Louisiana’s Military Parent and Child Custody Protection Act:
In 2010, Louisiana enacted the “Military Parent and Child Custody Protection Act,” which provides special protection for military families. The act provides in part:
“The court shall not enter a final order modifying the existing terms of a custody or visitation order until ninety days after the termination of deployment; however, if the matter was fully tried by a court prior to deployment, the court may enter a final order at any time.”
La. R.S. 9:359.2
“Deployment or the potential for future deployment alone shall not constitute a material change in circumstances for the permanent modification of
a custody or visitation order.”
La. R.S. 9:359.3
A. An existing order of custody or visitation may be temporarily modified to reasonably accommodate the deployment of a parent. Any such order issued in
accordance with the provisions of this Subpart shall be entered as a temporary order by the court.
B. Unless the court determines that it is not in the best interest of the child, a temporary modification order shall grant the deploying parent reasonable custody or visitation during periods of approved military leave if the existing order granted the deploying parent custody or visitation prior to deployment. All restrictions on the custody or visitation in the existing order shall remain in effect in the temporary modification order.
C. A temporary modification order shall specify that deployment is the reason for modification and shall require the other parent to provide the court and the deploying parent with written notice thirty days prior to a change of address or telephone number.
D. The court shall have an expedited hearing on any custody or visitation matters, upon the motion of a parent and for good cause shown, when military duties prevent the deploying parent from personally appearing at a hearing scheduled regularly on the docket.
La. R.S. 9:359.4
The court may delegate some or all of the deploying parent’s visitation, upon motion of the deploying parent, to a family member with a substantial
relationship to the child if the court determines it is in the best interest of the child. For the purposes of this Section, the court shall consider Civil Code Article 136 in determining the best interest of the child. Delegated visitation shall not create standing to assert separate visitation rights. Delegated visitation shall terminate by operation of law in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 9:359.5 or upon a showing that the delegated visitation is no longer in the best interest of the child.
La. R.S. 9:359.6
The court shall permit the presentation of testimony and evidence by affidavit or electronic means, upon motion of a parent and for good cause shown, when military duties prevent the deploying parent from personally appearing.
La. R.S. 9:359.7
These protections can play a large part in protecting the family when a military member is deployed.