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Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support in Louisiana

Authored By: Louisiana Family Law Task Force

FAQ

What is child support?

This is money to help the other parent raise the child(ren) and to pay for everyday living expenses for them.

Who can get child support?

A married, unmarried, or divorced parent, who has physical custody of a child, can get child support. This is a parent, who takes care of a child, called the primary caretaker or domiciliary parent. As long as a parent is the biological father of the child, you can get child support from him.

Nonparents such as grandparents may get child support from the biological parents if they have legal custody of a child.

How do I get child support?

1. You may get child support if the other parentagrees to pay you money to help raise a child.

2. You may also get child support from that parent by filing papers with the court. These papers are called a Rule for Child Support or Petition for Divorce. You may use Child Support Enforcement Services to help you. You work with the caseworker, who will work with the District Attorney’s Office for you. The district attorney will file court papers to help you get child support from the other parent. You may also hire a private attorney or use a legal services attorney if you are qualified for their free service.

Usually, if you have questions about child support, the first and best place to start is to call the Child Support Enforcement Services office in your area. You may have to pay a fee from $10.00 to $25.00 to get their help.

Click here for information about your local Child Support Enforcement Office

When should I try to get child support?

When you need the money to raise a child, and when you are separated or live apart from the other parent.

What court do I use, to get child support started?

You may file a petition for divorce requesting child support in a state district court, or you can file a rule for child support in state district or juvenile court. You file papers for child support in the parish where you and your child live, where the father of the child lives, where the child was conceived or born, or where the father acknowledged that he is the father of the child.

The parent of my child avoided getting the court papers and is hiding from the sheriff.  Can I still get child support?

Yes, you can. It may just take a longer time for you to get child support. If Child Support Enforcement Services is helping you, the state will try to get the court papers to them so that they know about the hearing date. The state will try to find the absent parent by using their social security number. But as a last resort, the court may appoint a curator ad hoc (someone to represent the absent parent). The curator ad hoc will be served with the court papers and will represent the absent parent at the child support hearing. The curator ad hoc will try to let absent parent know that there is a child support hearing coming up. Once that is done by the curator, your attorney or the state’s attorney will be able to ask the court to order child support.

How much child support can I get?

It depends on

  • the number of children you have with the other parent,
  • your income,
  • the other parent’s income, and
  • the kind of custody you have of the child (shared or not).

Child support in Louisiana is based on the need of the child or children and the ability of the other parent to pay child support. (That is, the child support amount will be based on how much you make and how much the other parent makes).

Here are some examples. (1) If you have one child living with you (you have custody), you make $893.00 a month, and the other parent makes $1,000.00 a month. Your child support amount will be $171.09 based on the child support guidelines. (2) You have what is called “shared custody,” (the child lives with you and the other parent gets to see the child almost half of the time of the year). You make $500.00 and the other parent makes $1,000.00 a month. Then the other parent will owe you $13.73 dollars a month instead of $171.09 a month.

How do I get the amount of child support changed?

You may get the amount of child support changed if there is a material change of circumstances (this is when the custody arrangement is changed, yours or the other parent’s income has changed, or there have been other big changes in your family life). For example:

  • Instead of having shared custody, the other parent sees the child much less than 50% of the time in a year and the child lives with you more now. You may get the child support order changed to get more money.
  • The child’s needs have increased (for example, you may need more money as the child gets older).
  • The other parent makes more money and it has been more than three years since you were in court to get child support.
What if the other parent is not working and does not have any income, can I still get child support?

Yes, because the law requires a non-custodial parent (that is, a parent who does not live with the child) pay a minimum amount of child support. That minimum amount is $100.00 a month for any number of children. But if your custody arrangement is shared or split custody, then there is no requirement. The law also requires that at least minimum wage be counted as the other parent’s income.

Can I get child support from the other parent if he or she is disabled or cannot work and is receiving SSI, or SSDI?

No, you will not be able to receive child support if the other parent is receiving SSI, and can prove that he cannot work. But you may be able to receive child support if the other parent is receiving SSDI (disability insurance).

What if the father of my child claims not to be the biological father?

You need to prove he is the father by asking the court to order or require him to take a DNA test. If you have help from the Child Support Enforcement Services, the state will order the test . The father will pay for the test if he is found to be the father. If he is found not to be the father of your child, then he does not have to pay for the testing or the child support.

Do I have to go to court to get a custody order before I can get the child support order?

No. At your child support hearing, you will be asked where the child lives and who is living with the child, and many other questions about your and the other parent’s income.

The father or mother of my child has not paid child support since they were ordered to do so. What do I do?

If you got the child support order with the help of Child Support Enforcement Services, speak to your caseworker. The caseworker will contact the parent and try to work something out with them. Or, the caseworker – through the District Attorney’s Office – will go to court and file a Rule for Contempt. The other parent will be called back into court for a contempt hearing and can be put in jail for not paying child support since the last court date. Privately paid attorneys may also do this and get attorney’s fees.

My child’s mother/father is not paying child support.  I live in a different parish now.  Do I have to go back to the court which gave me the child support order to try to get him or her to pay now?

Maybe. You don’t have to go back to the other court if you register the child support order with the court in the parish where you are living in now. You register by filing the child support order with the court in the parish where you are living now. This is like filing with the court to start child support again. You need to serve the father or mother with court papers: either by certified registered mail or by having the sheriff’s office serve the papers.

But if you don’t want to register the order with the new court, you have to go back to the first court.

Now the parent of my child does not work and does not have any money.  How do I get them to pay for child support?

You take the other parent back to court by filing papers with the court with the help of Child Support Enforcement Services or an attorney. The court will order the other parent to pay child support based on the minimum wage or based on their past earning capacity or potential earning capacity (that is, what he or she used to earn, or is capable of earning).

