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Divorce Lawyers: How Physical Distance Can Play a Role in Louisiana Custody

April 24, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 358

With the possible exception of physical and sexual abuse, a court may consider a literal cornucopia of evidence, testimony, scholastic and community histories, and other forms of input when rendering its decision. Here in Louisiana, these types of considerations are largely grouped under the aegis of the Louisiana Civil Code, which is a body of law formulated to deal with state issues such as child custody matters. Specifically within the Code is article 134, which lays out a number of different lenses through which to view a particular custody scenario. One such "lens" under article 134 asks the court (or even a divorce lawyer) to consider custody in light of the "distance between the parties."

Why does the "distance between the parties" matter? Well, there might be a few reasons that a divorce lawyer may present to a court. Keep in mind that, ideally, one would want the child to be communication and contact with his or her parents as regularly and as often as they were when the parents were still married, or at least to the greatest extent possible. This of course is much easier when the parents live down the street from one another. If that's the case, then their country or parish is likely serviced by the same public school, the child's friends live near both parents' residences, and the community and residential lifestyle of the child would be relatively homogenous regardless of which parents the house the child is staying at.

In situations like the one above, and assuming that both parents are equally qualified, then we would hope that the court would award some type of joint custody arrangement. Although one parent would be named the "domiciliary parent" for the purposes of joint custody, in reality the child would probably be relatively free to spend time at both houses evenly. Again, it is clear that the proximity of the parents makes this type of arrangement possible.

Now consider if one parent is living in New Orleans, and the other parent is living in Shreveport. This is a distance of six to eight hours away. That can be an entire day of driving just to reach one city from the other. Even if both parents are highly qualified and loving people, can the reader see that a joint custody agreement which seeks to split the child's time evenly between the parents would be much more difficult? A court (and a divorce lawyer) might have to consider the fact that, given the distance between the parents, a child's best interests may actually be better served if they were more grounded at one parent's house, or the other. No child will benefit from having their entire weekend eaten up by a commute between their parent's houses. Not to mention, evenly splitting time in a joint custody type arrangement would make it impossible for the child to have a consistent social or school life, to say nothing of other extracurriculars like band or sports or chess clubs.

These two extreme examples serve to show how a divorce lawyer may use "the distance factor" before a Louisiana family court in certain situations.

This above is informational only, not legal advice. Will Beaumont. New Orleans.

Relocating with a child can be very difficult, especially when it is needed to overcome the relocation statue. For more information on this in New Orleans, divorce lawyer Will Beaumont is available at: Beaumont Divorce, 3801 Canal St #207, New Orleans, LA, 70119 (504) 483-8008.

Source: EzineArticles
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