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Legal Information: Louisiana

Louisiana Child Support

Laws current as of
December 31, 2023

Basic information about child support in Louisiana

Who can get child support? How long will child support last?

Both parents have a duty to support their children.1 In most cases, the law will assume that the parent the child lives with most of the time (custodial parent) is spending money directly on the child and so that’s why child support is usually issued against the non-custodial parent. In general, child support will last until your child turns 18. However, child support could end early if your child:

  • gets married; or
  • becomes emancipated.2

On the other hand, child support could continue after your child turns 18 in any of the following situations:

  1. Your child is a full-time high school student in good standing who is not married, not yet 19 years old, and still dependent on a parent. This applies to some emancipated minors as well;
  2. Your child has a developmental disability and is a full-time student who is not yet 22 years old; or
  3. Your child is not married and already had an intellectual or physical disability before s/he turned 18. Because of this disability, s/he cannot support him/herself and s/he needs substantial care and personal supervision. The disability cannot include substance abuse or addiction.3

1 LA R.S. § 9:315(A)
2 LA C.C. Art. 366; Art. 367; see also Art. 368
3 LA R.S. §§ 9:315.22(C); 9:315.22(D); 9:315.22(E)(1)

How much child support can I get?

The judge will use the Louisiana child support guidelines to determine the amount of support that should be paid. The guidelines are based on things like the income of both parents and the number of children to be supported. The amount suggested by the guidelines is known as the “basic child support obligation.”1 You can read the guidelines on the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services page.

However, the judge can choose to order a higher or lower basic child support obligation than the guidelines suggest if either of the following is true:

  • the amount the guidelines suggest is not in the best interests of the child; or
  • the amount the guidelines suggest would not be fair to the parents.2

In addition to the basic child support obligation, the child support order will also include the following costs:

  • net child care costs;
  • the cost of health insurance premiums;
  • extraordinary medical expenses; and
  • other extraordinary expenses.3

The Department of Children and Family Services has provided a child support estimator to help you figure out how much support a judge might order in your situation. If you’d like to talk to an attorney for advice, please visit our LA Finding a Lawyer page.

1 LA R.S. § 9:315.2(D)
2 LA R.S. § 9:315.1(B)(1)
3 LA R.S. § 9:315.8(A)

Where can I get more information on child support in Louisiana?

LouisianaLawHelp has information explaining how the guidelines work and how to calculate child support payments. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services is the agency that administers and enforces child support in the state. Its website has a lot of information, including the worksheets provided by the state to help parents estimate their child support as well as information on establishing and enforcing child support orders.

Please note that WomensLaw.org has no relationship with these organizations. We provide the links for your information only.