Your biological child was adopted, and you want to know if the adoption can be reversed. Or maybe you were adopted and are curious if the adoption can be undone. Questions like this are common, so can you undo an adoption in Louisiana?
Yes, in limited situations, adoptions can be reversed in Louisiana. The laws regarding the nullification of adoptions are stringent and are rarely granted.
There are various reasons a person may want to undo an adoption, but once a final order approving the adoption has been entered, it isn’t very easy to reverse. If you formally consented to the adoption, it is almost impossible.
Filing a Petition to Undo an Adoption
In Louisiana, the preferred nomenclature to reverse an adoption is a Motion to Annul Adoption. Courts typically don’t undo an adoption.
Who can petition the Courts to Annul an adoption?
The Child’s Birth Parents – In Louisiana, a child’s biological parents can file a petition to annul an adoption in certain situations. In some states, the adoptive parents can consent to the reversal ofadoption and agree to relinquish parental rights back to the birth parents.
The Child’s Adoptive Parents – The child’s adoptive parents may petition the court to undo an adoption in very limited circumstances.
The Child – There may be reasons a child wants to cut bonds with their adopted family. These usually occur later in life due to failed relations.
Grounds for an annulment of an adoption
A procedural process must be adhered to in the adoption process. If the process was tainted either by fraud or duress, the adoption could be reversed. The most common attack on approval is that the consent of the biological parent was obtained through fraud.
The Louisiana Constitution guarantees that a birth father has the right to develop a relationship with his child; this is established in the following language: “no person may be deprived without due process of law under our state constitution.” The Lousiana Supreme Court established the following rights of unwed fathers in reference to adoptions:
An unmarried father’s right to veto the adoption of his child cannot be terminated or forfeited without notice and a hearing on this issue. If no response to a proper notice is received from the father, or he can’t be found in a reasonable time, the court may terminate his parental rights.
When a birthmother executes an act of surrender of an illegitimate child and identifies the father, he must receive notice of the adoption. He has the right to file an opposition to the adoption.
When the mother names the alleged father, but his whereabouts are unknown, a curator will be appointed and make a diligent effort to locate the father. If the father can’t be found, his parental rights are terminated.
If the mother claims that the birth father is unknown, his rights are terminated after a diligent effort has been made to identify the father.
It’s not too difficult to imagine how fraud could find its way into the process to deprive a father of proper notice of the adoption of his child. For example, a mother could list a fake name as the father of her child on the birth certificate, and the biological father never receives notice of the adoption.
Going through a divorce is tough and can get ugly. There are usually tons of documents filed, especially if alimony and child support are involved. Having sensitive documents in the clerk of courts office raises an issue, are divorce records public in Louisiana?
Yes, most of the documents are part of the public record unless there is a specific reason they should be sealed.
Although most documents are public, there are some steps you can take to limit access to your divorce documents by the public.
What records are public?
There is no federal constitutional provision that gives the public the right to access judicial records and proceedings. However, the United States Supreme Court established that a trial is a public event, and all information is public property. (Check out the case of Craig v. Harney, 67 S.Ct. 1249, (1947) to learn more about open access to records.)
Divorce documents filed with the clerk of court are considered public records. These documents must be kept by the court and are available to the public, meaning any person can inspect, examine, and copy the filings regardless of the purpose.
The reason people don’t regularly access these records is they’re unaware of the process required to retrieve the documents, or they are don’t know the materials are publicly available. And of course, there is the expense; governments do not provide copies for free.
However, governments have made it easier and cheaper than ever to obtain public records. Most documents can be assessed through the clerk of court’s website for a minimal fee. So, for a small fee and a little knowledge, anyone can obtain a copy of your “confidential” divorce documents.
When a court deems records are sensitive and should not be public, they can enter an order to have the records sealed. Individual documents could be sealed or the entire divorce proceedings.
When a record has been sealed, a person must obtain a court order to view the documents. For example, a court may seal divorces that deal with children, domestic violence, or sensitive business information. They might also seal documents that contain false accusations that would be harmful and create undue harm.
