Home2 – Louisiana Civil Code

Civil Code

Book I. Of Persons

Title I. Natural and Juridical Persons

Art. 24. Kinds of persons

There are two kinds of persons: natural persons and juridical persons. A natural person is a human being. A juridical person is an entity to which the law attributes personality, such as a corporation or a partnership. The personality of a juridical person is distinct from that of its members.

Acts 1987, No. 125, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 25. Commencement and end of natural personality

Natural personality commences from the moment of live birth and terminates at death.

Acts 1987, No. 125, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 26. Unborn child

An unborn child shall be considered as a natural person for whatever relates to its interests from the moment of conception. If the child is born dead, it shall be considered never to have existed as a person, except for purposes of actions resulting from its wrongful death.

Acts 1987, No. 125, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 27. General legal capacity

All natural persons enjoy general legal capacity to have rights and duties.

Acts 1987, No. 125, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 28. Capacity to make juridical acts

A natural person who has reached majority has capacity to make all sorts of juridical acts, unless otherwise provided by legislation.

Acts 1987, No. 125, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 29. Age of majority

Majority is attained upon reaching the age of eighteen years.

Acts 1987, No. 125, §1, eff. Jan. 1. 1988.

Art. 30. Presumption of death

When a person has disappeared under circumstances such that his death seems certain, his death is considered to have been established even though his body has not been found.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 31. Existence of a person at time of accrual of a right

One claiming a right that has accrued to another person is bound to prove that such person existed at the time when the right accrued.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Title II. Domicile
Art. 38. Domicile

The domicile of a natural person is the place of his habitual residence. The domicile of a juridical person may be either the state of its formation or the state of its principal place of business, whichever is most pertinent to the particular issue, unless otherwise specifically provided by law.

Acts 2008, No. 801, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009; Acts 2012, No. 713, §2.

Art. 39. Domicile and residence

A natural person may reside in several places but may not have more than one domicile. In the absence of habitual residence, any place of residence may be considered one's domicile at the option of persons whose interests are affected.

Acts 1985, No. 272, §1; Acts 2008, No. 801, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 40. Domicile of spouses

Spouses may have either a common domicile or separate domiciles.

Acts 2008, No. 801, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 41. Domicile of unemancipated minor

The domicile of an unemancipated minor is that of the parent or parents with whom the minor usually resides. If the minor has been placed by court order under the legal authority of a parent or other person, the domicile of that person is the domicile of the minor, unless the court directs otherwise. The domicile of an unemancipated minor under tutorship is that of his tutor. In case of joint tutorship, the domicile of the minor is that of the tutor with whom the minor usually resides, unless the court directs otherwise.

Acts 2008, No. 801, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 42. Domicile of interdict

The domicile of a full interdict is that of the curator. A limited interdict retains his domicile, unless otherwise provided in the judgment of interdiction.

Acts 2008, No. 801, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 43. Domicile of person under continued or permanent tutorship

The domicile of a person under continued or permanent tutorship is that of his tutor.

Acts 2008, No. 801, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 44. Change of domicile

Domicile is maintained until acquisition of a new domicile. A natural person changes domicile when he moves his residence to another location with the intent to make that location his habitual residence.

Acts 2008, No. 801, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 45. Proof of intent to change domicile

Proof of one's intent to establish or change domicile depends on the circumstances. A sworn declaration of intent recorded in the parishes from which and to which he intends to move may be considered as evidence of intent.

Acts 2008, No. 801, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 46. Person holding temporary position

A person holding a temporary position away from his domicile retains his domicile unless he demonstrates a contrary intent.

Acts 2008, No. 801, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Title III. Absent Persons
Chapter 1. Curatorship of the Property of Absent Persons

Art. 47. Curator of an absent person's property

An absent person is one who has no representative in this state and whose whereabouts are not known and cannot be ascertained by diligent effort. When an absent person owns property in this state, the court may, upon petition of any interested party and a showing of necessity, appoint a curator to manage the property of the absent person.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 48. Powers, rights, and duties of curator

The curator has power of administration and disposition over the property of the absent person as provided by legislation. When the absent person is a spouse in community, the curatorship is limited to his separate property.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 49. Legal capacity of absent person

The establishment of the curatorship does not deprive the absent person of his capacity to make juridical acts. Nevertheless, his acts of disposition of immovable property are not effective towards third persons and the curator unless filed for registry in the public records of the parish in which the immovable property is located.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 50. Termination of curatorship of right

The curatorship of the property of the absent person terminates of right when he appoints a person to represent him in this state, when his whereabouts become known, or when he dies.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 51. Termination by judgment of declaration of death

The curatorship of the property of the absent person also terminates when a judgment of declaration of death is rendered. When an absent person has no known heirs and is presumed dead, it shall be the duty of the curator to initiate proceedings for a declaration of death.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 52. Effects of termination of curatorship

Upon termination of the curatorship, the curator is bound to account for his management and to restore the property to the formerly absent person or to his successors.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 53. Validity of acts of curator after termination of the curatorship

When the curator acquires knowledge of the termination of his curatorship, he is bound to file a notice in the curatorship proceeding that his authority to manage the property of the formerly absent person has ceased.

Acts of administration or disposition made by the curator after the curatorship has terminated are valid toward third persons unless notice of the termination of the curatorship has been filed in the curatorship proceeding.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Chapter 2. Declaration of Death

Art 54. Absent person;  declaration of death

One who has been an absent person for five years is presumed to be dead. If the absence commenced between August 26, 2005, and September 30, 2005, and was related to or caused by Hurricane Katrina or Rita, the absent person who is not currently charged with an offense that is defined as a felony under the laws of the state of Louisiana or the United States of America shall be presumed dead after the passage of two years. Upon petition by an interested party, the court shall render judgment declaring the death of the absent person and shall determine the date on which the absence commenced and the date of death.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 2006, No. 258, §1.

Art 55. Declaration of death;  effect

The succession of the person declared dead shall be opened as of the date of death fixed in the judgment, and his estate shall devolve in accordance with the law of successions.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art 56. New evidence as to time of death

If there is clear and convincing new evidence establishing a date of death other than that determined in the judgment of declaration of death, the judgment shall be amended accordingly.

Persons previously recognized as successors are bound to restore the estate to the new successors but may keep the fruits they have gathered.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art 57. Reappearance of absent person;  recovery of his property

If a person who has been declared dead reappears, he shall be entitled to recover his property that still exists in the condition in which it is found from those who took it as his successors or from their transferees by gratuitous title. He may also recover the net proceeds of things alienated and for the diminution of the value of things that has resulted from their encumbrance.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 58. Succession rights of person presumed dead or declared dead

A person who is presumed to be dead or who has been declared dead at a time a succession would have been opened in his favor cannot be a successor. The estate of the deceased devolves as if that person were dead at the time of the opening of the succession.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 59. Reappearance of absent person;  recovery of his inheritance

If the person who is presumed to be dead or who has been declared dead reappears, he shall be entitled to recover his inheritance in the condition in which it is found from those who succeeded in his default and from their transferees by gratuitous title. He may also recover the net proceeds of things alienated and for the diminution of the value of things that has resulted from their encumbrance.

