@BLF Blog

Posts tagged Custody
Mediation is an alternative to litigation

Recognizing that your relationship or marriage is coming to end is one of the most difficult decisions a person can make. Many people have an overwhelming sense of uncertainty for the future as they see their lives headed towards the turmoil of litigation over ending their marriage, custody of their children, and division of their property. There is an under-utilized alternative, however.

Mediation is a collaborative process involving the parties to a conflict work with a neutral third-party to come to an agreement as to all aspects of their conflict. In a divorce/family law case, an attorney who has been trained in the art of mediation can help you reach a comprehensive agreement that will avoid the uncertainty and cost of contested litigation.

Research shows that mediated agreements result in more satisfaction by the parties and a lower chance that they will return to court in the future. When parents raise their children together in a low-conflict situation, the children are more likely to grow up to become healthy, well-adjusted adults. The mediation process can help start you on the road to collaborative parenting. For more information, check out this article:


If you or someone you know would benefit from a consultation to determine if mediation could work in your case, contact Bowers Law Firm at (318) 798-2540 to schedule an appointment. 

When is Awarding Custody to a Non-Parent Appropriate?

Under Louisiana law, it is extremely difficult to be awarded custody of a child if you are not the child’s parent. However, sometimes it is appropriate in circumstances where awarding custody to the parents would be harmful to the child.  

Recently, the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal decided just such a case. The child in question had been placed in the sole custody of her mother. However, the child had been living with cousins for a long period of time. The cousins eventually asked the court for sole custody of the girl.

At trial, the cousins proved that the mother had eight children in total. They were all being raised by someone other than the mother. There was a history of the children performing poorly in school. The child was left in the custody of the cousins for long periods of time with no assistance from the mother. The mother also made no effort to attend to the child’s diagnosed learning disability. When the child was living with the cousins, she did well in school and flourished. When she was living with her mother, her grades went from being an A-B student to failing.

The trial court and court of appeal agreed this was the kind of case where it was appropriate to award custody to the cousins to protect the child and give her the best chance at succeeding in life.

Cases like this are tough for the parties, attorneys, and judges. No one wants to take a child away from her parents. However, sometimes, that is what is required to give a child a chance to grow up in a happy, healthy environment. The courts did their job in this case in protecting that little girl, and they should be applauded.

Clinton BowersCustodyComment
Preparing for a Child Custody Battle...

No one wants to be caught up in a nasty child custody fight. It isn't good for anyone. It's not good for the parties. It's not good for the children involved. But, sometimes, there's no getting around a fight. We've learned through the years that the public has a misconception as to what matters in a child custody case. 

One thing to keep in mind is that there is no rule that says that the courts are to favor the mother. This so-called "maternal preference rule" has long been abandoned as discriminatory by our courts. The major consideration the courts consider now is "best interest of the child." This means, the court will weigh and balance a whole slew of factors when deciding to whom custody of your child should be awarded. These include evidence of love, affection, and emotional ties with your child; the length of time your child has lived in your residence; school history; physical health; mental health; the willingness of the parties to cooperate with each other; the previous responsibilities exercised by each parent; and the moral fitness of the parties.

The court can award joint custody, sole custody, or custody to a third party. Most cases are going to fall into the category of joint custody. However, there are some instances where sole custody is appropriate to protect a child's best interests. If you think you are going to be facing a contested custody fight, then you should consult with one of our attorneys who can help you review the facts of your particular case and develop a strategy that gives you the best change for a favorable outcome.

That's all for now! Stay tuned for more @BLF Blog updates!