Divorce Attorney Topics

The Louisiana Civil Code provides a divorce attorney with answers for all sorts of family law issues in the state. The articles cover everything from adoptions, to child custody, to filiations. Within the realm of child custody, the Code specifically points to a host of different variables that a court can and should look at when determining where to place the child. More specifically, article 136 provides for visitation rights of parents and non-parents. Generally the article suggests that a parent should always have some form of visitation rights over the children. This of course will be subject to what is ultimately in the best interests of the child.

Also, Article 136 establishes the rights of non-parents to have visitation privileges as well. The Louisiana courts take relationships between children and parents very seriously however and there are criteria which a non-parent seeking visitation rights must satisfy.

Firstly, a lawyer or divorce attorney must typically show “extraordinary circumstances” which would suggest to a court that they should look to granting visitation rights to someone other than the parents. One easy example is in the case of parent who is a drug addict. Drug addiction will always cause a court to question whether that parent should be able to visit their child. If that is the situation, a court may look towards granting visitation rights to another parental figure, such as a grandparent. (But, here, the person seeking visitation might be better off seeking custody, but it would probably require that the parent’s rights be terminated, which may be done through Louisiana’s Children’s Code.

The second “requirement” more or less is that the court take into consideration a handful of different factors. One of those factors is number (4), which suggests that the court consider: “The willingness of the relative to encourage a close relationship between the child and his parent or parents.” The courts do not want to give someone a visitation right who is not supportive of the court’s ordered custody.

This of course assumes that there is no bona fide violence or other serious problem going on, which has prompted the non-parent to seek the court’s redress. If a non-parent or relative is seeking to have visitation rights, they or their divorce attorney may represent to the court that they support the existing custody award, and that they are not planning on disrupting the child’s relationship with his or her other parent.

This does not mean that the relative granted visitation rights needs to be on the best of terms with the custodial parent. Often times, they are not. However, the relative seeking visitation rights of the child needs to make sure they are putting the needs of the child ahead of their own personal prejudices and emotions. This way, a court will more likely grant visitation.

As always though, there are myriad other factors that a court can and probably will consider when examining visitation rights.

Leave a Reply