Questions That Might Be Asked of the Parents By a Family Mediator or By a Judge in a Custody Dispute
In a custody battle in Louisiana, the best interest of the child is the key. The family court judge is required to award custody of a child in accordance with the best interest of the child. La.C.C. art. 131. The best interest principle recognizes the child's substantive right to the custodianship that best promotes his welfare. The “best interest of the child” principle is the principal substantive criterion for granting and changing custody in Louisiana.
Thus, the spotlight that the court or a family mediator will focus on may be the daily routines and activities of the children. These are not necessarily the questions that a mediator or judge will ask. But these are questions that could be asked. These questions will give the mediator or judge a good idea of the division of responsibilities between the parents.
Thus, it is important for the parents to consider the routines of the children before they go to a family mediation or to court of law. Now, just because the routines and activities of the children were a certain way or with a certain parent before the separation or divorce does not means that those routines will continue after the separation or divorce.
1. Who has contact with the children in the morning before work?
2. Who drives them to school?
3. Who attends PTA meetings?
4. Who attends school functions?
5. Who takes the children to the doctor?
6. Who helps with homework?
7. Who shops for clothes, school supplies?
8. Who does other routine tasks for the children?
9. Any pictures of parents and the children interacting?
10. Any videotape of parents and children interacting?
11. Have children written letters to mom or dad expressing love and concern?
12. Any cards from Father's Day or Mother's Day or other occasions?
13. Any pictures of dad or mom at school activities or coaching the football or soccer team?
14. Who signs report cards?
15. Who does the cooking?
16. Why do you think that you are the better parent?
17. What are the good characteristics of the children's mother? Father?
18. Why do you believe, despite these good qualities, you would be the better parent to have the majority of the parenting time?
19. How will you make the adjustment from a 2-parent household to a one parent household if you are awarded custody? Childcare, transportation, etc.
20. What are the lifestyles of parents? Do lovers spend the night in the presence of the children? Are there illegal activities such as drugs, gambling, etc.
21. Does anyone smoke around the children? Drink? Swear?
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This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may impose additional obligations on you.
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