As a general rule, you are encouraged to take an active role in your child’s life after a divorce. However, Louisiana law will likely allow your former spouse to also take an active role in your child’s life. Therefore, you will likely need to maintain a civil relationship with this person for years to come.

Don’t put the child in the middle

It is important that a child is not used as a pawn in a fight between yourself and your former spouse. You can minimize the possibility of doing so by refraining from saying anything negative about the child’s other parent. It may be possible to minimize conflict with the other parent by communicating electronically or by taking other steps to reduce direct contact with that person.

Create a uniform set of rules and expectations

Ideally, you will work with your child’s other parent to create rules and boundaries that will be enforced at all times and in both households. Generally speaking, children tend to be more confident when they know what is expected of them whether they are toddlers or teenagers.

Communicate regularly with your children

It is important that you consistently ask your children how they are feeling or what they think about their new lifestyle. It is not uncommon for young people to feel sad, anxious or depressed after their parents stop living together. It may be best to ask open-ended questions so that your child doesn’t feel as if he or she is being compelled to provide information about the other parent.

A judge may allow you to have physical or legal custody rights to a child if obtaining those rights is in a child’s best interest. An attorney may be able to help you show a judge that you are mentally, physically and financially fit to raise your son or daughter.

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