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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My son and his wife have joint custody, but she has domicile

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My son and his wife have joint custody, but she has domicile custody. My son pays 1200 a month faithfully for child support. He does have visitation every week at some point and every other weekend from Thursday to Sunday. My question is this...What exactly is domicile custody and what does It entail as far as her being "the primary decision maker," as she states she is. We are in Louisiana.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

What exactly is domicile custody

This is often a confusing topic and I would be glad to clear it up. "Joint custody" is a misnomer. It seems to make both parents 50/50 custodians, but this is not true. "Joint custody" merely means that each parent holds a right to some custody. However, joint custody may be 98% one parent and 2% the other parent, for example.

So with joint custody, one parent usually becomes the custodian and the other parent becomes the "visiting" parent which is generally one day a week, every other weekend, and alternating holidays. Your son sounds like the "visiting parent."

and what does It entail as far as her being "the primary decision maker," as she states she is.

Her having domicile custody (or as she put it, the primary decision maker) means that she has the right to decide where the child is when he is not visiting with his dad. In other words, she controls the primary custody decision-making aside from visitation, i.e. the child can be with her or wherever else she decides.

The domicile custodian also normally has the right to make educational and medical decisions for the child, unless the custody decree specifically provides that your son has right to agree to a specific action, and/or be informed of it, etc.

Now, it sounds like you are stating that the children are not getting proper care. If this is so, your son has the ability to file in Court to modify the decree, and get managing custody, if the Judge feels that "it is in the best interest of the child" that this be done. Yes, he may have a case, but he'd need to prove acute neglect and not just failing school, i.e. such as her not feeding/clothing/using basic parenting techniques.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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