Sealing your records
To have your documents sealed, you need to file a motion with the court requesting the records be sealed. In the action, you will need to convey the reasons you believe sealing the documents is necessary.
Just because you file a request, it is not automatic that the court will grant your motion. You need to provide proper reasons before the judge agrees to seal your case. You can’t just claim it will be uncomfortable for you if the record isn’t sealed.
The Louisiana Supreme court took up this issue in the Copelands divorce case. Al Copeland, the founder of Popeyes Fried Chicken, requested his divorce records be sealed from the public. The New Orleans Times-Picayune wanted to see the documents and filed a suit to obtain access.
The district court and court of appeals agreed with the Copelands that the documents should be sealed, but the Supreme Court disagreed. They found that there may be some justification for sealing portions of the proceeding, but a blanket order sealing the entire record was not warranted.
If you file a motion to seal your divorce proceedings, it would be advisable to request specific pages or parts of documents to be redacted and not file a motion to have the entire record sealed.
If you need help with your divorce, contact our office to get an experienced family law attorney. We have offices in Hammond and Livingston, Louisiana.
Things You need to know about Divorce In Louisiana.
Who can file for divorce in Louisiana?
A person can file for divorce in Louisiana if he/she or their spouse has been living in the state for at least six months.
What Grounds can You File for Divorce?
In Louisiana, except in the case of a covenant marriage, a divorce shall be granted on the petition of a spouse upon proof that:
(1) The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously for the requisite period of time, in accordance with Article 103.1, or more on the date the petition is filed.
(2) The other spouse has committed adultery.
(3) The other spouse has committed a felony and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor.
(4) During the marriage, the other spouse physically or sexually abused the spouse seeking divorce or a child of one of the spouses, regardless of whether the other spouse was prosecuted for the act of abuse.
(5) After a contradictory hearing or consent decree, a protective order or an injunction was issued during the marriage against the other spouse to protect the spouse seeking the divorce or a child of one of the spouses from abuse. Louisiana Civil Code Article 103
No-Fault Divorces In Louisiana
Louisiana Civil Code Article 102 or Article 103(1) is the no-fault divorce statutes.
To be eligible to file under Article 102, you and your spouse must live separate and apart for a minimum of 180 days before awarded a judgment of divorce.
Article103(1) requires that you and your spouse must have already lived separate and apart at different residences for at least 180 days before you can file for divorce.
There is a caveat to these statutes; if there are minor children involved, then the required separation time increases to 365 days. Also, separate and apart means no reconciliation during the period.
Which divorce will be best for you, 103(1) or 102?
The divorce you choose depends on your circumstances. If you have been separated from your spouse for over 180 days, and have no minor children at home, then a 103(1)divorce is the fastest means to finalize your divorce.
However, the decision is complicated when you add other factors; for example, if you and your spouse are separated ut, the separation period is only 100 days. In this scenario, it may be advisable to not file for divorce now but rather to wait 80 more days and file. By going this route, your divorce could e granted quicker, and you may even avoid a hearing and possibly save some expense.
But you may not want to wait to file your divorce papers. In that case, you would file for an Article 102 divorce and time would begin to run anew, meaning after the passage of 180 days from the date of filing the divorce could e granted. Some individuals choose this method because the filing of the divorce petition gives them peace of mind. After considering your options, you have to decide what is most important to you.
What documents will you need to file?
Many of the documents are the same regardless if decide to file for a 102 or 103(1)divorce:
Acceptance of Service and Waiver of Citation and All Delays
Child Support Worksheet and Parenting Plan (if minor children involved)
For an Article 102 divorce, you will also file a Rule to Show Cause.