Acts 1990, No. 989, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Title IV. Husband and Wife

Chapter 1. Marriage:  General Principles
Art. 86. Marriage;  definition

Marriage is a legal relationship between a man and a woman that is created by civil contract. The relationship and the contract are subject to special rules prescribed by law.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 87. Contract of marriage;  requirements

The requirements for the contract of marriage are:

The absence of legal impediment.

A marriage ceremony.

The free consent of the parties to take each other as husband and wife, expressed at the ceremony.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 88. Impediment of existing marriage

A married person may not contract another marriage.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 89. Impediment of same sex

Persons of the same sex may not contract marriage with each other. A purported marriage between persons of the same sex contracted in another state shall be governed by the provisions of Title II of Book IV of the Civil Code.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1999, No. 890, §1.

Art. 90. Impediments of relationship

A. The following persons may not contract marriage with each other:

(1) Ascendants and descendants.

(2) Collaterals within the fourth degree, whether of the whole or of the half blood.

B. The impediment exists whether the persons are related by consanguinity or by adoption. Nevertheless, persons related by adoption, though not by blood, in the collateral line within the fourth degree may marry each other if they obtain judicial authorization in writing to do so.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 2004, No. 26, §1.

NOTE: SEE ACTS 1987, NO. 886, §5.

Art. 91. Marriage ceremony required

The parties must participate in a marriage ceremony performed by a third person who is qualified, or reasonably believed by the parties to be qualified, to perform the ceremony. The parties must be physically present at the ceremony when it is performed.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 92. Marriage by procuration prohibited

A marriage may not be contracted by procuration.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 93. Vices of consent

Consent is not free when given under duress or when given by a person incapable of discernment.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Chapter 2. Nullity of Marriage

Art. 94. Absolutely null marriage

A marriage is absolutely null when contracted without a marriage ceremony, by procuration, or in violation of an impediment. A judicial declaration of nullity is not required, but an action to recognize the nullity may be brought by any interested person.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

{{NOTE: SEE ACTS 1987, NO. 886, §5.}}

Art. 95. Relatively null marriage;  confirmation

A marriage is relatively null when the consent of one of the parties to marry is not freely given. Such a marriage may be declared null upon application of the party whose consent was not free. The marriage may not be declared null if that party confirmed the marriage after recovering his liberty or regaining his discernment.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988

Art. 96. Civil effects of absolutely null marriage;  putative marriage

An absolutely null marriage nevertheless produces civil effects in favor of a party who contracted it in good faith for as long as that party remains in good faith. When the cause of the nullity is one party's prior undissolved marriage, the civil effects continue in favor of the other party, regardless of whether the latter remains in good faith, until the marriage is pronounced null or the latter party contracts a valid marriage. When the cause of the nullity is an impediment of age, the marriage produces civil effects in favor of a child of the parties. When the cause of the nullity is another reason, a marriage contracted by a party in good faith produces civil effects in favor of a child of the parties. A purported marriage between parties of the same sex does not produce any civil effects.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 2019, No. 401, §1.

Art. 97. Civil effects of relatively null marriage

A relatively null marriage produces civil effects until it is declared null.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff., Jan. 1, 1988.

Chapter 3. Incidents and Effects of Marriage

Art. 98. Mutual duties of married persons

Married persons owe each other fidelity, support, and assistance.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 99. Family authority

Spouses mutually assume the moral and material direction of the family, exercise parental authority, and assume the moral and material obligations resulting therefrom.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Art. 100. Surname of married persons

Marriage does not change the name of either spouse. However, a married person may use the surname of either or both spouses as a surname.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

Chapter 4. Termination of Marriage

Art. 101. Termination of marriage

Marriage terminates upon:

The death of either spouse.

Divorce.

A judicial declaration of its nullity, when the marriage is relatively null.

The issuance of a court order authorizing the spouse of a person presumed dead to remarry, as provided by law.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1990, No. 1009, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Title V. Divorce

Chapter 1. The Divorce Action

Art. 102. Judgment of divorce;  living separate and apart prior to rule

Except in the case of a covenant marriage, a divorce shall be granted upon motion of a spouse when either spouse has filed a petition for divorce and upon proof that the requisite period of time, in accordance with Article 103.1, has elapsed from the service of the petition, or from the execution of written waiver of the service, and that the spouses have lived separate and apart continuously for at least the requisite period of time, in accordance with Article 103.1, prior to the filing of the rule to show cause.

The motion shall be a rule to show cause filed after all such delays have elapsed.

Amended by Acts 1952, No. 229, §1; Acts 1958, No. 331; Acts 1990, No. 1009, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, No. 367, §1; Acts 1993, No. 107, §1; Acts 1995, No. 386, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1380, §1; Acts 2006, No. 743, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.

Art. 103. Judgment of divorce;  other grounds

Except in the case of a covenant marriage, a divorce shall be granted on the petition of a spouse upon proof that:

(1) The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously for the requisite period of time, in accordance with Article 103.1, or more on the date the petition is filed.

(2) The other spouse has committed adultery.

(3) The other spouse has committed a felony and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment at hard labor.

(4) During the marriage, the other spouse physically or sexually abused the spouse seeking divorce or a child of one of the spouses, regardless of whether the other spouse was prosecuted for the act of abuse.

(5) After a contradictory hearing or consent decree, a protective order or an injunction was issued during the marriage against the other spouse to protect the spouse seeking the divorce or a child of one of the spouses from abuse.

Acts 1990, No. 1009, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, No. 918, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1380, §1; Acts 2006, No. 743, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007; Acts 2014, No. 316, §1; Acts 2015, No. 221, §1; Acts 2018, No. 265, §1.

Art. 103.1. Judgment of divorce;  time periods

The requisite periods of time, in accordance with Articles 102 and 103 shall be as follows:

(1) One hundred eighty days where there are no minor children of the marriage.

(2) Three hundred sixty-five days when there are minor children of the marriage at the time the rule to show cause is filed in accordance with Article 102 or a petition is filed in accordance with Article 103.

Acts 2006, No. 743, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007; Acts 2010, No. 604, §1, eff. June 25, 2010; Acts 2014, No. 316, §1.

Art. 104. Reconciliation

The cause of action for divorce is extinguished by the reconciliation of the parties.

