Father’s Rights In Louisiana
Any family law case is a difficult and trying time for all parties involved. Whether the case is contested paternity, settling a divorce, or one parent’s attempt to keep custody, knowing your rights as a father in Louisiana can help you not feel helpless in a dire situation.
When you’re faced with these challenging times, you need family law attorneys you can trust. The team at Dowden & Smith are experienced in all matters pertaining to father’s rights in Louisiana. You can rest easy at night knowing that our experienced, compassionate team is on your side, fighting for you. Contact our team today and schedule a free consultation.
Father’s Rights – Establishing Paternity
Establishing paternity is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure your rights as a father in Louisiana. When determining the father’s rights in Louisiana, a key aspect to consider is whether the mother and father of the child, or children, were married at the time of birth.
If they were unwed, the father must establish paternity of the child. He can do so either through an Affidavit of Acknowledgement or by submitting a paternity action and taking the issue to court. In the event the mother was married at the time of the child’s birth or if the child is born within 300 days from the final divorce date, Louisiana state law assumes the mother’s husband is the child’s biological father. That the husband of the mother is the father of the child is one of the strongest presumptions in Louisiana law.
Louisiana is the only state in the United States that acknowledges “dual paternity,” which is the legal situation that occurs when the child’s mother was married to a man other than the biological father. To ensure that the biological father’s paternal rights to the child are not lost, if the mother was married to another man, the biological father should seek legal counsel immediately, as there are strict time frames involved.
If the biological father does file suit and paternity is proven, the biological father can then exercise his rights as a legal father and attempt to gain custody or visitation.
If you’re in the midst of a divorce or custody battle, having experienced father’s rights attorneys on your side can feel like the weight of the world was lifted off your shoulders. Dowden & Smith’s attorneys are knowledgeable, compassionate, and ready to help you with your case.
Father’s Rights & Custody
Before taking custody and visitation to court, it’s best for the parents to negotiate a parenting plan. Having an attorney who’s experienced with father’s rights in Louisiana on your team and present at these negotiations can help them go smoothly and ensure your rights are considered.
It’s extremely important to be willing to listen to the other parent, be prepared to compromise, and keep the child’s needs first. If negotiations end without an agreed-upon plan, a lawyer can file for court proceedings.
A custody battle is never something a parent wants to put their family through, but when all else fails, it is essential to secure a healthy environment for the child or children involved. If you’re the father of a child in a custody battle, knowing the father’s rights in Louisiana is a great step to ensuring your case is heard.
To determine whether living with the father or mother is in the best interest of the child, a judge will consider many factors, including:
- Relationship of the child and the parents
- Each parents’ ability to care for the child
- If the child has any siblings residing in a parent’s home
- School and extracurricular activities
- Each parent’s ability to provide food, shelter, and clothing
Fathers can have a difficult time proving to the court that the child should spend more time in their care. This is especially true if the mother is a homemaker or works part-time. It’s essential to find a legal team experienced in family law, specifically father’s rights in Louisiana.
Whether you need help negotiating a parent plan or representation for a custody battle, you can trust the practitioners at Dowden & Smith to fight for your father’s rights in Louisiana.
Father’s Rights in Louisiana & Child Support
When one parent has the physical care of the child for the majority of the time, they are referred to, for child support enforcement purposes, as the custodial parent. In this situation, the parent referred to as the non-custodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent. These payments help the custodial parent care for the child’s basic needs like shelter, clothing, food, and school costs.
In cases where the parenting plan was successfully negotiated out of court, the amount needed for child support payments may be agreed upon by both parents. However, when the court has to decide custody and child support, the payments are based on various factors, the most important being the income of both parents.
You may think that child support payments are only for mothers with custody, but father’s rights in Louisiana give fathers deemed custodial parents the same access to child support payments and child support enforcement.
Navigating the legal landscape of father’s rights in Louisiana while going through a divorce or custody battle can be overwhelming. Getting experienced legal advice from knowledgeable family lawyers can help clear your mind and protect your interests. Ensure your rights as a father are considered, and get the help you need by contacting Dowden & Smith’s expert family law attorneys today.