However, for Article 103(1), you will file four additional documents:
Motion for Preliminary Default
Affidavit of Correctness in Lieu of Testimony
Motion for Confirmation of Divorce Judgment of Default Without a Hearing
For a 103 or 102 divorce, you file a Verified Petition for Divorce with a signed Acceptance and Waiver of Service by your spouse. An Article 102 divorce, requires the filing of a Rule to Show Cause/Rule for Final Divorce with Verified Affidavits and Defendant’s Acceptance and Waiver of Service of the Rule to Show Cause. These documents must be filed 365 days or six months from the date your spouse signed the Waiver of Service. The length of time is dependant upon whether you have children.
After the documents are filed, a hearing will be scheduled to finalize the divorce. You need two witnesses at the hearing. The witnesses must confirm under oath to knowing that you and your spouse have lived separate and apart without reconciliation for 180 days (365 days if the couple has minor children together).
An Article 103(1) divorce requires an Affidavit with the Petition swearing that the information contained in the Petition for Divorce is truthful and accurate. In 15 days (30 days if your spouse doesn’t live in Louisiana), request that the Court Clerk set your case for a Preliminary Default. In a couple of days, the judge will finalize the divorce or may decide to first require a Confirmation of Default hearing before completing it.
Fault Divorces in Louisiana
A spouse who seeks a divorce based upon fault does not have to wait for the legal delays associated with no-fault divorces. Fault divorces are adultery and conviction of a felony. There is no waiting period required for a fault divorce. If your fault divorce is based on adultery, you have the burden to prove the allegation.
(1) The other spouse has committed adultery.
To establish adultery during the marriage, the burden of proof is on the person alleging adultery. What is adultery? Adultery is sexual intercourse outside the marriage; some courts have included oral sex as sexual intercourse. The burden of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence, and the accused is presumed innocent. It may be necessary to provide witnesses and evidence from a private investigator to prove your case.
(2) The other spouse has committed a felony and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor.
To establish a divorce based upon a felony, you only need to provide proof to the court of your spouses’ conviction and sentence. The delays for appealing the conviction or the fact that he has or has not served his punishment will not affect the divorce.
(3) During the marriage, the other spouse physically or sexually abused the spouse seeking divorce or a child of one of the spouses, regardless of whether the other spouse was prosecuted for the act of abuse.
A divorce based upon abuse protects spouses and children from dangerous situations. Before the passing of this statute, abused spouses were required to remain married during the typical no-fault delays. This statute will allow victims to close an ugly chapter of their life.
(4) After a contradictory hearing or consent decree, a protective order or an injunction was issued during the marriage against the other spouse to protect the spouse seeking the divorce or a child of one of the spouses from abuse.
A divorce based upon a protective order or an injunction is another tool to allow victims of abuse to move forward with their lives. The divorce can be granted with documentary evidence, giving the victim the benefit of avoiding additional testimony in hearings surrounding the abusive events.
Click this link to read the statute. To learn about intrafamily adoptions, click here.
Contact Sonja Bradley your attorney in Hammond Louisiana, Denham Springs, Louisiana, Ponchatoula Louisiana, Livingston Louisiana, Albany Louisiana, Amite Louisiana, Walker Louisiana, and surrounding areas.
Factors Used by the Court to Determine Child Custody.
In all child custody discussions, the “best interest” of the child is paramount. In Louisiana law, “best interest” is a term with a specific meaning. It is so critical to the determination of custody that guidelines have been enacted.
The “best interest” of the child takes into consideration his or her safety and security, mental health, emotional development, and happiness. Commonly it is in the child’s best interest to stay foster a close relationship with both parents.
However, oftentimes situations dictate that either the mother or father have sole custody. It is important to remember that decisions made now will have a lasting effect on the future relationship between you and your child.
The legislature established guidelines for the courts to follow in determining child custody in Louisiana. The following are the factors used by the courts:
La. C.C. Art. 134. Factors in determining a child’s best interest
Art. 134. Factors in determining a child’s best interest
Except as provided in Paragraph B of this Article, the court shall consider all relevant factors in determining the best interest of the child, including:
(1) The potential for the child to be abused, as defined by Children’s Code Article 603, which shall be the primary consideration.
(2) The love, affection, and other emotional ties between each party and the child.
