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Ellen, Lawyer
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Louisiana rights of a domiciliary parent of minor children.

Resolved Question:

What are the rights of a domiciliary parent of minor children in Louisiana?

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 8 years ago.

Hello, thank you for your question, and for choosing JustAnswer.

The Louisiana statues provide that the domiciliary parent has the authority to make all decisions affecting the child unless the court orders otherwise.
I have copied the statute in full to the end of this post:

LOUISIANA: Civil Code, Section 3,
Article 131.
Court to determine custody. A. If there are children of the marriage whose provisional custody is claimed by both husband and wife, the suit being yet pending and undecided, custody shall be awarded in the following order to preference, according to the best interest of the children:

(1) To both parents jointly. The court shall, unless waived by the court for good cause shown, require the parents to submit a plan for implementation of the custody order, or the parents acting individually or in concert may submit a custody implementation shall allocate the time periods each parent shall enjoy physical custody of the children and the legal authority, privileges and responsibilities of the parents...

(2) To either parent. In making an order for custody to either parent, the court shall consider, among other factors, which parent is more likely to allow the child or children frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent, and shall not prefer a parent as custodian because of that parent's sex or race. The burden of proof that joint custody would not be in a child's best interest shall be upon the parent requesting sole custody.
D. For purposes of this Article, "joint custody" shall mean the parents shall, to the extent feasible, share the physical custody of children of the marriage... Physical care and custody shall be shared by the parents in such a way as to assure a child of frequent and continuing contact, with both parents. An award of joint custody and obligates the parties to exchange information concerning the health, education, and welfare of the minor child; and, unless allocated, apportioned, or decreed, the parents or parties shall confer with one another in the exercise of decision- making rights, responsibilities, and authority.

E. ... The court shall state in its decision the reasons for modification or termination of the joint custody order if either parent opposes the modification or termination order.

Article 132. Award of custody to parents
In the absence of agreement, or if the agreement is not in the best interest of the child, the court shall award custody to the parents jointly; however, if custody in one parent is shown by clear and convincing evidence to she the best of the child, the court shall award custody to that person.


335 Joint custody decree and implementation order. A. (1) In a proceeding in which joint custody is decreed, the court shall render a joint custody implementation order except for good cause shown.

(2)(a) The implementation order shall allocate the time periods during which each parent shall have physical custody of the child so that the child is assured of frequent and continuing contact with both parents.

(b) To the extent it is feasible and the best interest of the child, physical custody of the children should be shared equally... B. (1) In a decree of joint custody the court shall designate a domiciliary parent...

(2) The domiciliary parent is the parent with whom the child shall primarily reside...

(3) The domiciliary parent shall have authority to make all decisions affecting the child unless an implementation order provides otherwise...

C. If a domiciliary parent is not designated in the joint custody decree and an implementation order does not provide otherwise, joint custody confers upon the parents the same rights and responsibilities as are conferred on them by the provisions of Title VII of Book I of the Civil Code.

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