However, a custodial parent of a child born of both parents under the age of 5 is not required to work, and a judge cannot make a parent of a child younger than five pay child support.

I have a child support hearing scheduled with Child Support Enforcement Services and the District Attorney’s Office. But I also have a custody hearing a few weeks after that. Should I wait for the custody hearing?

Child support is separate from custody and visitation. You should go to the child support hearing, and custody will be decided later. If there are any changes, then the parent who has to pay child support has to go back to court and get the child support amount changed.

Last Review and Update: May 17, 2007

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Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support in Louisiana

Authored By: Louisiana Family Law Task Force

FAQ

What is child support?

This is money to help the other parent raise the child(ren) and to pay for everyday living expenses for them.

Who can get child support?

A married, unmarried, or divorced parent, who has physical custody of a child, can get child support. This is a parent, who takes care of a child, called the primary caretaker or domiciliary parent. As long as a parent is the biological father of the child, you can get child support from him.

Nonparents such as grandparents may get child support from the biological parents if they have legal custody of a child.

How do I get child support?

1. You may get child support if the other parentagrees to pay you money to help raise a child.

2. You may also get child support from that parent by filing papers with the court. These papers are called a Rule for Child Support or Petition for Divorce. You may use Child Support Enforcement Services to help you. You work with the caseworker, who will work with the District Attorney’s Office for you. The district attorney will file court papers to help you get child support from the other parent. You may also hire a private attorney or use a legal services attorney if you are qualified for their free service.

Usually, if you have questions about child support, the first and best place to start is to call the Child Support Enforcement Services office in your area. You may have to pay a fee from $10.00 to $25.00 to get their help.

Click here for information about your local Child Support Enforcement Office

When should I try to get child support?

When you need the money to raise a child, and when you are separated or live apart from the other parent.

What court do I use, to get child support started?

You may file a petition for divorce requesting child support in a state district court, or you can file a rule for child support in state district or juvenile court. You file papers for child support in the parish where you and your child live, where the father of the child lives, where the child was conceived or born, or where the father acknowledged that he is the father of the child.

The parent of my child avoided getting the court papers and is hiding from the sheriff.  Can I still get child support?

Yes, you can. It may just take a longer time for you to get child support. If Child Support Enforcement Services is helping you, the state will try to get the court papers to them so that they know about the hearing date. The state will try to find the absent parent by using their social security number. But as a last resort, the court may appoint a curator ad hoc (someone to represent the absent parent). The curator ad hoc will be served with the court papers and will represent the absent parent at the child support hearing. The curator ad hoc will try to let absent parent know that there is a child support hearing coming up. Once that is done by the curator, your attorney or the state’s attorney will be able to ask the court to order child support.

How much child support can I get?

It depends on

  • the number of children you have with the other parent,
  • your income,
  • the other parent’s income, and
  • the kind of custody you have of the child (shared or not).

Child support in Louisiana is based on the need of the child or children and the ability of the other parent to pay child support. (That is, the child support amount will be based on how much you make and how much the other parent makes).

Here are some examples. (1) If you have one child living with you (you have custody), you make $893.00 a month, and the other parent makes $1,000.00 a month. Your child support amount will be $171.09 based on the child support guidelines. (2) You have what is called “shared custody,” (the child lives with you and the other parent gets to see the child almost half of the time of the year). You make $500.00 and the other parent makes $1,000.00 a month. Then the other parent will owe you $13.73 dollars a month instead of $171.09 a month.

How do I get the amount of child support changed?

You may get the amount of child support changed if there is a material change of circumstances (this is when the custody arrangement is changed, yours or the other parent’s income has changed, or there have been other big changes in your family life). For example:

  • Instead of having shared custody, the other parent sees the child much less than 50% of the time in a year and the child lives with you more now. You may get the child support order changed to get more money.
  • The child’s needs have increased (for example, you may need more money as the child gets older).
  • The other parent makes more money and it has been more than three years since you were in court to get child support.
What if the other parent is not working and does not have any income, can I still get child support?

Yes, because the law requires a non-custodial parent (that is, a parent who does not live with the child) pay a minimum amount of child support. That minimum amount is $100.00 a month for any number of children. But if your custody arrangement is shared or split custody, then there is no requirement. The law also requires that at least minimum wage be counted as the other parent’s income.

Can I get child support from the other parent if he or she is disabled or cannot work and is receiving SSI, or SSDI?

No, you will not be able to receive child support if the other parent is receiving SSI, and can prove that he cannot work. But you may be able to receive child support if the other parent is receiving SSDI (disability insurance).

What if the father of my child claims not to be the biological father?

You need to prove he is the father by asking the court to order or require him to take a DNA test. If you have help from the Child Support Enforcement Services, the state will order the test . The father will pay for the test if he is found to be the father. If he is found not to be the father of your child, then he does not have to pay for the testing or the child support.

Do I have to go to court to get a custody order before I can get the child support order?

No. At your child support hearing, you will be asked where the child lives and who is living with the child, and many other questions about your and the other parent’s income.

The father or mother of my child has not paid child support since they were ordered to do so. What do I do?

If you got the child support order with the help of Child Support Enforcement Services, speak to your caseworker. The caseworker will contact the parent and try to work something out with them. Or, the caseworker – through the District Attorney’s Office – will go to court and file a Rule for Contempt. The other parent will be called back into court for a contempt hearing and can be put in jail for not paying child support since the last court date. Privately paid attorneys may also do this and get attorney’s fees.

My child’s mother/father is not paying child support.  I live in a different parish now.  Do I have to go back to the court which gave me the child support order to try to get him or her to pay now?