(3) The capacity and disposition of each party to give the child love, affection, and spiritual guidance and to continue the education and rearing of the child.
(4) The capacity and disposition of each party to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and other material needs.
(5) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, adequate environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity of that environment.
(6) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
(7) The moral fitness of each party, insofar as it affects the welfare of the child.
(8) The history of substance abuse, violence, or criminal activity of any party.
(9) The mental and physical health of each party. Evidence that an abused parent suffers from the effects of past abuse by the other parent shall not be grounds for denying that parent custody.
(10) The home, school, and community history of the child.
(11) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference.
(12) The willingness and ability of each party to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other party, except when objectively substantial evidence of specific abusive, reckless, or illegal conduct has caused one party to have reasonable concerns for the child’s safety or well-being while in the care of the other party.
(13) The distance between the respective residences of the parties.
(14) The responsibility for the care and rearing of the child previously exercised by each party.
In cases involving a history of committing family violence, as defined in R.S. 9:362, or domestic abuse, as defined in R.S. 46:2132, including sexual abuse, as defined in R.S. 14:403(A)(4)(b), whether or not a party has sought relief under any applicable law, the court shall determine an award of custody or visitation in accordance with R.S. 9:341 and 364. The court may only find a history of committing family violence if the court finds that one incident of family violence has resulted in serious bodily injury or the court finds more than one incident of family violence.
As you can tell there is a lot that goes into determining custody. If you decide to hire an attorney to represent you in your custody battle hire Sonja Bradley she has over 18 years experience fighting for her clients’ rights.
Contact Sonja Bradley your attorney in Hammond Louisiana, Denham Springs, Louisiana, Ponchatoula Louisiana, Livingston Louisiana, Albany Louisiana, Amite Louisiana, Walker Louisiana and surrounding areas.
Lawyers are often asked questions about legal terms. One question that comes up often is, “What is an intrafamily adoption?”. Since this is a question on many people’s minds, I decided to provide an answer.
While most adoptions involve non-related individuals, intrafamily adoption refers to the process of adopting a child by a close relative or stepparent. This type of adoption can offer many benefits, including preserving family ties and providing a stable and loving home for a child in need.
However, intrafamily adoptions also come with their own unique set of challenges and legal complexities that require careful consideration. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of intrafamily adoption, its benefits and challenges, and what to expect from the process.
Art. 1243. Persons who may petition for intrafamily adoption
A. A stepparent, step-grandparent, great-grandparent, grandparent, aunt, great aunt, uncle, great uncle, sibling, or first cousin may petition to adopt a child if all of the following elements are met:
(1) The petitioner is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity through a parent recognized as having parental rights.
(2) The petitioner is a single person over the age of eighteen or a married person whose spouse is a joint petitioner.
(3) The petitioner has had legal or physical custody of the child for at least six months prior to filing the petition for adoption.
B. When the spouse of the stepparent or one joint petitioner dies after the petition has been filed, the adoption proceedings may continue as though the survivor was a single original petitioner.
C. For purposes of this Chapter “parent recognized as having parental rights” includes not only an individual enumerated in Article 1193, but also:
(1) A father who has formally acknowledged the child with the written concurrence of the child’s mother.
(2) A father whose name or signature appears on the child’s birth certificate as the child’s father.
(3) A father, if a court of competent jurisdiction has rendered a judgment establishing his paternity of the child.
Does the Biological Parent have to Agree?
No, a biological parent does not have to agree to an intrafamily adoption, but it will make the adoption easier. See the following statute concerning the consent of biological parents as it pertains to intrafamily adoption:
Title XII. Adoption of Children
CHAPTER 11. INTRAFAMILY ADOPTIONS
Art. 1244. Consent of parent
A. Except as otherwise provided herein, any parent may execute an authentic act consenting to the adoption of his child in an intrafamily adoption, including a waiver of service for any subsequent proceeding.
B. If the parent of a child born of marriage is married to the stepparent petitioner and executes an authentic act of consent, he need not join in the petition nor be served with a copy thereof.
