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Unintended Consquences – Father’s Rights in Louisiana

Dad and Son

Katy Perry says she’s “not anti-men” but that if “someone doesn’t present himself”, she might consider having a baby without “a dude” according to the August 18, 2014 edition of People. Since “a dude”, in one form or another, is a necessary ingredient in pregnancy, avoiding a relationship does not necessarily mean avoiding the father.

In Louisiana, fathers have legally protected rights to participate in the lives of their children whether you want them to or not. Unless the father is unfit, a mother can be ordered to permit him to visit and share custody of the child.

Father’s rights in Louisiana also come with obligations in the form of the payment of child support. The calculation of support is made relatively simple in Louisiana through the use of child support schedules. The schedules set out monetary assumptions about what children need for food, clothing, education, and other necessities. The schedules calculate a parent’s pro-rata share of her child’s support based upon the sum of each parent’s income or earning capacity. Child support increases as the parents’ combined incomes increase and is increased if there is more than one child in a family. The schedules are blind to whether a father is or is not “a dude” who has presented himself.

If you are seeking support for your child or being asked to pay it, discuss your obligations with a lawyer and ask how the schedules work in your case.

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