Maybe. You don’t have to go back to the other court if you register the child support order with the court in the parish where you are living in now. You register by filing the child support order with the court in the parish where you are living now. This is like filing with the court to start child support again. You need to serve the father or mother with court papers: either by certified registered mail or by having the sheriff’s office serve the papers.

But if you don’t want to register the order with the new court, you have to go back to the first court.

Now the parent of my child does not work and does not have any money.  How do I get them to pay for child support?

You take the other parent back to court by filing papers with the court with the help of Child Support Enforcement Services or an attorney. The court will order the other parent to pay child support based on the minimum wage or based on their past earning capacity or potential earning capacity (that is, what he or she used to earn, or is capable of earning).

However, a custodial parent of a child born of both parents under the age of 5 is not required to work, and a judge cannot make a parent of a child younger than five pay child support.

I have a child support hearing scheduled with Child Support Enforcement Services and the District Attorney’s Office. But I also have a custody hearing a few weeks after that. Should I wait for the custody hearing?

Child support is separate from custody and visitation. You should go to the child support hearing, and custody will be decided later. If there are any changes, then the parent who has to pay child support has to go back to court and get the child support amount changed.

Last Review and Update: May 17, 2007
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Page Content Site Navigation Footer LHEnglish Spanish All Languages Hide Visit Legal Topics Find a Lawyer GO Advanced Search SHARE EMAIL PRINT FRIENDLY Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support in Louisiana Authored By: Louisiana Family Law Task Force FAQ What is child support? This is money to help the other parent raise the child(ren) and to pay for everyday living expenses for them. Who can get child support? A married, unmarried, or divorced parent, who has physical custody of a child, can get child support. This is a parent, who takes care of a child, called the primary caretaker or domiciliary parent. As long as a parent is the biological father of the child, you can get child support from him. Nonparents such as grandparents may get child support from the biological parents if they have legal custody of a child. How do I get child support? 1. You may get child support if the other parentagrees to pay you money to help raise a child. 2. You may also get child support from that parent by filing papers with the court. These papers are called a Rule for Child Support or Petition for Divorce. You may use Child Support Enforcement Services to help you. You work with the caseworker, who will work with the District Attorney’s Office for you. The district attorney will file court papers to help you get child support from the other parent. You may also hire a private attorney or use a legal services attorney if you are qualified for their free service. Usually, if you have questions about child support, the first and best place to start is to call the Child Support Enforcement Services office in your area. You may have to pay a fee from $10.00 to $25.00 to get their help. Click here for information about your local Child Support Enforcement Office When should I try to get child support? When you need the money to raise a child, and when you are separated or live apart from the other parent. What court do I use, to get child support started? You may file a petition for divorce requesting child support in a state district court, or you can file a rule for child support in state district or juvenile court. You file papers for child support in the parish where you and your child live, where the father of the child lives, where the child was conceived or born, or where the father acknowledged that he is the father of the child. The parent of my child avoided getting the court papers and is hiding from the sheriff.  Can I still get child support? Yes, you can. It may just take a longer time for you to get child support. If Child Support Enforcement Services is helping you, the state will try to get the court papers to them so that they know about the hearing date. The state will try to find the absent parent by using their social security number. But as a last resort, the court may appoint a curator ad hoc (someone to represent the absent parent). The curator ad hoc will be served with the court papers and will represent the absent parent at the child support hearing. The curator ad hoc will try to let absent parent know that there is a child support hearing coming up. Once that is done by the curator, your attorney or the state’s attorney will be able to ask the court to order child support. How much child support can I get? It depends on the number of children you have with the other parent, your income, the other parent’s income, and the kind of custody you have of the child (shared or not). Child support in Louisiana is based on the need of the child or children and the ability of the other parent to pay child support. (That is, the child support amount will be based on how much you make and how much the other parent makes). Here are some examples. (1) If you have one child living with you (you have custody), you make $893.00 a month, and the other parent makes $1,000.00 a month. Your child support amount will be $171.09 based on the child support guidelines. (2) You have what is called “shared custody,” (the child lives with you and the other parent gets to see the child almost half of the time of the year). You make $500.00 and the other parent makes $1,000.00 a month. Then the other parent will owe you $13.73 dollars a month instead of $171.09 a month. How do I get the amount of child support changed? You may get the amount of child support changed if there is a material change of circumstances (this is when the custody arrangement is changed, yours or the other parent’s income has changed, or there have been other big changes in your family life). For example: Instead of having shared custody, the other parent sees the child much less than 50% of the time in a year and the child lives with you more now. You may get the child support order changed to get more money. The child’s needs have increased (for example, you may need more money as the child gets older). The other parent makes more money and it has been more than three years since you were in court to get child support. What if the other parent is not working and does not have any income, can I still get child support? Yes, because the law requires a non-custodial parent (that is, a parent who does not live with the child) pay a minimum amount of child support. That minimum amount is $100.00 a month for any number of children. But if your custody arrangement is shared or split custody, then there is no requirement. The law also requires that at least minimum wage be counted as the other parent’s income. Can I get child support from the other parent if he or she is disabled or cannot work and is receiving SSI, or SSDI? No, you will not be able to receive child support if the other parent is receiving SSI, and can prove that he cannot work. But you may be able to receive child support if the other parent is receiving SSDI (disability insurance). What if the father of my child claims not to be the biological father? You need to prove he is the father by asking the court to order or require him to take a DNA test. If you have help from the Child Support Enforcement Services, the state will order the test . The father will pay for the test if he is found to be the father. If he is found not to be the father of your child, then he does not have to pay for the testing or the child support. Do I have to go to court to get a custody order before I can get the child support order? No. At your child support hearing, you will be asked where the child lives and who is living with the child, and many other questions about your and the other parent’s income. The father or mother of my child has not paid child support since they were ordered to do so. What do I do? If you got the child support order with the help of Child Support Enforcement Services, speak to your caseworker. The caseworker will contact the parent and try to work something out with them. Or, the caseworker – through the District Attorney’s Office – will go to court and file a Rule for Contempt. The other parent will be called back into court for a contempt hearing and can be put in jail for not paying child support since the last court date. Privately paid attorneys may also do this and get attorney’s fees. My child’s mother/father is not paying child support.  I live in a different parish now.  Do I have to go back to the court which gave me the child support order to try to get him or her to pay now? Maybe. You don’t have to go back to the other court if you register the child support order with the court in the parish where you are living in now. You register by filing the child support order with the court in the parish where you are living now. This is like filing with the court to start child support again. You need to serve the father or mother with court papers: either by certified registered mail or by having the sheriff’s office serve the papers. But if you don’t want to register the order with the new court, you have to go back to the first court. Now the parent of my child does not work and does not have any money.  