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Kinship Navigator - Provisional Custody by Mandate

What is Provisional Custody by Mandate?

It is a temporary transfer of legal custody by the child's parent or parents naming another person to have "care, custody, and control" of a minor child. The child must be less than 18 years old.

When should a Provisional Custody by Mandate be used?

If a parent is not able to care for a child for whatever reason, such as illness, poverty, military service, etc. on a temporary basis, this form may be the simplest solution.

How is it done?

A Provisional Custody by Mandate is done by affidavit. The form is signed by the parents and you in front of a notary and two witnesses.

How long does Provisional Custody by Mandate last? When does it expire?

The longest the signed form is good for is one year from the date it is signed. The parent can set a shorter period. It would also end 15 days after the death of a parent. The parent can take it back at any time.

Do both parents have to sign?

No, but the person signing must have legal custody of the child and it does not affect the rights of the non-signing parent.

What can the person who gets Provisional Custody by Mandate do for the child?

The person giving someone Provisional Custody by Mandate can pick which things they want the other person to do for the child. These things cover broad areas like medical care, school , discipline, and taking care of the child's shelter, support and overall welfare. Here is what the law says these things:

  • Consenting to and authorizing such medical care, treatment, or surgery as may be deemed necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of the child.
  • Enrolling the child in such schools or educational institutions as necessary for the child's proper education.
  • Disciplining the child in such reasonable manner as may be necessary for the child's proper rearing, supervision, and training.
  • Doing and performing all other such acts as may be necessary for the shelter, support, and general welfare of the child.

However, please be aware that some jurisdictions, medical facilities, school districts, etc. may not accept this type of custody to access service, enroll child in school, etc. Based upon what you will need to do, you may want to assess obtaining another type of legal custody which will provide greater legal authority to you.

Can the person who gets Provisional Custody by Mandate prevent the parents from visiting with the child?

No, parents still have the right and the obligation to communicate with the child. Visitation can only be restricted by court order.

Do the parents still have the obligation to support the child?

Yes, parents still have the obligation to support the child. A voluntary arrangement with the parents may be the best and least contentious way to provide needed support for the child. If this is not possible, you should contact the local Support Enforcement Office for guidance on how to establish initial child support benefits, having established support payments transferred to you, or you may hire an attorney to file directly in your parish district or juvenile court.

Can I apply for benefits for the child or have the benefits the child receives put in my name?

For benefits such as Social Security, Veteran's Benefits and Supplemental Security Disability Income (551), and other programs, you should contact those agencies directly to determine what level of documentation would be needed for you to be named as payee of those benefits.

Is there a form for Provisional Custody by Mandate?

Yes. The law about Provisional Custody by Mandate includes a form found in Louisiana Revised Statute 9:954. The notary should be able to help you complete it. For the form see http://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/Law.aspx?p=y&d=108362.