Amended by Acts 1979, No. 677, §1; Acts 1980, No. 351, §1; Acts 1990, No. 1009, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 105. Determination of incidental matters

In a proceeding for divorce or thereafter, either spouse may request a determination of custody, visitation, or support of a minor child; support for a spouse; injunctive relief; use and occupancy of the family home or use of community movables or immovables; or use of personal property.

Acts 1984, No. 817, §1; Acts 1990, No. 1009, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Chapter 2. Provisional and Incidental Proceedings

Section 1. Spousal Support

Art. 111. Spousal support;  authority of court

In a proceeding for divorce or thereafter, the court may award interim periodic support to a party or may award final periodic support to a party who is in need of support and who is free from fault prior to the filing of a proceeding to terminate the marriage in accordance with the following Articles.

Amended by Acts 1928, No. 130; Acts 1979, No. 72, §1; Acts 1990, No. 361, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, No. 1078, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 2006, No. 749, §1, eff. June 30, 2006.

Art. 112. Determination of final periodic support

A. When a spouse has not been at fault prior to the filing of a petition for divorce and is in need of support, based on the needs of that party and the ability of the other party to pay, that spouse may be awarded final periodic support in accordance with Paragraph B of this Article.

B. The court shall consider all relevant factors in determining the amount and duration of final support, including:

(1) The income and means of the parties, including the liquidity of such means.

(2) The financial obligations of the parties, including any interim allowance or final child support obligation.

(3) The earning capacity of the parties.

(4) The effect of custody of children upon a party's earning capacity.

(5) The time necessary for the claimant to acquire appropriate education, training, or employment.

(6) The health and age of the parties.

(7) The duration of the marriage.

(8) The tax consequences to either or both parties.

(9) The existence, effect, and duration of any act of domestic abuse committed by the other spouse upon the claimant or a child of one of the spouses, regardless of whether the other spouse was prosecuted for the act of domestic violence.

C. When a spouse is awarded a judgment of divorce pursuant to Article 103(2), (3), (4), or (5), or when the court determines that a party or a child of one of the spouses was the victim of domestic abuse committed by the other party during the marriage, that spouse is presumed to be entitled to final periodic support.

D. The sum awarded under this Article shall not exceed one-third of the obligor's net income. Nevertheless, when support is awarded after a judgment of divorce is rendered pursuant to Article 103(4) or (5), or when the court determines that a party or a child of one of the spouses was the victim of domestic abuse committed by the other party during the marriage, the sum awarded may exceed one-third of the obligor's net income and may be awarded as a lump sum.

Amended by Acts 1916, No. 247; Acts 1928, No. 21; Acts 1934, 2nd Ex.Sess., No. 27; Acts 1964, No. 48; Acts 1979, No. 72, §1; Acts 1982, No. 293, §1; Acts 1986, No. 229, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1078, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 2006, No. 749, §1, eff. June 30, 2006; Acts 2014, No. 316, §1; Acts 2014, No. 616, §1; Acts 2018, No. 265, §1.

Art. 113. Interim spousal support

A. Upon motion of a party, the court may award a party interim spousal support based on the needs of that party, the ability of the other party to pay, any interim or final child support obligation, and the standard of living of the parties during the marriage. An award of interim spousal support shall terminate one hundred eighty days from the rendition of a judgment of divorce, except that the award may extend beyond one hundred eighty days but only for good cause shown.

B. An obligation to pay final periodic support shall not begin until an interim spousal support award has terminated.

Acts 1997, No. 1078, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 2001, No. 738, §1; Acts 2003, No. 1092, §1; Acts 2014, No. 316, §1; Acts 2014, No. 616, §1; Acts 2018, No. 265, §1.

Art. 114. Modification or termination of award of support

An award of interim spousal support or final periodic support may be modified if the circumstances of either party materially change and shall be terminated if it has become unnecessary. The subsequent remarriage of the obligor spouse shall not constitute a change of circumstance.

Acts 1997, No. 1078, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 2001, No. 1049, §1; Acts 2018, No. 265, §1.

Art. 115. Extinguishment of support obligation

The obligation of interim spousal support or final periodic support is extinguished upon the remarriage of the obligee, the death of either party, or a judicial determination that the obligee has cohabited with another person of either sex in the manner of married persons.

Acts 1997, No. 1078, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 2018, No. 265, §1.

Art. 116. Modification of spousal support obligation

The obligation of final spousal support may be modified, waived, or extinguished by judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction or by authentic act or act under private signature duly acknowledged by the obligee.

Acts 1997, No. 1078, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

117. Peremptive period for obligation

The right to claim after divorce the obligation of spousal support is subject to a peremption of three years. Peremption begins to run from the latest of the following events:

(1) The day the judgment of divorce is signed.

(2) The day a judgment terminating a previous judgment of spousal support is signed, if the previous judgment was signed in an action commenced either before the signing of the judgment of divorce or within three years thereafter.

(3) The day of the last payment made, when the spousal support obligation is initially performed by voluntary payment within the periods described in Paragraph (1) or (2) and no more than three years has elapsed between payments.

Acts 1997, No. 1078, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.

Section 2. Claim for Contributions to Education or Training

Art. 121. Claim for contributions to education or training;  authority of court

In a proceeding for divorce or thereafter, the court may award a party a sum for his financial contributions made during the marriage to education or training of his spouse that increased the spouse's earning power, to the extent that the claimant did not benefit during the marriage from the increased earning power.

The sum awarded may be in addition to a sum for support and to property received in the partition of community property.

Acts 1990, No. 1008, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, No. 367, §1.

Art. 122. Nature of action

The claim for contributions made to the education or training of a spouse is strictly personal to each party.

Acts 1990, No. 1008, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 123. Form of award;  effect of remarriage or death

The sum awarded for contributions made to the education or training of a spouse may be a sum certain payable in installments.

The award shall not terminate upon the remarriage or death of either party.

Acts 1990, No. 1008, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Art. 124. Prescription of spousal claim for contributions

The action for contributions made to the education or training of a spouse prescribes in three years from the date of the signing of the judgment of divorce or declaration of nullity of the marriage.

Acts 1990, No. 1008, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Section 3. Child Custody

Art. 131. Court to determine custody

In a proceeding for divorce or thereafter, the court shall award custody of a child in accordance with the best interest of the child.