How do I get them to pay for child support? You take the other parent back to court by filing papers with the court with the help of Child Support Enforcement Services or an attorney. The court will order the other parent to pay child support based on the minimum wage or based on their past earning capacity or potential earning capacity (that is, what he or she used to earn, or is capable of earning). However, a custodial parent of a child born of both parents under the age of 5 is not required to work, and a judge cannot make a parent of a child younger than five pay child support. I have a child support hearing scheduled with Child Support Enforcement Services and the District Attorney’s Office. But I also have a custody hearing a few weeks after that. Should I wait for the custody hearing? Child support is separate from custody and visitation. You should go to the child support hearing, and custody will be decided later. If there are any changes, then the parent who has to pay child support has to go back to court and get the child support amount changed. Last Review and Update: May 17, 2007 Legal Topics Apply Online for Free Legal Help Self-Help Tools Family Work Housing Voting, Consitutional and Civil Rights Public Benefits Money, Debt, ID Theft Disasters Wills & Life Planning Seniors Disability Health Legal System Taxes Youth Rights Schools Art & Culture Find a Lawyer Search by program name Louisiana About Us Feedback Get Help! LawHelp with Sound Survey Using this site Site Tools Accessibility Contact Us Disclaimer Privacy powered by probono.net © 2001 – 2019, Pro Bono Net, All Rights Reserved. Legal Help in Other States Set your location Page Content Site Navigation Footer LHEnglish Spanish All Languages Hide Visit Legal Topics Find a Lawyer GO Advanced Search SHARE EMAIL PRINT FRIENDLY Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support in Louisiana Authored By: Louisiana Family Law Task Force FAQ What is child support? This is money to help the other parent raise the child(ren) and to pay for everyday living expenses for them. Who can get child support? A married, unmarried, or divorced parent, who has physical custody of a child, can get child support. This is a parent, who takes care of a child, called the primary caretaker or domiciliary parent. As long as a parent is the biological father of the child, you can get child support from him. Nonparents such as grandparents may get child support from the biological parents if they have legal custody of a child. How do I get child support? 1. You may get child support if the other parentagrees to pay you money to help raise a child. 2. You may also get child support from that parent by filing papers with the court. These papers are called a Rule for Child Support or Petition for Divorce. You may use Child Support Enforcement Services to help you. You work with the caseworker, who will work with the District Attorney’s Office for you. The district attorney will file court papers to help you get child support from the other parent. You may also hire a private attorney or use a legal services attorney if you are qualified for their free service. Usually, if you have questions about child support, the first and best place to start is to call the Child Support Enforcement Services office in your area. You may have to pay a fee from $10.00 to $25.00 to get their help. Click here for information about your local Child Support Enforcement Office When should I try to get child support? When you need the money to raise a child, and when you are separated or live apart from the other parent. What court do I use, to get child support started? You may file a petition for divorce requesting child support in a state district court, or you can file a rule for child support in state district or juvenile court. You file papers for child support in the parish where you and your child live, where the father of the child lives, where the child was conceived or born, or where the father acknowledged that he is the father of the child. The parent of my child avoided getting the court papers and is hiding from the sheriff.  Can I still get child support? Yes, you can. It may just take a longer time for you to get child support. If Child Support Enforcement Services is helping you, the state will try to get the court papers to them so that they know about the hearing date. The state will try to find the absent parent by using their social security number. But as a last resort, the court may appoint a curator ad hoc (someone to represent the absent parent). The curator ad hoc will be served with the court papers and will represent the absent parent at the child support hearing. The curator ad hoc will try to let absent parent know that there is a child support hearing coming up. Once that is done by the curator, your attorney or the state’s attorney will be able to ask the court to order child support. How much child support can I get? It depends on the number of children you have with the other parent, your income, the other parent’s income, and the kind of custody you have of the child (shared or not). Child support in Louisiana is based on the need of the child or children and the ability of the other parent to pay child support. (That is, the child support amount will be based on how much you make and how much the other parent makes). Here are some examples. (1) If you have one child living with you (you have custody), you make $893.00 a month, and the other parent makes $1,000.00 a month. Your child support amount will be $171.09 based on the child support guidelines. (2) You have what is called “shared custody,” (the child lives with you and the other parent gets to see the child almost half of the time of the year). You make $500.00 and the other parent makes $1,000.00 a month. Then the other parent will owe you $13.73 dollars a month instead of $171.09 a month. How do I get the amount of child support changed? You may get the amount of child support changed if there is a material change of circumstances (this is when the custody arrangement is changed, yours or the other parent’s income has changed, or there have been other big changes in your family life). For example: Instead of having shared custody, the other parent sees the child much less than 50% of the time in a year and the child lives with you more now. You may get the child support order changed to get more money. The child’s needs have increased (for example, you may need more money as the child gets older). The other parent makes more money and it has been more than three years since you were in court to get child support. What if the other parent is not working and does not have any income, can I still get child support? Yes, because the law requires a non-custodial parent (that is, a parent who does not live with the child) pay a minimum amount of child support. That minimum amount is $100.00 a month for any number of children. But if your custody arrangement is shared or split custody, then there is no requirement. The law also requires that at least minimum wage be counted as the other parent’s income. Can I get child support from the other parent if he or she is disabled or cannot work and is receiving SSI, or SSDI? No, you will not be able to receive child support if the other parent is receiving SSI, and can prove that he cannot work. But you may be able to receive child support if the other parent is receiving SSDI (disability insurance). What if the father of my child claims not to be the biological father? You need to prove he is the father by asking the court to order or require him to take a DNA test. If you have help from the Child Support Enforcement Services, the state will order the test . The father will pay for the test if he is found to be the father. If he is found not to be the father of your child, then he does not have to pay for the testing or the child support. Do I have to go to court to get a custody order before I can get the child support order? No. At your child support hearing, you will be asked where the child lives and who is living with the child, and many other questions about your and the other parent’s income. The father or mother of my child has not paid child support since they were ordered to do so. What do I do? If you got the child support order with the help of Child Support Enforcement Services, speak to your caseworker. The caseworker will contact the parent and try to work something out with them. Or, the caseworker – through the District Attorney’s Office – will go to court and file a Rule for Contempt. The other parent will be called back into court for a contempt hearing and can be put in jail for not paying child support since the last court date. Privately paid attorneys may also do this and get attorney’s fees. My child’s mother/father is not paying child support.  I live in a different parish now.  Do I have to go back to the court which gave me the child support order to try to get him or her to pay now? Maybe. You don’t have to go back to the other court if you register the child support order with the court in the parish where you are living in now. You register by filing the child support order with the court in the parish where you are living now. This is like filing with the court to start child support again. You need to serve the father or mother with court papers: either by certified registered mail or by having the sheriff’s office serve the papers. But if you don’t want to register the order with the new court, you have to go back to the first court. Now the parent of my child does not work and does not have any money.  How do I get them to pay for child support? You take the other parent back to court by filing papers with the court with the help of Child Support Enforcement Services or an attorney. The court will order the other parent to pay child support based on the minimum wage or based on their past earning capacity or potential earning capacity (that is, what he or she used to earn, or is capable of earning). However, a custodial parent of a child born of both parents under the age of 5 is not required to work, and a judge cannot make a parent of a child younger than five pay child support. I have a child support hearing scheduled with Child Support Enforcement Services and the District Attorney’s Office. But I also have a custody hearing a few weeks after that. Should I wait for the custody hearing? Child support is separate from custody and visitation. You should go to the child support hearing, and custody will be decided later. If there are any changes, then the parent who has to pay child support has to go back to court and get the child support amount changed. Last Review and Update: May 17, 2007 Legal Topics Apply Online for Free Legal Help Self-Help Tools Family Work Housing Voting, Consitutional and Civil Rights Public Benefits Money, Debt, ID Theft Disasters Wills & Life Planning Seniors Disability Health Legal System Taxes Youth Rights Schools Art & Culture Find a Lawyer Search by program name Louisiana About Us Feedback Get Help! LawHelp with Sound Survey Using this site Site Tools Accessibility Contact Us Disclaimer Privacy powered by probono.net © 2001 – 2019, Pro Bono Net, All Rights Reserved. Legal Help in Other States Set your location ShareThis Copy and Paste

