These two terms are often misunderstood when the care and decision making concerns of children are at stake in a divorce or child custody case. While often used, each has a very specific meaning under Louisiana Law!
Sole Custody means one parent has the sole, legal care and decision-making ability for a child. Sole custody is rare and is usually limited to situations where one parent is unfit or incapable of having any form of responsibility for a child -- for example, due to drug addiction or evidence of child abuse. With sole custody, the other parent may have periods of visitation.
Joint Custody means both parents share the care and decision-making ability for a child. Joint custody is preferred in Louisiana. Even if one parent has more actual physical custody of a child than the other, the custody is likely joint, with each parent able to exercise parental rights during their periods of custody (not visitation).
If you are going through a divorce or have questions about your custody agreement, give us a call at 985-240-9773.