C. The parent of a child born outside of marriage who is married to the petitioning spouse shall join in the petition.
D. Repealed by Acts 1999, No. 1062, §5, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.
A. The consent of the parent as required by Article 1193 may be dispensed with upon proof of the required elements of either Paragraph B or C of this Article.
B. When a petitioner authorized by Article 1243 has been granted custody of the child by a court of competent jurisdiction and any one of the following conditions exists:
(1) The parent has refused or failed to comply with a court order of support without just cause for a period of at least six months.
(2) The parent has refused or failed to visit, communicate, or attempt to communicate with the child without just cause for a period of at least six months.
C. When the spouse of a stepparent petitioner has been granted sole or joint custody of the child by a court of competent jurisdiction or is otherwise exercising lawful custody of the child and any one of the following conditions exists:
(1) The other parent has refused or failed to comply with a court order of support without just cause for a period of at least six months.
(2) The other parent has refused or failed to visit, communicate, or attempt to communicate with the child without just cause for a period of at least six months.
What is the Primary Consideration in Granting an Intrafamily Adoption?
Just because you meet all the requirements for an intrafamily adoption does not automatically mean you will be granted the adoption. Courts are required to determine the “best interest of the child” in their decision to grant an adoption. See the following excerpt from a 1st. circuit court of appeals case.
The primary consideration in adoption proceedings is whether the adoption is in the best interests of the child. In re Miller, 95-1051 at 6, 665 So.2d at 777.
In re Miller, 95-1051 at 6, 665 So.2d at 777. In cases where the stepparent seeking adoption is married to the parent who has been granted sole custody of the child, there is a rebuttable presumption that the adoption is in the best interest of the child. La. Ch.C. art. 1255(B). https://caselaw.findlaw.com/la-court-of-appeal/1113323.html
What are some Factors in Determining “Best Interest of the Child” in Intrafamily Adoption?
To determine the best interest of a child in intrafamily adoption, courts will often look at the relationship of the child with the adopting relative. The following is an excerpt from a case involving intrafamily adoption:
It is not enough to examine the love and home environment provided by the petitioner/stepparent. The court must also examine the depth of closeness of the child’s ties with the non-custodial natural parent and the effect that the loss of this relationship would have on the child.
Further, the court must consider the seriousness and finality of the severing of the relationship between the parent and child, as well as the importance and benefit to the child of a continued relationship with the parent.
Sonja Bradley, your Family Law Attorney serving Hammond Louisiana, Ponchatoula Louisiana, Livingston Louisiana, Albany Louisiana, Walker Louisiana, and Denham Springs, Louisiana, and surrounding areas.
It’s normal for parents to have demanding situations arise with their children, especially for parents that are no longer together. When a solution can’t be worked out, the courts are available to resolve the matters. An issue that arises often concerns the relocation of children. The facts follow a similar pattern; The parents divorced and have a custody order in place. Everything goes smoothly for a few years, then the custodial parent gets a new job and wants to move with the children. Can they do this legally? Let’s start by looking at whether or not Louisiana’s relocation statute is applicable.
Louisiana’s Relocation Statute can be found in La. R.S. 9:355.1 et seq.
The Relocation Statute applies when one parent (or another person with custody) intends to establish the principal residence of a child at any location outside the state of Louisiana. It also applies when moving the child’s primary residence within the state of Louisiana more than 75 miles from the domicile of the other parent (if there is no custody order in place) or more than 75 miles from the principal residence of the child (if there is a custody order in place).
In our factual situation, the custodial parent is moving to Lake Charles, Louisiana from Albany, Louisiana. We start our evaluation by determining the principal residence of the child. We stated in our facts that a custody order was in place. The relevant portion of the statute states that it applies to moves of more than 75 miles from the principal residence of the child if there is a custody order in place. So how do you determine the principal residence of the child?
La. R.S. 9:355.1 (1) provides: (click here to read statute)
(1) “Principal residence of a child” means:
(a) The location designated by a court to be the primary residence of the child.