Mandeville woman attempts to kill attorney…

Mandeville woman gets 22 years in prison for trying to kill her former attorney
WGNO Web Desk
19 hours ago
COVINGTON, LA – Back in 2016, 78-year-old Patricia M. Currie, of Mandeville, waited outside the office of her former attorney, with the intention of killing him. And on Thursday, Currie was sentenced to 22 years in prison for attempted second degree murder.
The attorney, who had represented Currie in a bankruptcy case, was alone in a back office at his law firm on Oct. 27, 2016, when he walked into the lobby area and discovered Currie sitting in a chair with latex gloves covering her hands, plastic grocery bags on her feet, and a white towel across her lap.

Currie didn’t have an appointment and announced that she had come to kill him. She then moved the towel, revealing a shotgun in her lap. She raised her gun at him, but he was able to wrestle the weapon from her and call police.

When St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies arrived and arrested Currie on the scene, they discovered the gun was loaded and that she had four additional shotgun shells in her undergarments, as well as a box of ammunition in her car.

The jury rejected Currie’s claims that she intended only to scare her former attorney.

At the contested sentencing hearing Thursday, Assistant District Attorneys Blair Alford and Angad S. Ghai, who prosecuted the case, argued for a sentence of 50 years, the maximum allowed by state law, while Currie’s attorneys asked for the minimum of 10 years.
The victim gave an emotional statement, recalling the terrifying events of that day and how he could think only of his wife and children as he fought for his life.

His wife also explained through tears how the crime continues to haunt the family, with the couple’s children living in fear that their father could be killed every day just going to work. Three other witnesses also testified about disturbing interactions they experienced with Currie.

To support their push for the maximum sentence, prosecutors noted the calculated nature and severity of the crime, Currie’s own statements and testimony during trial, and letters she wrote, stating that she understands why people “like blowing up buildings and opening fire on anybody & everybody.” She added in the letter, “That’s the way I feel.”

In announcing the 22-year sentence, the violent nature of crime was considered, as well as the fact that Currie used a firearm/dangerous weapon to facilitate the crime, her lack of truthfulness and candor with the court, her lack of remorse throughout the case and her apparent lack of remorse even during the sentencing hearing. He said those considerations were mitigated by the fact that she had no prior convictions.

