Will a Judge Consider a Child’s Preference During a Custody Case in Louisiana?

Mother comforting sad child

When you and your spouse divorce, there are many emotional decisions you’ll need to make during these times. However, one of the most important decisions regards how you will split custody of your child. Unfortunately, this is often one of the most contentious matters to arise during divorce. As such, you’ll want to keep reading as it’s imperative to understand what factors the courts will take into consideration when determining a custody plan and whether or not they will consider the child’s preference when issuing a decision. If you have additional questions or concerns about these matters, you’ll want to connect with a Monroe, Louisiana child custody lawyer for further assistance.

How Do the Courts Determine Custody?

If you are going through a divorce and have children, you and your spouse may be able to work out a child custody arrangement on your own. You can determine what would be best for your child in terms of physical and legal custody. However, if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on these matters, you may need to rely on the courts to assist in creating a parenting plan. When determining custody, the courts will consider the following factors:

  • The income of each parent
  • Each parent’s work schedule and career demands (business travel, conferences, late nights in the office)
  • If either party has a history of abuse or neglect
  • If either party struggles with substance abuse issues
  • Who the primary caregiver of the child was before the divorce

It’s imperative to understand that though you and your spouse may both want primary or full custody of the child, the courts will prioritize the child’s best interest above your wishes. This is because the courts have to hold the health, well-being, and happiness of the child above all else during a custody decision.

Do They Take a Child’s Preference Into Consideration?

It’s important to understand that the courts can and do take children’s preferences about where to live into consideration during custody cases. However, this is only done in certain circumstances. Generally, the judge will interview a child who has a preference about their living arrangement to determine if they are old or mature enough to give their opinion on the matter. However, this will vary depending on the judge.

It’s also important to consider the reasoning behind a child’s preference. For example, they may want to live with their father because their mother holds them to a higher academic standard. If this is the case, the judge will not give the child’s opinion much weight. However, if a child shares that they wish to live with their father because their mother is rarely home at night, they will consider something like this.

As you can see, determining the outcome of a custody decision is a complex process with many factors. That’s why it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney for additional assistance if you are worried about the outcome of your child custody case. At Breithaupt, DuBos, & Wolleson, LLC, we understand how emotional these matters can be, which is why we are dedicated to fighting for you and your family during these times. Connect with our team today to learn more.

Contact Us Today
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.