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Legal Information: Louisiana


April 8, 2020

Can a parent who sexually abused my child (or another child) get visitation?

If the other parent sexually abused you, your children, or another household member, it’s possible that the abusive parent can only get supervised visitation if s/he requests visitation in court. Specifically, a sexually abusive parent would only be eligible for supervised visitation in any situation in which a judge finds “clear and convincing evidence” that:

  1. the parent subjected any of his/her children, step-children, or any household member to sexual abuse, which is defined as committing any of the following:
  2. the parent had the ability to prevent another person from committing sexual abuse against his/her children, step-children, or a household member but s/he “willingly permitted” it to happen.2

The parent cannot get the supervised visitation, however, until s/he proves at a court hearing that s/he successfully completed a treatment program designed for sexual abusers. The parent can have no contact or visitation, however, before s/he proves that s/he successfully completed the treatment program. At the hearing, the judge will also consider the following when deciding whether or not to grant supervised visitation:

  • evidence of the abusive parent’s current mental health condition;
  • the possibility that the abusive parent will again subject his/her children, step-children, or other household member to sexual abuse in the future (either by personally committing the abuse or by “willingly permitting” someone else to do it); and
  • whether the abusive parent proved that:
    • visitation would be in the best interest of the child; and
    • visitation would not cause physical, emotional, or psychological damage to the child.2

1 ​LA R.S. 9:341(B); 14:403(A)(4)(b)
2 ​LA R.S. 9:341(B)