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Mandeville storm worse than expected…

Mandeville: Storm worse than expected

Mandeville did not expect the storm to hit as hard as it did early Saturday morning, the mayor said.

NEW ORLEANS — More than 40,000 homes in west St. Tammany Parish were without power Saturday, Mandeville Mayor Donald Villere said in an official social media post by the city.

Officials did not expect the storm to hit as hard as it did in Mandeville, the mayor said.

Cleco is working on restoring power and has called in additional contractors to help with the recovery. The company didn’t have enough contractors staged for recovery because they didn’t expect this much damage, so it might take some time before power is restored, Villere said.

Washington St. Tammany Electric added a new photo.
Washington St. Tammany Electric added a new photo.

Winds blew trees into at least four homes in Mandeville, and trees have been blown down on Monroe and Coffee Streets. Also, Lakeshore Drive is flooded, Villere said.

“Please do not drive in the affected areas,” Villere said. “It is best if you stay off the street. Our police are out in force working to clear streets and direct traffic.”

Mandeville officials are working to bring power back to homes as quickly as possible

If you have a utility emergency in Mandeville, call the Mandeville Police Department at 985.626.9711, for medical emergencies call 911.

RELATED: Power out again at New Orleans International Airport

RELATED: 70,000 still without power, flights delayed after Olga rushes through

RELATED: LIST: Closings across Southeast Louisiana due to heavy rain

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Orleans Parish Notarial Archives Tour

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Don’t Miss the Orleans Parish Notarial Archives Tour!

October 17, 2019

Don’t Miss the Orleans Parish Notarial Archives Tour!

The Louisiana Notary Association invites you to join us in celebration of National Notary Public Day on November 7, 2019 with a tour of the New Orleans Notarial Archives!

Take a journey through Louisiana notarial history with an informative tour of notarial records dating back to 1735. This is a great opportunity to see the evolution of the Civil Law notary from pre-Louisiana Purchase through present day.

Where: New Orleans Notarial Archives

             1340 Poydras St

             New Orleans, LA 70112

When: Thursday, November 7, 2019

Time: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM

Cost: Free

Parking: Superdome Parking Garage &

Parking Garage on Loyola Avenue

(attached to Dave & Busters)

Complimentary Parking not available; parking rates vary by property.

Click here to register!

Space is limited to 30 attendees.

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Election night snafu…

After election night snafu, St. Tammany clerk of court to seek change in how early voting is reported

Melissa R Henry.jpg

St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court Melissa Henry

While St. Tammany Parish voters and candidates were anxiously watching the returns on election night a week ago to see whether the still-missing results of early and absentee voting would change the outcome of some hotly contested political races, St. Tammany Clerk of Court Melissa Henry and other members of the parish’s Board of Election Supervisors were trying to account for a nine-vote discrepancy in the count of mailed-in paper ballots.

The result was that the clerk’s office wasn’t able to post the final results of the Oct. 12 election until about 11 p.m.

Henry said she will ask the Legislature to revise state law so that clerks can release early voting totals when the polls close on election night and release the absentee vote totals once the results are counted and validated.

Currently, those tallies are reported together, and state law forbids reporting the much more numerous early voting totals to the Secretary of State’s Office until the mail-in ballots are validated, Henry said.

The Board of Election Supervisors includes the clerk of court, the registrar of voters, the chairs of both the Democratic and Republican parish executive committees and a governor’s appointee, Henry said.

Those five people are sequestered to tabulate the votes, and Henry said they went into lockdown about 1:30 p.m. Oct. 12. But by 7 p.m., they realized there was a nine-vote discrepancy in the count for the absentee ballots. At that point, they began a hand count, looked at the envelopes that contained the votes, and eventually decided all the paper ballots needed to be rescanned. That took until 11 p.m.

Sometimes paper ballots are not filled in properly, Henry said, and the scanners used to read them can’t read red ink, pencil or marks other than filled-in circles.

Intermittent reporting is not allowed during sequestration, she said.

The early and absentee vote counts are typically finished before 8 p.m., Henry said.

“When it comes to elections, we prioritize accuracy over speed,” she said, noting that there was something of a backlash over the late numbers from St. Tammany.

Henry said she has been in contact with the Secretary of State’s Office about pushing for a change in the state law and thinks that she’ll get support there. Some other parishes also had issues with scanners this month, she said.

She said St. Tammany Parish had a record number of people voting early for the Oct. 12 election, accounting for almost a third of the vote total, and all of those votes, made on machines, were verified before the polls closed.

The mail-in ballots accounted for less than 4% of the total, “and while equally important, should not have held up the release of early voting numbers,” Henry said.

Alabama student threatens Tiger Stadium…

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University of Alabama student accused of threatening LSU Tiger Stadium
Updated 8:56 AM; Today 7:44 AM

BATON ROUGE, LA – SEPTEMBER 19: Fans watch during the game between the Louisiana State University Tigers and the University of Louisiana-Lafatette Ragin’ Cajuns at Tiger Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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A University of Alabama student is accused of threatening Louisiana State’s Tiger Stadium during the school’s Saturday night football game against the University of Florida.

The Tuscaloosa News reports 19-year-old Connor Bruce Croll of Crozet, Virginia, was arrested by officers at the Alabama school and jailed Sunday as a “fugitive from justice.”
He faces unspecified charges in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Authorities didn’t immediately provide further detail about the nature of the threat or say whether Croll intended to carry it out. The newspaper didn’t say if Croll had a lawyer.

University of Alabama spokesman Chris Bryant says pranks and threats can have serious ramifications and require an appropriate response. He says the school is cooperating with authorities but can’t provide details on the arrest of or allegations against the freshman.