Amended by Acts 1888, No. 124; Acts 1979, No. 718, §1; Acts 1981, No. 283, §1; Acts 1982, No. 307, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1983; Acts 1983, No. 695, §1; Acts 1984, No. 133, §1; Acts 1984, No. 786, §1; Acts 1986, No. 950, §1, eff. July 14, 1986; Acts 1989, No. 188, §1; Acts 1993, No. 261, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Art. 132. Award of custody to parents

If the parents agree who is to have custody, the court shall award custody in accordance with their agreement unless the provisions of R.S. 9:364 apply or the best interest of the child requires a different award. Subject to the provisions of R.S. 9:364, in the absence of agreement, or if the agreement is not in the best interest of the child, the court shall award custody to the parents jointly; however, if custody in one parent is shown by clear and convincing evidence to serve the best interest of the child, the court shall award custody to that parent.

Acts 1993, No. 261, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 2018, No. 412, §1, eff. May 23, 2018.

Art. 133. Award of custody to person other than a parent;  order of preference

If an award of joint custody or of sole custody to either parent would result in substantial harm to the child, the court shall award custody to another person with whom the child has been living in a wholesome and stable environment, or otherwise to any other person able to provide an adequate and stable environment.

Acts 1986, No. 966, §1; Acts 1989, No. 546, §1; Acts 1993, No. 261, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Art. 134. Factors in determining child's best interest

A. Except as provided in Paragraph B of this Article, the court shall consider all relevant factors in determining the best interest of the child, including:

(1) The potential for the child to be abused, as defined by Children's Code Article 603, which shall be the primary consideration.

(2) The love, affection, and other emotional ties between each party and the child.

(3) The capacity and disposition of each party to give the child love, affection, and spiritual guidance and to continue the education and rearing of the child.

(4) The capacity and disposition of each party to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and other material needs.

(5) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, adequate environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity of that environment.

(6) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.

(7) The moral fitness of each party, insofar as it affects the welfare of the child.

(8) The history of substance abuse, violence, or criminal activity of any party.

(9) The mental and physical health of each party. Evidence that an abused parent suffers from the effects of past abuse by the other parent shall not be grounds for denying that parent custody.

(10) The home, school, and community history of the child.

(11) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express a preference.

(12) The willingness and ability of each party to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other party, except when objectively substantial evidence of specific abusive, reckless, or illegal conduct has caused one party to have reasonable concerns for the child's safety or well-being while in the care of the other party.

(13) The distance between the respective residences of the parties.

(14) The responsibility for the care and rearing of the child previously exercised by each party.

B. In cases involving a history of committing family violence, as defined in R.S. 9:362, or domestic abuse, as defined in R.S. 46:2132, including sexual abuse, as defined in R.S. 14:403(A)(4)(b), whether or not a party has sought relief under any applicable law, the court shall determine an award of custody or visitation in accordance with R.S. 9:341 and 364. The court may only find a history of committing family violence if the court finds that one incident of family violence has resulted in serious bodily injury or the court finds more than one incident of family violence.

Acts 1988, No. 817, §2, eff. July 18, 1988; Acts 1990, No. 361, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, No. 261, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 2018, No. 412, §1, eff. May 23, 2018.

Art. 135. Closed custody hearing

A custody hearing may be closed to the public.

Acts 1990, No. 361, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, No. 261, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Art. 136. Award of visitation rights

A. Subject to R.S. 9:341 and 364, a parent not granted custody or joint custody of a child is entitled to reasonable visitation rights unless the court finds, after a hearing, that visitation would not be in the best interest of the child.

B. In addition to the parents referred to in Paragraph A of this Article, the following persons may be granted visitation if the parents of the child are not married or cohabitating with a person in the manner of married persons or if the parents of the child have filed a petition for divorce:

(1) A grandparent if the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child.

(2) Under extraordinary circumstances, any other relative, by blood or affinity, or a former stepparent or stepgrandparent if the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child. Extraordinary circumstances shall include a determination by a court that a parent is abusing a controlled dangerous substance.

C. Before making any determination under Subparagraph (B)(1) or (2) of this Article, the court shall hold a contradictory hearing as provided by R.S. 9:345 in order to determine whether the court should appoint an attorney to represent the child.

D. In determining the best interest of the child under Subparagraph (B)(1) or (2) of this Article, the court shall consider only the following factors:

(1) A parent's fundamental constitutional right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their own children and the traditional presumption that a fit parent will act in the best interest of their children.

(2) The length and quality of the prior relationship between the child and the relative.

(3) Whether the child is in need of guidance, enlightenment, or tutelage which can best be provided by the relative.

(4) The preference of the child if he is determined to be of sufficient maturity to express a preference.

(5) The mental and physical health of the child and the relative.

E. If the parents of a child are married and have not filed for divorce or they are living in concubinage, the provisions of R.S. 9:344 shall apply.

Acts 1992, No. 782, §1; Acts 1993, No. 261, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, No. 57, §1; Acts 2009, No. 379, §2; Acts 2012, No. 763, §1, eff. June 12, 2012; Acts 2014, No. 586, §1; Acts 2018, No. 383, §1; Acts 2018, No. 412, §1, eff. May 23, 2018.

Art. 136.1. Award of visitation rights

A child has a right to time with both parents. Accordingly, when a court-ordered schedule of visitation, custody, or time to be spent with a child has been entered, a parent shall exercise his rights to the child in accordance with the schedule unless good cause is shown. Neither parent shall interfere with the visitation, custody or time rights of the other unless good cause is shown.

Acts 2008, No. 671, §1.

Art. 137. Denial of visitation;  felony rape;  death of a parent

A. In a proceeding in which visitation of a child is being sought by a parent, if the child was conceived through the commission of a felony rape, the parent who committed the felony rape shall be denied visitation rights and contact with the child.

B. In a proceeding in which visitation of a child is being sought by a relative by blood or affinity, if the court determines, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the intentional criminal conduct of the relative resulted in the death of the parent of the child, the relative shall be denied visitation rights and contact with the child.

Acts 2001, No. 499, §1; Acts 2010, No. 873, §1, eff. July 2, 2010; Acts 2012, No. 763, §1, eff. June 12, 2012.

Section 4. Child Support

Art. 141. Child support;  authority of court

In a proceeding for divorce or thereafter, the court may order either or both of the parents to provide an interim allowance or final support for a child based on the needs of the child and the ability of the parents to provide support.

The court may award an interim allowance only when a demand for final support is pending.

Acts 1993, No. 261, §6, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Art. 142. Modification or termination of child support award

An award of child support may be modified if the circumstances of the child or of either parent materially change and shall be terminated upon proof that it has become unnecessary.

Acts 1993, No. 261, §6, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; Acts 2001, No. 1082, §2.

Section 5. Provisional and Incidental Proceedings in Actions of Nullity

Art. 151. Proceeding for declaration of nullity of a marriage;  interim incidental relief

In a proceeding for declaration of nullity of a marriage, a court may award a party the incidental relief afforded in a proceeding for divorce.

