I have helped a lot of families to understand what they need to do to get temporary custody of a child in Louisiana. If you need help, please give me a call at 225-907-5280. Whether you hire me to complete the paperwork or not, I will gladly answer any questions that you have. Let’s go over some of the most common ones that I hear.
What is temporary custody of a child? The grantor/principal assigns parental rights to the agent. The assignment of parental rights, created through a mandate (aka “power of attorney”) or court order, is temporary. In other words, you (the parent) give your rights to raise your child to another person, on a temporary basis.
How long does a temporary custody last in Louisiana? In the case of a court order, usually involving a divorce, the judge will decide the length of the custody. If you decide to grant temporary custody yourself, through a provisional custody by mandate, it can not last longer than one year.
If I grant someone temporary custody of my kid in Louisiana, can I change my mind? With every mandate (power of attorney) in Louisiana, the principal may cancel the mandate at any time. If you decide to cancel the mandate the next day, you can.
On the temporary custody of a child form that I have it says “Consent to and authorize such medical care,treatment, or surgery as may be deemed necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of the child.” What does that mean? One of the most important aspects of granting temporary custody is that you want your named agent to be able to represent you if your child becomes sick of injured. If your child was to end up in the hospital, you want your agent to be able to talk to the doctors and decide what treatment is needed.
On the form I have it says ” Enroll the child in such schools or educational institutions as may be deemed necessary for his due and proper education.” What does that mean? You need your agent to be able to register your child in school. With a properly executed provisional custody form, your kid’s school will allow your agent to do so.
My provisional custody form says “Discipline the child in such reasonable manner as may be necessary for his proper rearing, supervision, and training.” What does that mean? This one is sometimes controversial. If you want your agent to be able to discipline your child, authorize it. If you don’t, do not authorize this. It comes down to trust. If you know that your agent will be reasonable, and discipline the kids as you would, then you need to trust them.
My form says “Do and perform all other such acts as may be necessary for the shelter, support, and general welfare of the child.” What’s that? A parent’s job is to make sure their child is safe. This is what you want your agent to do. You want them to keep a good home, feed, and take care of your child.
What could go wrong? You really need to trust your agent completely! If your agent does not act as a parent should, we all know what could happen. It is extremely important for you to be 100% positive about this decision before ever granting your parental rights to someone else!
Can I use a provisional custody of a child if I will only be away for a month? Absolutely you should! Let’s say that you have to go away for a month on a business trip. It’s the middle of the school year, and your child will be living with your sister for that month. By using a Louisiana temporary custody mandate you are doing the right thing for your child. Now your sister can directly deal with the school, talk to doctors, and legally act in your place while you are gone. When you come back from your trip, you simply withdraw the mandate. To me, this approach shows love.
What if I want the guardianship to last longer than one year in Louisiana? Using the provisional custody by mandate, you can only get temporary custody for one year, at the most. If you want custody for longer than one year, you need to go to court. A temporary guardianship power of attorney is a very inexpensive way to have guardianship for one year. After the one year is up, you can always execute another provisional guardianship mandate.
How do I get temporary custody in Louisiana? How do I give someone temporary custody? It’s actually easy in Louisiana to get, or give, someone temporary custody. You simply fill out a provisional custody by mandate form, have everyone sign it in front of a notary (like me), and that’s it. It’s a really good idea to have at least two originals to keep in a safe place. You can make copies to give to your doctors and the schools, and of course you will have the originals in case they need them.
If you have any other questions that have not been answered here, just give me a call at 225-907-5280, or contact me by email. If you need help filling out the forms, or you want to meet in person, I can come directly to you 24/7 anywhere in the Greater Baton Rouge area.
* The discussion in this article is not legal advice, and it does not form an attorney-client contract. If you need an attorney, hire one!