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Louisiana split jury law…

U.S. Supreme Court casts skeptical eye on Louisiana’s split-jury law
BY JOHN SIMERMAN | STAFF WRITER PUBLISHED OCT 7, 2019 AT 7:15 PM

John Simerman

Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill found herself on the defensive Monday as she struggled to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court that the Constitution does not require juries to be unanimous — in Louisiana, in Oregon or even in federal courtrooms.

That was the position that Murrill staked out as she defended the high court’s 1972 decision in Apodaca v. Oregon, which endorsed the use of split-jury verdicts in Louisiana and Oregon — the only states to allow them.

In a split verdict of its own, the court in Apodaca said federal juries must be unanimous but that states may adopt their own jury rules.

On the first day of its new session, the Supreme Court on Monday revisited that fundamental question for the first time since, in the case of Evangelisto Ramos, who was convicted in 2016 of second-degree murder on a 10-2 vote by a New Orleans jury and sentenced to life in prison.

Justices on both ends of the ideological spectrum left little doubt of their views that the same rules should apply in federal and state criminal trials. Much of the questioning Monday revolved around figuring out a way to justify doing away with the Apodaca decision, given that Louisiana and Oregon have relied on it as a staple of criminal justice for 47 years.

Advocates argue that the Apodaca ruling is obsolete and that the court should give it little, if any, precedent when considering whether to let it stand as an anomaly.

Arguing for Ramos, Jeffrey Fisher, a professor at Stanford Law School, encouraged the court to overturn Apodaca as illogical and obsolete, describing the ruling as an “isolated relic of an abandoned doctrine.”

Tilting the scales: What to know about Louisiana’s controversial non-unanimous jury law
The high court agreed to hear Ramos’ case just months after Louisiana voters jettisoned split verdicts at the polls. The nearly 2-1 vote ended a 120-year practice rooted in the Jim Crow era, but only prospectively; it applies only to people tried for crimes committed in 2019 or later.

At stake in the Ramos case, at minimum, are scores of convictions from the last few years in Louisiana and Oregon that remain on appeal and could be upended should the court overturn the Apodaca decision. In Louisiana, the decision could also affect defendants awaiting trial for crimes committed before this year.

Murrill argued that the fallout could be much more significant than that. Each of the roughly 32,000 inmates now serving time in a Louisiana prison, she said, might file an appeal on the basis that their conviction — whether by guilty plea or trial — was obtained under jury rules since deemed invalid.

But Justice Stephen Breyer waved off that figure as overblown, saying any change would likely only affect those actually convicted by split verdicts.

“With all the work gone into this, has anybody got any rough idea of what percentage of those people who are convicted are convicted by nonunanimous juries?” Breyer asked.

“There’s just no reliable data,” she responded.

Chief Justice John Roberts also was among those asking for numbers.

“Is the reason you don’t know because the jury is not typically polled or — or what?” he asked.

“Because it is not always polled and … even in some cases where it may have been, it may not have been recorded or kept,” Murrill responded.

In fact, an exhaustive review by The Advocate found that 40% of felony jury trials end with split verdicts and that they disproportionately affect black defendants. The review also found, as Murrill suggested, that frequently there is no specific record of how jurors voted.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said predictions of chaos in the courts were beside the point at this stage. Whether such a ruling would apply to the legions of convicts now serving time in prison after exhausting their appeals is one for later, she said.

“The case of retroactivity to convictions that are already final is not before us,” she told Murrill. “It would come before us in a case if you lose this one, but that is not a question that we can properly address here.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch, meanwhile, suggested that perhaps the constitutional rights of those imprisoned on the basis of split verdicts were as important, if not more, as the headaches overturning Apodaca would create for Louisiana.

“I can’t help but wonder, well, should we forever ensconce an incorrect view of the United States Constitution for perpetuity, for all states and all people, denying them a right that we believe was originally given to them, because of 32,000 criminal convictions in Louisiana?” he asked.

Murrill found herself in the awkward position of asking the court to respect the precedent it set in the Apodaca decision, while overlooking the fact that in that decision, five of nine justices said they believed the Sixth Amendment required unanimous juries.

Under questioning from Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the court’s newest member, Murrill acknowledged that her argument was “concededly not good” if the court decides that the Sixth Amendment’s right to a jury trial requires a unanimous jury.

But she claimed there is substantial historical support for the notion that unanimity wasn’t spelled out in the Sixth Amendment because it was considered and rejected by the Framers, not because it was assumed. Opponents of the split-verdict law are now trying to “add back words that the Senate rejected in 1789,” she argued.

The court seemed dubious. Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted that Alexander Hamilton himself had deleted a reference to the right to a unanimous jury because “it’s so self-evident, we don’t need to include it.”

Several justices probed the lawyers over the constitutional differences between unanimity and jury size, given the court’s ruling in a different case that juries with as few as six members could return valid, unanimous verdicts.

That raised questions among the justices over whether unanimity was more inherent to the notion of a jury among the Framers than jury size. Fisher argued it was, based on a stronger tie to common law at the time.

Kavanaugh was the first to raise the question of the racial spark of Louisiana’s law, noting its origins “in a desire, apparently, to diminish the voices of black jurors in the late 1890s.” Kavanaugh asked if it was a relevant counterpoint to Murrell’s claims that, essentially, the court let Louisiana and Oregon rely on split verdicts for too long to overturn them now.

Fisher responded that if the state wants to argue about its reliance on the law over more than a century, “it’s perhaps justifiable to look at the origins of the law that it’s defending.”

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Teddy!!

 

Teddy Bridgewater rides his bike to and from Saints games

Teddy Bridgewater rides his bike to the Superdome for home games

The Saints are 3-0 since Bridgewater took over for an injured Drew Brees.

NEW ORLEANS — You see a lot of people outside the Superdome after a Saints game, but have you seen Teddy Bridgewater?

The Saints QB let it slip after Sunday’s win over the Buccaneers that he rides his bike to and from home games.