Acts 1993, No. 108, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Art. 152. Proceeding for declaration of nullity of a marriage;  final incidental relief

After the declaration of nullity of a marriage, a party entitled to the civil effects of marriage may seek the same relief as may a divorced spouse.

Incidental relief granted pending declaration of nullity to a party not entitled to the civil effects of marriage shall terminate upon the declaration of nullity.

Nevertheless, a party not entitled to the civil effects of marriage may be awarded custody, child support, or visitation. The award shall not terminate as a result of the declaration of nullity.

Acts 1993, No. 108, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Chapter 3. Effects of Divorce

Art. 159. Effect of divorce on community property regime

A judgment of divorce terminates a community property regime retroactively to the date of filing of the petition in the action in which the judgment of divorce is rendered. The retroactive termination of the community shall be without prejudice to rights of third parties validly acquired in the interim between the filing of the petition and recordation of the judgment.

Amended by Acts 1977, No. 483, §2; Acts 1979, No. 711, §1; Acts 1990, No. 1009, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1991.

Title VII. Parent and Child

Chapter 1. Filiation

Art. 178. Definition

Filiation is the legal relationship between a child and his parent.

Acts 2009, No. 3, §1, eff. June 9, 2009.

Art. 179. Establishment of filiation

Filiation is established by proof of maternity or paternity or by adoption.

Acts 2009, No. 3, §1, eff. June 9, 2009.

Chapter 2. Filiation by Proof of Maternity or Paternity

Section 1. Proof of Maternity

Art. 184. Maternity

Maternity may be established by a preponderance of the evidence that the child was born of a particular woman, except as otherwise provided by law.

Amended by Acts 1976, No. 430, §1; Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005; Acts 2009, No. 3, §3, eff. June 9, 2009.

Section 2. Proof of Paternity

Subsection A. The Presumption of Paternity of Husband;  Disavowal of Paternity;  Contestation;  Establishment of Paternity

Art. 185. Presumption of paternity of husband

The husband of the mother is presumed to be the father of a child born during the marriage or within three hundred days from the date of the termination of the marriage.

Amended by Acts 1976, No. 430, §1; Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005; Acts 2009, No. 3, §3, eff. June 9, 2009.

Art. 186. Presumption if child is born after divorce or after death of husband;  effect of disavowal

If a child is born within three hundred days from the day of the termination of a marriage and his mother has married again before his birth, the first husband is presumed to be the father.

If the first husband, or his successor, obtains a judgment of disavowal of paternity of the child, the second husband is presumed to be the father. The second husband, or his successor, may disavow paternity if he institutes a disavowal action within a peremptive period of one year from the day that the judgment of disavowal obtained by the first husband is final and definitive.

Amended by Acts 1976, No. 430, §1; Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005.

Art. 187. Disavowal action;  proof

The husband may disavow paternity of the child by clear and convincing evidence that he is not the father. The testimony of the husband shall be corroborated by other evidence.

Amended by Acts 1976, No. 430, §1; Acts 1989, No. 790, §1; Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005.

Art. 188. Disavowal precluded in case of assisted conception

The husband of the mother may not disavow a child born to his wife as a result of an assisted conception to which he consented.

Amended by Acts 1976, No. 430, §1; Acts 1989, No. 790, §1; Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005.

Art. 189. Time limit for disavowal by the husband

The action for disavowal of paternity is subject to a liberative prescription of one year. This prescription commences to run from the day of the birth of the child, or the day the husband knew or should have known that he may not be the biological father of the child, whichever occurs later.

Nevertheless, if the husband lived separate and apart from the mother continuously during the three hundred days immediately preceding the birth of the child, this prescription does not commence to run until the husband is notified in writing that a party in interest has asserted that the husband is the father of the child.

Amended by Acts 1976, No. 430, §1; Acts 1999, No. 790, §1; Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005; Acts 2016, No. 309, §1.

Art. 190. Time limit for disavowal by heir or legatee

If the prescription has commenced to run and the husband dies before the prescription has accrued, his successor whose interest is adversely affected may institute an action for disavowal of paternity. The action of the successor is subject to a liberative prescription of one year. This prescription commences to run from the day of the death of the husband.

If the prescription has not yet commenced to run, the action of the successor is subject to a liberative prescription of one year. This prescription commences to run from the day the successor is notified in writing that a party in interest has asserted that the husband is the father of the child.

Amended by Acts 1976, No. 430, §1; Acts 1999, No. 790, §1; Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005.

Art. 190.1. Three-party acknowledgment;  alternative to disavowal;  time period

If blood or tissue sampling indicates by a ninety-nine and nine-tenths percentage point threshold probability that the biological father is the father of the child and he is not the husband or former husband presumed to be the father of the child, then the husband or former husband presumed to be the father of the child, the mother, and the biological father of the child may execute a three-party acknowledgment in authentic form declaring that the husband or former husband is not the father of the child and that the biological father is the father of the child. When a three-party acknowledgment is executed, the husband or former husband is not presumed to be the father of the child. The biological father who has acknowledged the child by three-party acknowledgment is presumed to be the father of the child.

To have effect, this acknowledgment shall be executed no later than ten years from the day of the birth of the child but never more than one year from the day of the death of the child. These time periods are peremptive.

Acts 2018, No. 21, §2, eff. May 7, 2018.

Art. 191. Contestation and establishment of paternity by mother

The mother of a child may institute an action to establish both that her former husband is not the father of the child and that her present husband is the father. This action may be instituted only if the present husband has acknowledged the child by authentic act.

Acts 2004, No. 530, §1, eff. June 25, 2004; Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005; Acts 2016, No. 309, §1.

Art. 192. Contestation action;  proof

The mother shall prove by clear and convincing evidence both that her former husband is not the father and that her present husband is the father. The testimony of the mother shall be corroborated by other evidence.

Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005.

Art. 193. Contestation and establishment of paternity;  time period

The action by the mother shall be instituted within a peremptive period of one hundred eighty days from the marriage to her present husband and also within two years from the day of the birth of the child, except as may otherwise be provided by law.

Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005.

Art. 194. Judgment in contestation action

A judgment shall not be rendered decreeing that the former husband is not the father of the child unless the judgment also decrees that the present husband is the father of the child.

Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005.

Subsection B. Presumption of Paternity by Subsequent Marriage and Acknowledgment

Art. 195. Presumption by marriage and acknowledgment;  child not filiated to another man;  proof;  time period

A man who marries the mother of a child not filiated to another man and who, with the concurrence of the mother, acknowledges the child by authentic act is presumed to be the father of that child.

The husband may disavow paternity of the child as provided in Article 187. Revocation of the authentic act of acknowledgment alone is not sufficient to rebut the presumption of paternity created by this Article.