(b) In the absence of a court order, the location at which the parties have expressly agreed that the child will primarily reside.
(c) In the absence of a court order or an express agreement, the location, if any, at which the child has spent the majority of time during the prior six months.
We have a court order designating the residence in Albany, Louisiana, so that is the primary residence of the child. Next, we must determine if the move exceeds the number of allowable miles to move a child.
La. R.S. 9:355.2. Applicability (click here to read the statute)
A. This Subpart shall apply to an order regarding custody of or visitation with a child issued:
(1) On or after August 15, 1997.
(2) Before August 15, 1997, if the existing custody order does not expressly govern the relocation of the child.
B. This Subpart shall apply to a proposed relocation when any of the following exist:
(1) There is intent to establish the principal residence of a child at any location outside the state.
(2) There is no court order awarding custody, and there is an intent to establish the principal residence of a child at any location within the state that is at a distance of more than seventy-five miles from the domicile of the other parent.
(3) There is a court order awarding custody, and there is an intent to establish the principal residence of a child at any location within the state that is at a distance of more than seventy-five miles from the principal residence of the child at the time that the most recent custody decree was rendered.
(4) If either no principal residence of a child has been designated by the court or the parties have equal physical custody, and there is an intent to establish the principal residence of a child at any location within the state that is at a distance of more than seventy-five miles from the domicile of a person entitled to object to relocation.
C. To the extent that this Subpart conflicts with an existing custody order, this Subpart shall not apply to the terms of that order that govern relocation.
D. This Subpart shall not apply when either of the following circumstances exists:
(1) The persons required to give notice of and the persons entitled to object to a proposed relocation have entered into an express written agreement for the relocation of the principal residence of the child.
(2) There is in effect an order issued pursuant to Domestic Abuse Assistance, R.S. 46:2131, et seq., Protection from Dating Violence, R.S. 46:2151, Part II of Chapter 28 of Title 46 or the Post-Separation Family Violence Relief Act or Injunctions and Incidental Orders, Parts IV and V of Chapter 1 of Code Title V of Code Book I of Title 9, except R.S. 9:372.1, all of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, Domestic Abuse Assistance, Chapter 8 of Title XV of the Children’s Code, or any other restraining order, preliminary injunction, permanent injunction, or any protective order prohibiting a person from harming or going near or in the proximity of the other person.
Emphasis is added to D., and this part does not apply if any of the listed circumstances exist.
Is Lake Charles Louisiana more than 75 miles from Albany, Louisiana? Yes. So the Relocation Statute is triggered, and you must abide by this statute before relocating your child. Who can propose relocation is the first question to be answered.
§355.3. Persons authorized to propose relocation of principal residence of a child (click here to read the statute)
The following persons are authorized to propose relocation of the principal residence of a child by complying with the notice requirements of this Subpart:
(1) A person designated in a current court decree as the sole custodian.
(2) A person designated in a current court decree as a domiciliary parent in a joint custody arrangement.
(3) A person sharing equal physical custody under a current court decree.
(4) A person sharing equal parental authority under Chapter 5 of Title VII of Book I of the Louisiana Civil Code.
(5) A person who is the natural tutor of a child born outside of marriage.
In our factual situation, there is a custody order in place, so La.R.S. 3:55.3 applies, so the domiciliary parent has the right to propose relocation. At this point, we have triggered the relocation statute and found that the parent has the right to seek relocation, so what is the next step? Provide information to the other parent.
§355.5. Mailing notice of proposed relocation address (click here to read the statute)
A. Notice of a proposed relocation of the principal residence of a child shall be given by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or delivered by commercial courier as defined in R.S. 13:3204(D), to the last known address of the person entitled to notice under R.S. 9:355.4 no later than any of the following:
(1) The sixtieth day before the date of the proposed relocation.
