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Child Support Access and Visitation
The Access and Visitation Program is designed to help parents understand that their children should come first.
Our overall goal is to increase the involvement of fathers and mothers in the emotional development of their children and to provide healthier connections with their fathers and mothers to reduce the risk of early parenting, poor academic achievement, substance abuse, and juvenile delinquency.
The objective of the State of Louisiana, Department of Children & Family Services, Child Support Enforcement, under the Access and Visitation Program, is the promotion of emotional, mental and physical well being of children in the state and to facilitate and encourage the duty, obligation and responsibility of each parent to share and participate in the upbringing of their child.
To foster this mandate, DCFS has implemented a program to assist non-custodial parents in gaining access and visitation to their minor children through the courts. An Access and Visitation attorney will mediate, attempt to reach a voluntary agreement, or if necessary, ask the court for reasonable visitation.
Non-Custodial Parents Rights and Responsibilities
- The central test for awarding visitation rights is what is in "the best interest of the child."
- All non-custodial parents are entitled to access and visitation with their minor children, UNLESS THERE IS AN ALLEGATION OF ABUSE.
- Non-custodial parents who have a history of family violence or physical abuse toward the child or children may not be allowed visitation privileges and if allowed by the courts, only under supervised visitation.
- All access, visitation and contact between a parent and child is prohibited if that parent has been found guilty of sexual abuse.
- The Access and Visitation Program will neither modify nor enforce a current or past visitation order. Additionally, the Program will not accept an application when an interim visitation order has been issued by a court directing either or both parents to comply with the terms of the order, i.e., attending parenting classes.
- There is no application fee charged for the services of the Access and Visitation Program.
- This program is available only to those individuals who have an active case with the Support Enforcement Services office.
- Failure to cooperate with the Access and Visitation Program will result in the closure of your case within 20 (twenty) days, but only as it relates to obtaining visitation. Your child support case will remain active.
- Any information that would permit identification of the parents will be held in strict confidence and will be used only by persons engaged in and for the purpose of Access and Visitation Program, except as required by law.
Please bring the following items, if available, to your appointment:
- Valid driver’s license or state-issued ID.
- Social Security Number.
- Divorce decree or judgment of child support.
- Children’s birth certificates.
- Copy of any Temporary Restraining Orders.
- Copy of the Financial Summary Screen from your case with Child Support Enforcement (child support office).
If you have a court order in the East Baton Rouge, Jefferson or Orleans Parish Child Support Offices and would like more information about the Access and Visitation Program, please contact:
5825 Florida Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
1630 Iberville Street, Suite 2800
New Orleans, LA 70112
Access and Visitation Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of Co-operative Parenting?
- High dropout rates;
- Juvenile delinquency;
- Low self esteem;
- Drug use;
- Attempted suicide; and
- Teenage pregnancy.
Children need both parents for guidance throughout their childhood and into adulthood. Because of the increased risk for unhealthy behaviors in single parent families, it is vital that children have access to and visitation with both parents.
Will the Access and Visitation Attorney Be My Attorney?
No. As always parents are free to hire their own attorneys to ask the court for custody or visitation. If it is in the best interest of your child, the Access and Visitation Program can assist you with visitation; however, we cannot assist you in seeking custody. The attorneys employed by the State represent the State, in the best interests of the minor children.
Who May Apply For Help?
Any non-custodial parent:
- with an active Support Enforcement Services case;
- who does not have a current or prior visitation order;
- whose child support order originates in one of the parishes covered under the plan; and
- who does not have a history of domestic violence or child abuse.
Any identifying information that you provide will be held in strict confidence and will be used only by persons engaged in and for the purpose of Access and Visitation, except as required by law.