A trial court is not required to make a mechanical evaluation of every factor of La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 134. Every child custody case must be viewed based on its own particular facts and relationships involved, with the goal of determining what is in the best interest of the child.
Plaintiff Martinez filed a petition seeking majority custody of his minor daughter. Named as defendant was the child's mother, defendant Lagos. A hearing was held and the trial court awarded joint custody, designating Lagos as the primary domiciliary parent. Martinez filed a Motion for New Trial for Reargument Only, which was denied by the trial court. Thereafter, Martinez filed a Reurged Motion for a New Trial and Motion for Written Reasons for Judgment, which was also denied by the trial court. Martinez then filed a Motion for Appeal, which was granted. Martinez appealed from the portion of the trial court's decision awarding custody of the minor child.
Did the trial court commit legal error by not properly considering the best interest factors set forth in La. C.C. art. 134?
The judgment of the trial court was affirmed. The trial court did not err under La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 134 in determining that the best interest of the child was to have the mother as domiciliary custodian during the school year, and a sharing of custody with weekly exchanges during the summer months. All parties agreed that the child was happy and successful with the current custody arrangement wherein the mother had been the primary physical custodian for the entirety of the child's life. The trial court did not err in denying the father's motion for a new trial because the father failed to present anything to support his motion, other than argument already heard by the trial court at the hearing on the custody trial.