Q: In Louisiana, can custody of a minor child be transferred to a family member that has power of attorney?
My brother is currently incarcerated at Angola and he has given me power of attorney. Before he was charged and convicted he and the mother of his only child did have a court order for joint custody in place issued in Orleans Parish. What I am trying to find out is since I have power of attorney can I somehow have his joint custody rights transferred to me? The child's mother has had a history of drug abuse which has included heroin and crack. She is not allowing us to see the child and our family is and always have been a huge part of her life. Will Orleans parish still have jurisdiction over the matter? I do not love in that parish and the mother lives in a different parish as well. I would like to know what steps I can possibly take in order to gain my brother's half of custody. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
A: An attorney would have to review the power of attorney to determine whether it would convey the right to grant custody. Even if the POA isn't sufficient, you (or anyone with an interest in the wellbeing of the child) can seek custody, although keeping custody with the mother would have to be shown to be harmful to the child. And if the mother has been a resident of another parish for over 180 days, then the issue of custody can be transferred to the district court in the parish of her residence. I recommend that you personally speak with a custody attorney as soon as possible to discuss your rights and options.
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