Bridgewater says he loves the peaceful ride there and back, but he wouldn’t mind company.

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“I had no idea it was a big deal,” Bridgewater said in the Saints locker room Wednesday. “If anyone wants to ride a bike with me I’m open to it, but you know, I enjoy my little ride to the stadium. It’s been a peaceful ride. I’m open to people riding with me though.”

RELATED: Optimism has never been higher for Saints – here are 4 reasons why

RELATED: Perseverance brings Teddy Bridgewater to success with Saints

A reporter followed up and asked if the Saints backup QB was worried about hitting a pot hole on his bike.

“I’m more worried about my car than my bike,” he laughed.

The Saints are 3-0 since Bridgewater took over for an injured Drew Brees.

The Saints take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road Sunday. The game kicks off at noon on Sunday on Channel 4.

Unmute

Closing the justice gap…

3 Thoughts About Closing The Justice Gap

Addressing this crisis requires cooperation and collaboration.

One of the greatest crises facing the legal profession, covered extensively in these pages, is the justice gap. For many reasons, including (but not limited to) the high cost of legal services, millions of Americans find themselves unable to obtain access to justice.

At the 2018 annual meeting and conference of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), held in Baltimore earlier this week, I attended a panel entitled “Three States and Three Approaches to Access to Justice.” It featured three librarians — Catherine McGuire of the Maryland State Law Library, Terrye Conroy of the University of South Carolina, and Miriam Childs of the Law Library of Louisiana — describing the A2J challenges they face in their states and what librarians can do to meet them.

Here are three takeaways from the discussion, advice for law librarians — as well as lawyers, law students, and anyone else interested in helping — on how to bridge the justice gap.

1. Understand the conditions on the ground.

The access to justice problem, and what’s needed to address it, will vary from state to state and city to city. The panelists identified several metrics to consider, including median household income, percentage of the population below 125 percent of the federal poverty level, and number of attorneys per 10,000 people below 125 percent of the federal poverty level.

Law libraries play a major role in addressing the justice gap. Legal aid lawyers are in short supply, especially due to funding cuts, and many Americans who need legal help actually don’t qualify for legal aid — their incomes are too high for legal aid, but too low to afford quality legal representation. As a result, many individuals must represent themselves pro se. Lacking law books or subscriptions to online legal research services, they seek help at libraries, where they can access legal authorities and sometimes even services like Westlaw and Lexis.

So the number and availability of law libraries open to the public must be considered when responding to the justice gap. For example, in Louisiana the law libraries open to the public are concentrated in the southern part of the state, where New Orleans and Baton Rouge are located, and in Maryland, they are concentrated in the central part of the state, as opposed to the east or west. Transportation and geography therefore affect the ability of the public to access legal resources.

2. Find your partners.

The problem of access to justice is too large to be addressed by any one group. The panelists encouraged librarians to forge alliances with other constituencies who can help, including bar associations, whether state, county, or speciality bars; A2J organizations, such as formal Access to Justice Commissions or Judiciary Access to Justice Departments; public library systems; and legal services organizations like legal aid.

The best partners and partnerships will vary from state to state. Much will depend on what resources are available and which organizations are willing to help. Also, how aggressively a state regulates lawyers can play a role. In states with strong unauthorized practice of law (UPL) rules, non-lawyers might need to be more careful in terms of how much they do.

In Maryland, libraries have partnered with Legal Aid lawyers for a very successful “Lawyer in the Library” program (which is where ticket proceeds from the Above the Law/Evolve the Law event at AALL were donated). You can read about the Maryland program over at the Baltimore Sun, and you can read about “Law at the Library” programs in general over at the ABA Journal.

3. The internet is your friend.

The worldwide web has transformed so many areas of American life, including access to justice. And the full potential of the internet to help bridge the justice gap has not yet been fully realized.

Because of the problems of geography and limited library access discussed above, many people who need legal help have no choice but to turn to the web for resources. This is where law librarians — and lawyers, technologists, and academics — can help.

Terrye Conroy of the University of South Carolina talked about the successful “Circuit Riders” program and website she helped launch in her state. It began in 2007 as a series of day-long workshops, presented by law librarians to non-law librarians throughout South Carolina, to educate them about legal resources. Eventually it gave rise to a comprehensive website, Circuit Riders: Basic Legal Research Training, which describes itself as follows:

To reach the largest possible audience in the most economical way, we created this online guide that includes all of the Circuit Riders training materials and videos. With our new online presence, we hope to make it more convenient for busy librarians to access our materials and to encourage libraries to use these materials to conduct their own in-house workshops on legal research.

Today the website is a popular and important resource, used by South Carolina librarians and citizens both for researching for legal cases and for civic education more generally. Thanks to Circuit Riders and similar sites in other states, even citizens who don’t live near a law library can access legal resources, as long as they have internet access. (Of course, inadequate internet access for low-income people and people living in rural or remote parts of the country is a serious problem, known as the “digital divide” or “digital exclusion” — but let’s deal with one problem at a time.)

The problem of access to justice in our nation is vast. But if we do our homework, work together, and harness the power of technology, we can make a difference.

AALL ANNUAL MEETING & CONFERENCE [American Association of Law Libraries]
Attorneys partner with public libraries to reach underserved clients [ABA Journal]
Working out of the library, Maryland Legal Aid helps people grapple with legal issues [Baltimore Sun]


DBL square headshotDavid Lat is editor at large and founding editor of Above the Law, as well as the author of Supreme Ambitions: A Novel. He previously worked as a federal prosecutor in Newark, New Jersey; a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; and a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. You can connect with David on Twitter (@DavidLat)LinkedIn, and Facebook, and you can reach him by email at dlat@abovethelaw.com.

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