Experienced Louisiana Family Law Attorneys Fighting for Your Rights
Mansfield Melancon’s family law attorneys always strive to get the best outcome possible for our clients fighting for their rights when facing difficult custody issues. Of all the long-term relationships we experience throughout our lives, family ties are often the most private, enduring, and emotional. As most can attest, however, these relationships are rarely free from conflict. Mansfield Melancon’s family law attorneys provide personal and individualized attention and advice that clients need and deserve during what may be the most difficult times of their lives.
Are step-parents granted visitation rights in the state of Louisiana?
Generally, it is an uphill battle for step-parents seeking visitation rights for a step-child, especially if the biological parents of the child are alive and are opposed to the visitation.
Under Louisiana law, legal provisions do exist to grant child visitation rights to step-parents under certain circumstances, so visitation can be readily applied for. In all cases, third-party visitation rights are more likely to be granted by the court if they are deemed to be in the best interests of the child.
Can other interested parties or relatives be granted visitation rights to a child in Louisiana?
Under state of Louisiana law, it may be possible for other individuals to be granted visitation rights by the court. This might include relatives other than the child's parents, previous caregivers, etc.
Can parents be granted visitation rights after termination of parental rights or adoption in Louisiana?
In the state of Louisiana it may not be possible to be granted visitation rights after losing parental rights or giving up a child for adoption. This is the case with both biological parents and previous guardians.
Laws on non-parent’s visitation
La. R.S. 9: 344: Visitation rights of grandparents and siblings
- If one of the parties to a marriage dies, is interdicted, or incarcerated, and there is a minor child or children of such marriage, the parents of the deceased, interdicted, or incarcerated party without custody of such minor child or children may have reasonable visitation rights to the child or children of the marriage during their minority, if the court in its discretion finds that such visitation rights would be in the best interest of the child or children.
- When the parents of a minor child or children live in concubinage and one of the parents dies, or is incarcerated, the parents of the deceased or incarcerated party may have reasonable visitation rights to the child or children during their minority, if the court in its discretion finds that such visitation rights would be in the best interest of the child or children.
- If one of the parties to a marriage dies or is incarcerated, the siblings of a minor child or children of the marriage may have reasonable visitation rights to such child or children during their minority if the court in its discretion finds that such visitation rights would be in the best interest of the child or children.
- If the parents of a minor child of the marriage have lived apart for a period of six months, in extraordinary circumstances, the grandparents or siblings of the child may have reasonable visitation rights to the child during his minority, if the court in its discretion finds that such visitation rights would be in the best interest of the child. In determining the best interest of the child the court shall consider the same factors contained in Civil Code Article 136(D). Extraordinary circumstances shall include a determination by a court that a parent is abusing a controlled dangerous substance.
La. Civil Code Art. 136. Award of visitation rights
- Subject to R.S. 9:341 and 364, a parent not granted custody or joint custody of a child is entitled to reasonable visitation rights unless the court finds, after a hearing, that visitation would not be in the best interest of the child.
- In addition to the parents referred to in Paragraph A of this Article, the following persons may be granted visitation if the parents of the child are not married or cohabitating with a person in the manner of married persons or if the parents of the child have filed a petition for divorce:
- A grandparent if the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child.
- Under extraordinary circumstances, any other relative, by blood or affinity, or a former stepparent or step-grandparent if the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child. Extraordinary circumstances shall include a determination by a court that a parent is abusing a controlled dangerous substance.
- Before making any determination under Subparagraph (B)(1) or (2) of this Article, the court shall hold a contradictory hearing as provided by R.S. 9:345 in order to determine whether the court should appoint an attorney to represent the child.
- In determining the best interest of the child under Subparagraph (B)(1) or (2) of this Article, the court shall consider only the following factors:
- A parent's fundamental constitutional right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their own children and the traditional presumption that a fit parent will act in the best interest of their children.
- The length and quality of the prior relationship between the child and the relative.
- Whether the child is in need of guidance, enlightenment, or tutelage which can best be provided by the relative.
- The preference of the child if he is determined to be of sufficient maturity to express a preference.
- The mental and physical health of the child and the relative.
- If the parents of a child are married and have not filed for divorce or they are living in concubinage, the provisions of R.S. 9:344 shall apply.
Schedule a Consultation with a Family Law Attorney at Mansfield Melancon today!
If you are in need of reliable legal advice regarding your best available options when dealing with Stepparents’ rights, contact a family law attorney at Mansfield Melancon immediately to make sure your rights and interests are being protected. We are committed to guiding the people whom we represent through the legal process with experience and personal attention.
Our firm also has a strong track record of getting optimal results for our clients.
Our offices are conveniently located in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Call us or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a Louisiana personal injury lawyer. You can reach us at our New Orleans location at 504-500-1108, our Baton Rouge location at 225-612-0800, or our Lafayette location at 337-409-0003.