West Baton Rouge Parish Child Custody Lawyer

West Baton Rouge Parish Child Custody Lawyer

West Baton Rouge Parish Child Custody Attorney

Under Louisiana state law, both biological parents have the right to visitation with their children. Whether you are going through a divorce or seeking custody or visitation rights for the first time, a West Baton Rouge parish child custody lawyer can help you navigate the often complicated field of family law.

Navigating the local court system requires experienced and dedicated legal counsel. To ensure your rights are protected as you seek child custody, seek the legal services of a divorce attorney in West Baton Rouge, LA, as soon as possible. At Magnolia Law, our knowledgeable attorney has extensive experience in family law and can provide you with compassionate, aggressive legal advocacy during your child custody case.

West Baton Rouge Parish Child Custody Lawyer

What Are My Custody Agreement Options?

Like those of other states, Louisiana child custody laws focus on the “best interests” of the child. When determining whether to assign a parent joint versus sole custody, the judge may weigh several factors. Here are the factors that the court will use to determine what is in the best interests of the child based on Louisiana Civil Code Article 134.

  • The potential for child abuse.
  • The emotional ties between each party and the child.
  • The ability of each party to offer love, affection, and spiritual guidance to ensure continued education and raising of child.
  • The ability to ensure child has food, clothes, medical care, and any other material needs.
  • How long the child has lived in a stable and adequate environment, as well as the parties’ desire to maintain that environment.
  • The permanence of the existing or proposed home.
  • How morally fit each party is in regards to a child’s welfare.
  • Any history of crime, violence, or substance abuse.
  • How mentally and physically fit each party is.
  • The child’s history in regards to home, school, and community.
  • The child’s preference if the court considers the child to be of age to express such preference.
  • Each parties willingness and ability to create and encourage a nurturing and continuing relationship.
  • How far away the respective residences are.
  • The past care and rearing of the child by each party.

In cases when one parent is awarded sole custody, the non-custodial parent may still have visitation rights. These rights can be reduced or eliminated if the non-custodial parent is found to be unfit.

Sole Custody

Depending on the circumstances of your case, a judge may award one parent sole custody. This means that either the father or mother has sole legal and physical custody of the child. The parent who is awarded sole legal custody has no legal obligation to share information about the child with the other parent. For example, the parent with sole legal custody can unilaterally seek medical advice and counseling for their child.

Sole custody is typically only awarded when both parents agree to it or if the courts find sufficient evidence that awarding sole custody to one parent is in the interest of the child. Sole custody often means limited visitation options for the other parent, which may not be an ideal situation for many families.

Joint Custody

One common custody arrangement is joint custody, in which both parents have legal custody of the child. Both parents share the responsibilities and rights of raising their children and making decisions for them. This does not mean that they have equal physical custody, though.

Factors such as the parents’ schedules, locations of their homes, and other situations can make it untenable for both parents to have equal physical custody of the child. In many cases, the family court judge will make a ruling on which parent will be designated as a domiciliary parent or neither.

Some cases may result in shared custody arrangements in which both parents share legal and physical custody of their child. This effectively means that the child spends equal time with either parent.

While there are never guaranteed outcomes in West Baton Rouge Parish family court, having strong legal counsel can greatly improve the chances that the final custody agreement works for you and meets your goals.


Q: How Much Is a Child Custody Lawyer in Louisiana?

A: If your child custody case involves divorce, custody will be factored into the cost of your divorce. If your custody case is not part of a divorce, you can expect your legal fees to start around $3500. Many attorneys charge by the hour, meaning you will only be charged for the time the team puts into your case. Hourly fees for family lawyers can range from $150 to $500. Billable hours include time spent drafting motions, negotiating with opposing counsel, and appearing in court.

Every child custody case is unique, so there is no easy means of estimating the total cost of your case. Our attorney in West Baton Rouge Parish would be glad to discuss child custody expenses during your consultation.

Q: What Makes a Father Unfit for Custody in Louisiana?

A: Family court does not make any custody determinations based on gender, so anything that would make a father unfit for custody would make a mother unfit as well. With that said, factors that can lead a family court not to grant custody to one parent include a history of violence or abuse, severe mental or physical health problems, an inability to provide a safe, stable home for the child, and an inability to tend to the child’s needs.

Q: How Do I File for Custody in Louisiana?

A: At Magnolia Law, our legal team can handle the necessary paperwork for your child custody case. This may require serving your partner or ex-partner with documents that initiate the case. While it is technically possible to represent yourself in court, self-representation can lead to missed filing deadlines and other mistakes that could prove detrimental to your case. Working with the team at Magnolia Law can be considered an investment for your future, your children’s future, and your peace of mind.

Q: Who Pays Attorney Fees in Child Custody Cases in Louisiana?

A: Anyone seeking legal counsel should expect to fully cover legal expenses related to their case. Requests for attorney’s fees can be made under certain circumstances. For example, if your ex is behind on child support or has violated court orders, they may be required to cover attorney’s fees for resolving those situations. If you have any questions about legal costs, contact our office today, and someone will be glad to answer them.

Contact a West Baton Rouge Parish Child Custody Lawyer Today

Child custody cases can be stressful and complicated. Whether you are in the middle of a divorce, preparing to be separated from your spouse, or seeking visitation rights to your child for the first time, the team at Magnolia Law is here to help.

Having the right legal counsel can ensure that your parental rights are protected. Our team has successfully represented countless clients and guided parents through complicated custody battles. Take the first step toward protecting your relationship with your children. Contact Magnolia Law today to schedule a consultation.