(2) The tenth day after the date that the person proposing relocation knows the information required to be furnished by Subsection B of this Section, if the person did not know and could not reasonably have known the information in sufficient time to provide the sixty-day notice, and it is not reasonably possible to extend the time for relocation of the child.
B. The following information shall be included with the notice of intended relocation of the child:
(1) The current mailing address of the person proposing relocation.
(2) The intended new residence, including the specific physical address, if known.
(3) The intended new mailing address, if not the same.
(4) The home and cellular telephone numbers of the person proposing relocation, if known.
(5) The date of the proposed relocation.
(6) A brief statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation of a child.
(7) A proposal for a revised schedule of physical custody or visitation with the child.
(8) A statement that the person entitled to object shall make any objection to the proposed relocation in writing by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, within thirty days of receipt of the notice and should seek legal advice immediately.
C. A person required to give notice of a proposed relocation shall have a continuing duty to provide the information required by this Section as that information becomes known.
The information must be provided to the other parent by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested or delivered by a commercial carrier to his or her last known address. Providing the information via text messaging or emailing is not sufficient under Louisiana law. This information must be provided to the other parent either by the sixtieth day before the date of the proposed relocation (if you know where you are going, etc.) or the tenth day after the date you know the information. If you know the required information, then you must provide a sixty-days notice. If you do not know that information, and could not have reasonably known that information, then you must provide that notice within ten days of knowing the address, physical location, and phone number. If you fail to give proper notice, you can hurt your chances to relocate your child successfully and may be subject to paying the objecting parents fees
After proper notice of the relocation, the other parent has 30 days to object. If they do not timely object, the requesting parent may relocate the principal residence of the child. If a proper objection is made, the requesting party has 30 days to file a motion to relocate. What is a proper objection made? La. R.S. 9:355.7 requires the parent must object, in writing, sent to your address provided in the notice, via certified mail or commercial carrier.
If the other parent objects relocation and you filed a timely Motion to Relocate the court will schedule a contradictory hearing to rule on the relocation issue. In making the determination, the court will consider if the relocation is made in good faith and is in the best interestof the child.
The factors to determine contested relocation are found in La. R.S. 9:355.14:
§355.14.Factors to determine contested relocation (click here to read the statute).
A. In reaching its decision regarding a proposed relocation, the court shall consider all relevant factors in determining whether relocation is in the best interest of the child, including the following:
(1) The nature, quality, the extent of involvement, and duration of the relationship of the child with the person proposing relocation and with the non-relocating person, siblings, and other significant persons in the child’s life.
(2) The age, developmental stage, needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development.
(3) The feasibility of preserving a good relationship between the non-relocating person and the child through suitable physical custody or visitation arrangements, considering the logistics and financial circumstances of the parties.
(4) The child’s views about the proposed relocation, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child.
(5) Whether there is an established pattern of conduct by either the person seeking or the person opposing the relocation, either to promote or thwart the relationship of the child and the other party.
(6) How the relocation of the child will affect the general quality of life for the child, including but not limited to financial or emotional benefit and educational opportunity.
(7) The reasons for each person for seeking or opposing the relocation.
(8) The current employment and economic circumstances of each person and how the proposed relocation may affect the circumstances of the child.
(9) The extent to which the objecting person has fulfilled his financial obligations to the person seeking relocation, including child support, spousal support, and community property, and alimentary obligations.
(10) The feasibility of a relocation by the objecting person.
(11) Any history of substance abuse, harassment, or violence by either the person seeking or the person opposing relocation, including a consideration of the severity of the conduct and the failure or success of any attempts at rehabilitation.
(12) Any other factors affecting the best interest of the child.
B. The court may not consider whether the person seeking relocation of the child may relocate without the child if relocation is denied or whether the person opposing relocation may also relocate if relocation is allowed.
If you have questions about child relocation call Sonja Bradley your child custody and divorce attorney in Hammond Louisiana, Livingston Louisiana, Denham Springs, Louisiana, Walker Louisiana, Ponchatoula, Louisiana, Albany Louisiana, Amite Louisiana and surrounding areas.