The action for disavowal is subject to a peremptive period of one hundred eighty days. This peremptive period commences to run from the day of the marriage or the acknowledgment, whichever occurs later.

Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005; Acts 2009, No. 3, §3, eff. June 9, 2009; Acts 2016, No. 309, §1.

Subsection C. Other Methods of Establishing Paternity

Art. 196. Formal acknowledgment;  presumption

A man may, by authentic act, acknowledge a child not filiated to another man. The acknowledgment creates a presumption that the man who acknowledges the child is the father. The presumption can be invoked only on behalf of the child. Except as otherwise provided in custody, visitation, and child support cases, the acknowledgment does not create a presumption in favor of the man who acknowledges the child.

Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005; Acts 2006, No. 344, §1, eff. June 13, 2006; Acts 2009, No. 3, §3, eff. June 9, 2009; Acts 2016, No. 309, §1.

Art. 197. Child's action to establish paternity;  proof;  time period

A child may institute an action to prove paternity even though he is presumed to be the child of another man. If the action is instituted after the death of the alleged father, a child shall prove paternity by clear and convincing evidence.

For purposes of succession only, this action is subject to a peremptive period of one year. This peremptive period commences to run from the day of the death of the alleged father.

Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005.

Art. 198. Father's action to establish paternity;  time period

A man may institute an action to establish his paternity of a child at any time except as provided in this Article. The action is strictly personal.

If the child is presumed to be the child of another man, the action shall be instituted within one year from the day of the birth of the child. Nevertheless, if the mother in bad faith deceived the father of the child regarding his paternity, the action shall be instituted within one year from the day the father knew or should have known of his paternity, or within ten years from the day of the birth of the child, whichever first occurs.

In all cases, the action shall be instituted no later than one year from the day of the death of the child.

The time periods in this Article are peremptive.

Amended by Acts 1944, No. 50; Acts 1948, No. 482, §1; Acts 1979, No. 607, §1; Acts 2005, No. 192, §1, eff. June 29, 2005.

Chapter 3. Filiation by Adoption

Section 1. Effect of Adoption

Art. 199. Effect of adoption

Upon adoption, the adopting parent becomes the parent of the child for all purposes and the filiation between the child and his legal parent is terminated, except as otherwise provided by law. The adopted child and his descendants retain the right to inherit from his former legal parent and the relatives of that parent.

Acts 2009, No. 3, §1, eff. June 9, 2009.

Section 2. Adoption of Minors

Art. 200. Adoption of minors

The adoption of minors is also governed by the provisions of the Children's Code.

Acts 2009, No. 3, §1, eff. June 9, 2009.

Section 3. Adoption of Adults

Art. 212. Adult adoption requirements

A person who has attained the age of majority may be adopted without judicial authorization only when the adoptive parent is the spouse or the surviving spouse of a parent of the person to be adopted.

In other proposed adult adoptions, the court, upon the joint petition of the adoptive parent and the person to be adopted, may authorize the adoption of a person who has attained the age of majority if the court finds after a hearing that the adoption is in the best interest of both parties.

Acts 2008, No. 351, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009; Acts 2009, No. 3, §3, eff. June 9, 2009.

Art. 213. Adult adoption;  form

The adoptive parent and the person to be adopted shall consent to the adoption in an authentic act of adoption.

The spouse of the adoptive parent and the spouse of the person to be adopted shall sign the act of adoption for the purpose of concurrence in the adoption only. The act of adoption without this concurrence is absolutely null. The concurrence does not establish the legal relationship of parent and child.

Neither a party to an adult adoption nor a concurring spouse may consent by procuration or mandate.

Acts 2008, No. 351, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Art. 214. Adult adoption;  recordation requirement

The adoption is effective when the act of adult adoption and any judgment required to authorize the adoption are filed for registry, except as otherwise provided by law.

Amended by Acts 1948, No. 454, §1; Acts 1958, No. 514, §1; Acts 1978, No. 458, §1; Acts 1990, No. 147, §1, eff. July 1, 1990; Acts 1995, No. 1180, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1996; Acts 2008, No. 351, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

Chapter 5. Parental Authority of Married Persons

Section 1. General Principles of Parental Authority

Art. 221. Authority of married parents

The father and mother who are married to each other have parental authority over their minor child during the marriage.

Amended by Acts 1916, No. 41; Acts 1920, No. 252; Acts 1924, No. 197; Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 222. Representation of minor

Parental authority includes representation of the child and the right to designate a tutor for the child.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 223. Rights and obligations of parental authority

Parental authority includes rights and obligations of physical care, supervision, protection, discipline, and instruction of the child.

Acts 1986, No. 303, §1; Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Section 2. Obligations of Parents

Art. 224. Parental obligation of support and education

Parents are obligated to support, maintain, and educate their child. The obligation to educate a child continues after minority as provided by law.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 225. Parental liability for child's offenses and quasi-offenses

Parents are responsible for damage occasioned by their child as provided by law.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 226. Parental obligation of direction

Parents have a moral obligation to provide moral, social, and material direction for their child.

Amended by Acts 1952, No. 265, §1; Acts 1985, No. 714, §1; Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Section 3. Obligations of Children

Art. 227. Parental control

A child owes assistance to his parents and may not quit a family residence without the consent of both parents, except as otherwise provided by law.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 228. Child's obligation of obedience;  parental correction

A child shall obey his parents in all matters not contrary to law or good morals. Parents have the right and obligation to correct and discipline the child in a reasonable manner.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Section 4. Authority Over the Property of the Child

Art. 229. Administration of the property of the child

Each parent has the right and the obligation to administer the property of the child. The parent must do so as a prudent administrator and is answerable for any damage caused by his fraud, fault, default, or neglect. An action for failure to perform this obligation is subject to a liberative prescription of five years that commences to run from the day the child attains the age of majority.

Amended by Acts 1970, No. 436, §2; Acts 1972, No. 668, §1; Acts 1979, No. 249, §1; Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 230. Alienation, encumbrance, or lease of the property of the child;  expenditure of fruits

Either parent may alienate, encumber, or lease the property of the child, compromise a claim of the child, or incur an obligation of the child for his education, support, and maintenance only with prior court approval, except as otherwise provided by law.

Nevertheless, a parent may expend, without court approval, the fruits of the child's property for the shared benefit of the family, excluding major children not living in the household, or for the expenses of the child's household or property.

Acts 1985, No. 173, §1; Acts 1992, No. 1014, §1; Acts 2001, No. 408, §1; Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 231. Parents' obligation to deliver and account

Parents are bound to deliver to the child his property at termination of parental authority.

