When parents in Louisiana divorce or separate, they may face the difficult task of working out a child custody arrangement and having it approved by a family court. There are a number of systems that work for different families depending on each child's needs and the parents' circumstances. Joint and shared custody are becoming much more popular options than they were in the past. However, in many families, one parent may be granted primary physical custody of the children. This does not mean that the non-custodial parent will be excluded from the child's life.
Many non-custodial parents enjoy active, involved relationships with their children. They have an extensive visitation schedule, which can frequently include overnight stays or holiday time, and they regularly pay child support, a major factor in contributing to the child's health and well-being. In addition, even parents who do not share physical custody may share legal custody, giving them an equal voice in making decisions about their children's education, health care and other major issues. Both parents and children benefit when non-custodial parents stay active and involved in each other's lives, absent a situation of neglect or abuse.