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De St. Germain Law Office
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Slidell Louisiana Family Law Blog

Custody and Civility

Civility during a custody dispute. Does it exist? In an earlier article, How to Prepare for Divorce, one of the pointers was to "remain civil." I've received some feedback and questions on this point, wherein people asked, "can being too nice hurt my case?" And, more prevalently, "how to be nice when the other parent is not."

Grounds for Divorce in Louisiana

Louisiana does not require fault to obtain a divorce. This means that either spouse can petition the court for a divorce and the divorce shall be granted upon proof that the requisite periods of time have elapsed. Refer to the Divorce Process for a more detailed explanation. The requisite period of time is 365 days if you have children and 180 days if you do not. The other spouse cannot force you to stay married or go to marriage counseling. If you want a divorce, you can get one.

Continuing Tutorship

If you have a child between the ages of 15 and 17 with special needs, then you may qualify for Continuing Tutorship (or what other states more commonly refer to as guardianship).Once a child in Louisiana reaches the age of 18 they are considered a major in the eyes of the law and a parent can no longer act on their child's behalf such as making important medical and financial decisions.How can you as a parent continue to oversee your child's affairs?Continuing Tutorship is available when a person above the age of 15 possesses less than two-thirds of the average mental ability of a  person of standard ability of the same age, as evidenced by standard testing procedures (for example, IEP tests). Continuing Tutorship allows a parent to continue the parent and child relationship even after the child turns 18. Essentially the child would continue to be considered a "minor" which allows the parents to oversee the child's interests. Why not wait until your child turns 18? Once your child turns 18, you can no longer request continuing tutorship from the court but instead you would need to request for your child to be interdicted. Interdiction is a much more expensive and complicated legal procedure that requires an attorney to be appointed to represent your child, a court hearing, and possibly testimony from a medical professional. To learn more about estate planning for you and your child with special needs, contact at attorney at De St. Germain Law Office today, at (985) 718-4550 or by email to schedule a free initial consultation.

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