Men face unique issues in divorce, custody, visitation, child support and paternity. When parents divorce or unmarried parents split up, neither has a natural right to enjoy custody pending your first court appearance. Louisiana does not have temporary custody pending a court judgment, unless one of two things has been alleged:

1) the need for emergency custody,
2) domestic violence.

If one party alleges that the other parent poses a danger to the children pending the first court appearance, then a civil court judge may grant emergency (without hearing) temporary custody to one parent.

Some examples of a danger to the children are:
a DWI, an arrest, illegal or illicit drug use, hospitalization for mental illness and a diagnosed mental illness. If one party alleges that the other parent has committed an act of domestic violence, then a civil court judge may grant a restraining order (without hearing) including temporary custody to one parent, pending hearing on a Petition for Protection from Domestic Abuse. Additionally, if one parent has been arrested for an act of domestic violence, then a criminal court judge may grant a restraining order of temporary custody under Gwen’s law.

Divorced Fathers’ Rights:
Divorced Fathers have the same rights as divorced mothers in seeking custody or visitation, and same obligation as divorced mothers to contribute to the support of their children. Unmarried Fathers’ Rights: Merely being on a child’s birth certificate is not a Judgment of Paternity. Law enforcement will usually, but not always, recognize paternity if a Father is on the birth certificate, however it is not a judgment of paternity. When an unmarried Dad seeks custody or visitation, a Petition for Filiation, will also have to be filed. Another potential complication exists if the Mother is divorced after conception but before birth, or married at the time of conception or birth. Louisiana then recognizes an antiquated legal precept of dual paternity. This means that a child may have a biological Dad and legal Dad. To undo this morass, a disavowal, will have to be done. However, it can only be done with the consent of the legal Dad. Until a disavowal is done, a child may have two Fathers.

Paternity & Disavowal:
If a former girlfriend or wife asserts that you are the Dad and you have ANY doubts, buy a paternity test at your local drug store or online IMMEDIATELY to determine if you are the Father. If you are, congratulations! If the mother won’t give you access to the child, go see a lawyer ASAP. If you are not the Father and you were or are married to the mother, or your name is on the birth certificate, call a lawyer NOW. There are time limits on being able to get your name off the birth certificate. Similarly, if you believe a child is yours and you are not being allowed time with your child, call a lawyer TODAY.

There are time limits on your being able to assert your paternal rights if the mother has married someone else. Ellen Cronin Badeaux, LLC has 24 years of experience representing Dads and husbands in Amite, Baton Rouge, Chalmette, Covington, Denham Springs, Franklinton, Gonzales, Gretna, Hammond, Harvey, Kenner, Livingston, Madisonville, Mandeville, Metairie, New Orleans and Slidell, in Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Livingston, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington Parishes. Call 985-892-1955 for a office consultation or free phone consultation.

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“I would like to thank your firm for everything you’ve done to help me keep 50/50 custody of my son. I came to you on very short notice but you knew exactly how to handle my case and I couldn’t be happier. I’m sure I will be working with you again in the future.”
“After retaining two lawyers who made no progress, I retained Ellen Cronin Badeaux. Yesterday was our first hearing together and it was a major success. Ellen was professional, diligent, and a fighter…I am very glad I found her and will refer her to others without a doubt.”
“Ms. Badeaux has been an excellent family attorney for us. Her time and personal commitment have allowed us to make informed decisions. We have had to trust her with very delicate and emotional issues and she has guided us to excellent outcomes. I will always appreciate the exceptional service she provides our family with. I have always liked the statement, “you get what you pay for”; and Mrs. Badeaux has been well worth it.”
“Extremely knowledgeable and aggressive attorney. She has been our attorney for nearly 10 years. I highly recommend her for any family court matters.”
“I have used Ms. Badeaux as my attorney off and on for 15 years. She has settled everything without a fuss; including a personal injury suit, an estate settlement and the quick setup of a partnership. I will continue to use her as my attorney and happily recommend her to friends & family.”
“No one thought I could win but with her valuable service and exceptional legal knowledge, I did! I got my kids back and they’re still with me today. I highly recommend Ellen Badeaux. I would not have my kids today if not for her!”

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