Parents shall also give an account of their administration when ordered by the court. The action to compel an accounting is subject to a liberative prescription of five years that commences to run from the day the child attains the age of majority.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Section 5. Person Having Parental Authority and of Its Delegation and Suspension

Art. 232. Parental authority

Either parent during the marriage has parental authority over his child unless otherwise provided by law.

Under extraordinary circumstances, such as if one parent is mentally incompetent, interdicted, or imprisoned, or is an absent person, the other parent has exclusive authority.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 233. Delegation of parental authority

Parents may delegate all or a part of their parental authority to others as provided by law.

Parents delegate a part of their parental authority to teachers and others to whom they entrust their child for his education, insofar as may be necessary.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 234. Parental authority;  custody award

Parental authority continues during marriage, unless modified by a judgment awarding custody to one parent, by a joint custody implementation order, or by a judgment awarding custody to a third person.

An ascendant, other than a parent, who is awarded custody has parental authority. The authority of a third person who is awarded custody, other than an ascendant, is governed by the rules of tutorship, unless modified by court order.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Section 6. Termination of Parental Authority

Art. 235. Termination of parental authority

Parental authority terminates upon the child's attaining the age of majority, upon the child's emancipation, or upon termination of the marriage of the parents of the child.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Chapter 6. Obligations of Children and Parents and Other Ascendants

Art. 236. Filial honor and respect

A child regardless of age owes honor and respect to his father and mother.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 237. Obligation of providing the basic necessities of life;  ascendants and descendants;  exceptions

Descendants are bound to provide the basic necessities of life to their ascendants who are in need, upon proof of inability to obtain these necessities by other means or from other sources, and ascendants are likewise bound to provide for their needy descendants, this obligation being reciprocal.

This obligation is strictly personal and is limited to the basic necessities of food, clothing, shelter, and health care.

This obligation is owed by descendants and ascendants in the order of their degree of relationship to the obligee and is joint and divisible among obligors. Nevertheless, if the obligee is married, the obligation of support owed by his descendants and ascendants is secondary to the obligation owed by his spouse.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 238. Amount of support

The amount of support shall be determined in accordance with the needs of the obligee, as limited under the preceding Article, and the means of the obligor.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Art. 239. Modification or termination of support

The amount of support may be modified if the circumstances of the obligor or the obligee materially change and shall be terminated if it has become unnecessary.

Acts 2015, No. 260, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

Title VIII. Of Minors, of Their Tutorship and Emancipation

Chapter 1. Of Tutorship

Section 1. General Dispositions

Art. 246. Occasion for tutorship

The minor not emancipated is placed under the authority of a tutor after the dissolution of the marriage of his father and mother or the separation from bed and board of either one of them from the other.

Amended by Acts 1924, No. 72.

Art. 247. Kinds of tutorships

There are four sorts of tutorships:

Tutorship by nature;

Tutorship by will;

Tutorship by the effect of the law;

Tutorship by the appointment of the judge.

Art. 248. Modes of establishment of tutorships

Tutorship by nature takes place of right, but the natural tutor must qualify for the office as provided by law. In every other kind of tutorship the tutor must be confirmed or appointed by the court, and must qualify for the office as provided by law.

Amended by Acts 1960, No. 30, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1961.

Art. 249. Accountability of tutor

For every sort of tutorship, the tutor is accountable.

Section 2. Of Tutorship by Nature

Art. 250. Persons entitled to tutorship

Upon the death of either parent, the tutorship of minor children belongs of right to the other. Upon divorce or judicial separation from bed and board of parents, the tutorship of each minor child belongs of right to the parent under whose care he or she has been placed or to whose care he or she has been entrusted; however, if the parents are awarded joint custody of a minor child, then the cotutorship of the minor child shall belong to both parents, with equal authority, privileges, and responsibilities, unless modified by order of the court or by an agreement of the parents, approved by the court awarding joint custody. In the event of the death of a parent to whom joint custody had been awarded, the tutorship of the minor children of the deceased belongs of right to the surviving parent.

All those cases are called tutorship by nature.

Amended by Acts 1924, No. 196; Acts 1981, No. 283, §1; Acts 1982, No. 307, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1983; Acts 1983, No. 695, §1.

Art. 252. Unborn and posthumous children

If a wife happens to be pregnant at the time of the death of her husband, no tutor shall be appointed to the child till after his birth; but, if it should be necessary, the judge may appoint a curator for the preservation of the rights of the unborn child, and for the administration of the estate which may belong to such child. At the birth of the posthumous child, such curator shall be of right the undertutor.

Art. 256. Children born outside of marriage

A. The mother is of right the tutrix of her child born outside of marriage not acknowledged by the father, or acknowledged by him without her concurrence.

B. After the death of the mother, if the father had not acknowledged the child prior to the mother's death, the court shall give first consideration to appointment as tutor either of her parents or siblings who survive her and accept the appointment, and secondly, the father, always taking into consideration the best interests of the child.

C. If both parents have acknowledged their child born outside of marriage, the judge shall appoint as tutor the one by whose care the best interests of the child will be served. However, if the parents are awarded joint custody of such acknowledged child born outside of marriage, then the cotutorship of such child shall belong of right to both parents, with equal authority, privileges, and responsibilities, unless modified by order of the court or by an agreement of the parents, approved by the court awarding joint custody.

Acts 1983, No. 215, §1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 2016, No. 210, §1.

Section 3. Of the Tutorship by Will

Art. 257. Surviving parent's right of appointment

The right of appointing a tutor, whether a relation or a stranger, belongs exclusively to the father or mother dying last.

The right of appointing a tutor, whether a relation or a stranger, also belongs to a parent who has been named the curator for the other living spouse, when that other living spouse has been interdicted, subject only to the right of the interdicted parent to claim the tutorship should his incapacity be removed by a judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.

This is called tutorship by will, because generally it is given by testament; but it may likewise be given by any declaration of the surviving father or mother, or the parent who is the curator of the other spouse, executed before a notary and two witnesses.

Amended by Acts 1974, No. 142, §1.

Art. 258. Right of appointment where parents are divorced or separated

If the parents are divorced or judicially separated, only the one to whom the court has entrusted the care and custody of the children has a right to appoint a tutor for them as provided in Article 257. However, if the parents have been awarded joint custody of the children, then the right to appoint a tutor for them belongs to the parent dying last, but either parent may appoint a tutor of the property of the children as provided in Article 257. In the event that both parents appoint a tutor of the property of the children, the tutors shall separately administer that portion of the children's property which is attributable to the respective parent's estate. The court shall decide which tutor shall administer that portion of the children's property which is not attributable to either parent's estate.

Acts 1992, No. 680, §1.

Art. 259. Option of acceptance of tutorship

The tutor by will is not compelled to accept the tutorship to which he is appointed by the father or mother.

