there were 2.2 divorces per 1,000 people living in Louisiana in 2021. Many of those divorces involved couples with children, which meant the divorcing couple needed to figure out child custody.
When it comes to child custody matters, many people hold certain misconceptions. These misconceptions can create confusion and can potentially lead to poor decisions during a custody dispute. The best way to navigate through such a complex situation is to understand what is factual and what is not.
1. Mothers always get custody
One widespread misconception is that mothers always get custody of their children. In reality, Louisiana law does not favor mothers over fathers. The courts make decisions based on the best interests of the child. This means considering multiple factors such as the emotional ties between the child and each parent, the capacity of each parent to give the child love, affection and spiritual guidance, and the ability of each parent to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care and other material needs.
2. Children decide where they want to live
Another common misconception is that children can choose which parent they want to live with. In Louisiana, the courts may consider a child’s preference, but it is not the determining factor. The court will consider the child’s preference, but it must also consider the child’s age and the reason for the preference. The ultimate decision is always based on what the court believes is in the child’s best interest.
3. Noncustodial parents do not have rights
It is a common myth that the noncustodial parent, or the parent who does not have physical custody of the child, does not have any rights. In reality, noncustodial parents have the right to visit their children and participate in their lives. They also have the right to access information about the child’s health, education and welfare.
Child custody cases are complex and often emotionally charged. It is important to separate fact from fiction in order to make informed decisions. Understanding these misconceptions and the reality of child custody law in Louisiana can help you navigate this challenging process more effectively.