Custody, Child Support And Visitation: What 'The Best Interests Of The Child' Means For You

Disputes about child custody, visitation and child support are difficult to resolve because of the emotional weight that they carry. Everyone wants his or her child to be safe and in good hands, but it can be hard to decipher what that looks like on paper without skilled legal advice.

Debra K. Henkels is an experienced family lawyer and certified mediator who brings insight to your situation while explaining the law as it relates to you personally. Having practiced Louisiana family law in St. Tammany Parish for more than 23 years, she has handled custody cases involving divorce, paternity, parent relocations and modifications.

Understanding What Is At Stake In Custody Determinations

Unless it is impractical, it's preferred that both parents agree to some form of joint custody. Joint custody does not necessarily mean equal custody, but rather that both parents play a part. Typically, one person is appointed as the domiciliary parent and the other is awarded visitation rights. The domiciliary parent is granted physical custody, is entitled to child support and has the final say in decisions affecting the child's well-being.

To identify what is in the best interests of your children so that you can make informed, empowered decisions for their future and yours, contact our law firm to schedule a consultation.

We will help you weigh the full effects of various custody and visitation arrangements and speak to you realistically about the likelihood of your being awarded domiciliary status if you are involved in a contested divorce. We also work with unmarried parents involved in child custody disputes, whether they need a temporary order or the modification or enforcement of an existing court order.

When Is It Smart To Work With A Mediator?

Mediation costs a fraction of what litigation does. If you and your partner can find an experienced family mediator whom you trust to coordinate a discussion about custody and visitation rights, it is well worth pursuing.

Submit an online contact form or call 985-288-1726 to speak with attorney and certified family mediator Debra K. Henkels about obtaining custody or modifying an existing child custody or child support agreement. For your convenience, we have offices in Slidell and Mandeville.