In Louisiana when a family is torn apart by divorce there are a variety of things which need to be taken care of. We would hope that the children are one of the first and foremost concerns of the parents who are going through a divorce. As is the case in many family law issues, the spouses will often have an opportunity to hash out an arrangement between themselves regarding the custody plans for the child or children. If they cannot, and it becomes a contentious situation, then the Louisiana justice system may have to intervene.
Because a judge most likely does not know the family any more than he or she would know a random stranger, the Louisiana legislature has put into place a detailed series of criteria for a judge to use when evaluating a particular family unit. In their evaluation, they will be looking, among other things, to determine what is in the “best interests of the child” vis a vis a custodial arrangement. There are a diverse range of factors for a court to consider, contemplating everything from the community and scholastic history of the child to the opinion of the child themselves. The factor today’s article deals with is the relative “emotional ties” which the child shares with each parent.
Let’s say Collin and Kristy have been married for fourteen years before getting a divorce. They have a daughter, Ashley, who is also fourteen. Ashley has always identified more with her father than her mother. Collin is a very rugged, outdoorsy type guy, and he enjoys working on cars and fixing stuff with his hands. Kristy on the other hand is very dainty and girly, preferring to spend time with her girlfriends at the local salon. On her fourteenth birthday, Ashley told her parents that she was pretty sure she was a lesbian. At first her parents were shocked, but Collin soon got over it and loved his daughter all the same. Actually, Collin felt much closer to his daughter than ever before. Ashley began spending more and more time with her dad, and they shared many of the same hobbies.
Kristy on the other hand was disappointed in her daughter’s sexuality. Kristy would never admit it, but she secretly felt that her daughter’s homosexuality was a reflection of her own bad parenting. As much as Ashley and her father were drawn together by this latest development, Kristy and Ashley drifted apart.
Let’s say shortly thereafter Kristy and Collin get a divorce. Despite Kristy’s apprehension about her daughter, she does not at all act or represent to the court that she loves her daughter any less. Assuming all other things are equal between Kristy and Collin as far as their parenting ability, and also the home and social life Ashley would have if she lived with one over the other, than her closer emotional ties to her father very well could be highly relevant. The fact that Collin has openly embraced his daughter’s sexuality, and that it has drawn them together, would probably be highly relevant to a court when it considers with whom Ashley shall legally reside for the remaining four years of her adolescence after the divorce.
This above is informational only, not legal advice. Will Beaumont. New Orleans.
There are a number of legal professionals that you can call when in need of family law assistance. In Metairie, divorce professionals abound.