But if he refuses the tutorship, he loses in that case all the legacies and other advantages, which the person who appointed him may have made in his favor under a persuasion that he would accept this trust.

Art. 261. Child born outside of marriage

The father or mother who is entitled to the tutorship of the child born outside of marriage, according to the provisions of Article 256, can choose a tutor for him, whose appointment, to be valid, must be approved by the judge.

Amended by Acts 1979, No. 607, §1; Acts 2016, No. 210, §1.

Art. 262. Appointment of several tutors;  order of priority

If the parent who died last has appointed several tutors to the children, the person first mentioned shall be alone charged with the tutorship, and the second shall not be called to it, except in case of the death, absence, refusal, incapacity or displacing of the first, and in like manner as to the others in succession.

Section 4. Of the Tutorship by the Effect of the Law

Art. 263. Qualified ascendants;  collaterals by blood;  surviving spouse

When a tutor has not been appointed to the minor by father or mother dying last, or if the tutor thus appointed has not been confirmed or has been excused, then the judge shall appoint to the tutorship, from among the qualified ascendants in the direct line, collaterals by blood within the third degree and the surviving spouse of the minor's mother or father dying last, the person whose appointment is in the best interests of the minor.

Amended by Acts 1976, No. 429, §1.

Section 5. Of Dative Tutorship

Art. 270. Occasion for tutorship

When a minor is an orphan, and has no tutor appointed by his father or mother, nor any relations who may claim the tutorship by effect of law, or when the tutor appointed in some of the modes above expressed is liable to be excluded or disqualified, or is excused legally, the judge shall appoint a tutor to the minor.

Amended by Acts 1960, No. 30, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1961.

Section 6. Of the Undertutor

Art. 273. Necessity for appointment

In every tutorship there shall be an undertutor.

Amended by Acts 1960, No. 30, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1961.

Art. 278. Liability concerning minor's legal mortgage

The undertutor who fails or neglects to cause to be inscribed in the manner required by law, the evidence of the minor's legal mortgage against his tutor, shall be liable for all the damages which the minor may sustain in consequence of such failure or neglect; and this claim for damages shall not be prescribed so long as the minor's right of action exists against his tutor.

Art. 280. Termination of undertutorship

The duties of the undertutor are at an end at the same time with the tutorship.

Section 8. Of the Causes Which Dispense or Excuse from the Tutorship

Art. 292. Excuse by reason of office or function

The following persons are dispensed or excused from the tutorship by the privilege of their offices or functions:

1. The Governor and the Secretary of State;

2. The judges of the different courts of this State and the officers of the same;

3. The Mayor of the city of New Orleans;

4. The Collector of the Customs;

5. The officers and soldiers attached to the regular troops, whether on land or sea service, employed and in actual service in this State, and all the officers who are intrusted in this State with any mission from the Government, as long as they are employed;

6. Preceptors and other persons keeping public schools, as long as they remain in the useful and actual exercise of their profession;

7. Ministers of the gospel.

Art. 293. Waiver of excuse by subsequent acceptance of tutorship

The persons mentioned in the preceding article, who have accepted a tutorship posterior to their being invested with the offices, engaged in the service, or intrusted with the mission which dispenses from it, shall not be admitted to be excused on that account.

Art. 294. Subsequently acquired excuse

Those, on the contrary, who shall have been invested with offices, who shall have engaged in the service, or shall have been intrusted with commissions, posterior to their acceptation and administration of a tutorship, may, if they do not choose to continue to act as tutor, be excused from the tutorship, and apply for the appointment of another tutor to supply their place.

Art. 295. Excuse for remote relationship

No person, who is not a relation of the minor by consanguinity, or who is only related to him beyond the fourth degree, can be compelled to accept the tutorship.

Art. 296. Excuse for age

Every person who has attained the age of sixty-five years, may refuse to be a tutor.

The person who shall have been appointed prior to that age, may be excused from the tutorship at the age of seventy years.

Art. 297. Excuse for infirmity

Every person affected with a serious infirmity, may be excused from the tutorship, if this infirmity be of such nature as to render him incapable of transacting his own business.

He may even be discharged from the tutorship, if such infirmity has befallen him after his appointment.

Art. 298. Excuse for prior tutorships

The person who is appointed to two tutorships has a legal excuse for not accepting a third.

A parent who has been appointed to one tutorship shall not be compelled to accept a second tutorship, except it be that of his own children.

Amended by Acts 1974, No. 163, §3.

Art. 299. Time to present excuse

The tutor, who has excuses to offer against his appointment, must propose them to the judge who has appointed him, within ten days after he has been acquainted with his appointment, or after the same shall have been notified to him, which period shall be increased one day for every ten miles distance from his residence to the place where his appointment was made, and after this delay he shall no longer be admitted to offer any excuse, unless he has sufficient reason to account for such delay.

Art. 300. Provisional administration pending consideration of excuse

During the time of the pendency of the litigation relative to the validity of his excuses, the tutor who is appointed shall be bound provisionally* to administer as such, until he shall have been regularly discharged.

* "Provisionally" has no counterpart in French text.

Art. 301. Parent's unconditional obligation of tutorship

The causes herein expressed, or any other, cannot excuse a parent from the obligation of accepting the tutorship of his children.

Amended by Acts 1974, No. 163, §3.

Section 10. Of the Appointment, Recognition, or Confirmation of Tutors, of the Persons Whose Duty It is to Cause Tutors to Be Appointed and of the Liability of Such Persons

Art. 308. Duty to apply for appointment

In every case where it is necessary to appoint a tutor to a minor, all those of his relations who reside within the parish of the judge, who is to appoint him, are bound to apply to such judge, in order that a tutor be appointed to the minor at farthest within ten days after the event which make [makes] such appointment necessary.

Art. 309. Minors exempt from taking application

Minor relations are not included in the provisions contained in the preceding article.

Amended by Acts 1974, No. 163, §3.

Art. 310. Liability for failure to make application

Relations who have neglected to cause a tutor to be appointed, are responsible for the damages which the minor may have suffered.

This responsibility is enforced against relations in the order according to which they are called to the inheritance of the minor, so that they are responsible only in case of the insolvency of him or them who precede them in that order, and this responsibility is not in solidum between relations who have a right to the inheritance in the same degree.

Art. 311. Action for damages;  prescription

The action which results from this responsibility can not be maintained by the tutor but within the year of his appointment.

If the tutor neglects to bring his action within that time, he is answerable for such neglect to the minor.

Art. 322. Minor's legal mortgage on tutor's property

The recording of the certificate of the clerk operates as a legal mortgage in favor of the minor for the amount therein stated, on all the immovable property of the natural tutor in the parish.

Amended by Acts 1960, No. 30, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1961.