Legal Question in Family Law in Louisiana

Child custody and physical abuse

A friend of mine just went through a divorce hearing in Hicks Louisiana. The judge, who was her husbands family lawyer for years, ruled that the divorce be granted on the grounds of physical abuse. He also stated in his ruling that there was evidence of the children being abuse by their father. He claimed that the abuse by the father was caused by the abuse to his wife and granted custody of the children to their father. She is now living with me in Canada and has been ordered to return the children to their father on July 4th, 1998. She is allowed to have the children for one month in the summer and for one week at Christmas. The judge claims he had to use some 12 step process to award custody. We had understood that in a case where there was physical abuse the children WOULD NOT be awarded to the abusive parent. Her lawyer is suppose to be filing an appeal. Is there anything else we can do so she does not have to return the children to her husband.

Asked on 5/14/98, 3:46 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Lawrence (Larry) Hoffing New Orleans Law, LLC

Child custody and physical abuse

If I were Dear Abby I would suggest that a friend who gets involved in her friend's divorce and custody case has a really good change of becoming an ex friend; I would suggest that you stay out of it. Without seeing the record, it is difficult to pass judgment or give an educated opinion. Be that as it may, there are some general rules that apply to this situation. Some questions first. Did your friend's attorney ask that the judge be recused? On the surface, there appear to be some ethical and conflict of interest questions raised by the judge's representation of the husband. Simple kidnapping includes the taking away of a child to avoid custody. This also may give rise to the husband being being able to suspend child support. Have u considered asking for asylum based on a weell grounded fear of harm to the child should she be returned to the states? This would necessita e getting Canadian counsel.

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Answered on 6/03/98, 10:28 pm

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