Joint custody is when both parents share in the decision-making and overall upbringing of the child. The state wants the parents to be as present as possible in their child’s life. It would entail their open collaboration concerning the child’s mental, educational, emotional, physical and religious development. However, it is rare to see ex-spouses agree on all such terms.
In Louisiana, despite joint custody, the court still typically designates a domiciliary parent unless the other parent can prove it is unnecessary through an implementation order. The basis of appointing a domiciliary parent relies on the factors that could affect the custodial relationship.
What factors affect child custody?
Before the court can approve any joint custody agreement, they must consider how it will directly or indirectly impact the child. These are the primary factors that can affect the court’s decision:
· The relationship between each parent and the child
· The capacity of each parent to provide for the child’s basic needs
· The ability of each parent to provide proper moral, educational and spiritual guidance
· The impact on the child’s previous lifestyle
· The importance of permanence and stability on the child’s psyche
· The ability of each parent to successfully co-parent
· The child’s preference and emotional ties
· The previous relationship between each parent and the child
· The mental health and physical condition of each parent
Both parents can have domiciliary status in different areas. One parent can control the religious and educational factors, while one can decide on the child’s doctor and health insurance. Although often there is only one domiciliary parent.
Communicate to your ex about child custody
You and your ex should talk about how the joint custody arrangement will work, so you can create a comprehensive and achievable co-parenting plan. There may be issues of more importance to either of you, which you can address before court intervention. You both love your child; it is now just a matter of identifying each parent’s strengths and how these strengths will benefit your child.