Breaking News: Press Release from Corey Gautreaux’s attorney


LaDads just received this press release from Corey Gautreaux’s attorney.

Corey Gautreaux Press Release

“The allegations against Mr. Gautreaux concerning his actions on February 3, 2012 are patently false and fabricated.  Mr. Gautreaux is the legal father of the minor child and has just as much right to custody of the child as the mother.  A bizarre story was concocted in an effort to manipulate law enforcement and punish Mr. Gautreaux.  Those responsible for this injustice and abuse of the system will be held accountable.  Mr. Gautreaux has broken no law and is confident he will be exonerated of any alleged wrongdoing.

Mr. Gautreaux looks forward to being reunited with his daughter and prays that the courts recognize that a father is just as important to a child as a mother.”

The Hesser Law Firm

Myles Johnson

Attorney for Mr. Gautreaux

A simple reading of the law regarding “kidnapping” a child.

Let’s take a look at the law.

RS 14:45

§45.  Simple kidnapping

A.  Simple kidnapping is:

(1)  The intentional and forcible seizing and carrying of any person from one place to another without his consent.

(2)  The intentional taking, enticing or decoying away, for an unlawful purpose, of any child not his own and under the age of fourteen years, without the consent of its parent or the person charged with its custody.

(3)  The intentional taking, enticing or decoying away, without the consent of the proper authority, of any person who has been lawfully committed to any orphan, insane, feeble-minded or other similar institution.

(4)  The intentional taking, enticing or decoying away and removing from the state, by any parent of his or her child, from the custody of any person to whom custody has been awarded by any court of competent jurisdiction of any state, without the consent of the legal custodian, with intent to defeat the jurisdiction of the said court over the custody of the child.

(5)  The taking, enticing or decoying away and removing from the state, by any person, other than the parent, of a child temporarily placed in his custody by any court of competent jurisdiction in the state, with intent to defeat the jurisdiction of said court over the custody of the child.

B.  Whoever commits the crime of simple kidnapping shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than five years, or both.

Amended by Acts 1962, No. 344, §1; Acts 1966, No. 253, §1; Acts 1980, No. 708, §1.

RS 14:44.2

§44.2.  Aggravated kidnapping of a child

A.  Aggravated kidnapping of a child is the unauthorized taking, enticing, or decoying away and removing from a location for an unlawful purpose by any person other than a parent, grandparent, or legal guardian of a child under the age of thirteen years with the intent to secret the child from his parent or legal guardian.

B.(1)  Whoever commits the crime of aggravated kidnapping of a child shall be punished by life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

(2)  Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, if the child is returned not physically injured or sexually abused, then the offender shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 14:44.1.

Acts 2001, No. 654, §1; Acts 2006, No. 118, §1.

Apparently, the ability to read is not required to be a cop in some Parishes.

Law Enforcement In Avoyelles Parish Prove Their Bias Against Fathers

It was reported by the newspaper in Alexandria, Louisiana (Abducted Bunkie child found safe in Turkey Creek) that a 3-year-old girl was taken by force from a residence at 300 Briarwood Drive in Bunkie on Friday afternoon, according to Louisiana State Police Troop F.

Police located a 3-year-old child in the Turkey Creek area early Saturday morning after her biological father allegedly abducted her from a home in Bunkie on Friday afternoon. id.

Riley Renee Gautreaux was safely returned home, and her father, Corey Gautreaux, 24, was taken into custody without incident, according to Louisiana State Police. id.

Really?  Let’s add some facts that the police either omitted or did not understand:

1)  There is no custody agreement in place;

2)  The Dad gives the Mom child support even though he has the child about half the time;

3)  The Dad IS on the birth certificate meaning he is not just the “biological” dad he is the “legal” father with just as much right to the child as the mother.

While I certainly do not condone the use of force as appears to be the case in this matter, this is just another example how police just presume the mother is entitled to custody.


Proving visitation interference.

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I talked to Nick from LaDads yesterday and he asked me to shed some light on how to prove visitation interference. First, I want to thank Nick for keeping LaDads alive this long this is a much needed organization, so please contribute your resources to LaDads and help make a difference.

First and foremost you have to show that the allegation constitutes a material change in circumstances to modify custody do to it becoming an act that is becoming a pattern. Back in 2004, I created and with Rep Troy Hebert’s help passing into law two bills1 that basically meant the same thing, where a parent that is being violated in his or her visitation and the custodial parent that has not shown good cause and it has become a pattern of visitation interference the judge has the right to change custody. This does not apply to Bergeron Rule only when two parties have had a stipulated judgment. A stipulated Judgment is when two parties have not had a trial of parental unfitness where witnesses have gone on the stand and testified.

For example, I had a case where a parent found out that I was a private investigator and called me for my services. He asked me how could I prove that she was violating his visitation on the every other weekend when he was supposed to be visiting his child. His ex-wife was claiming the child was sick and denying him his court ordered parenting time.

I told him this is simple.

When it comes to your weekend simply hire me or someone else that is a licensed investigator (See Louisiana State Board of Private Investigators) to obtain surveillance on her to document through video surveillance that in fact the child is not sick as she claims to you on the phone. The thing is you need to obtain several times of visitation interference to show that she in clearly violating the statue of visitation interference.

There is no better evidence then for you to have it from a non interested party that is a licensed professional .This will put teeth in to your claim and will more than likely make the judge act on it. If the judge doesn’t act on it, Simply just appeal the case and bring it to the higher court.

I have seen through my own cases as well as other attorneys and judges that I have spoke to personally that the statue of visitation interference has been exercised many of times and has made more people cautious before just violating a person visitation for no reason.

Also remember it’s not what you know when you go to to court, it’s what you can prove.

You can go to my web site ( and learn a lot about custody and family law.

This is not legal advice, I am not a attorney, always consult with a licensed attorney. This is simply from my experience.

Good Luck
Scott Frank
Scott Frank Investigations


1 ACT519 of 2004 and ACT520 of 2004 by Representative Troy Hebert

ACT 519
CHILDREN/VISITATION RGTS – Provides for intentional violations of visitation orders
ACT 520
CHILDREN/VISITATION RGTS – Provides penalties for violations of visitation orders

Louisiana Fatherhood and Family Policy Forum – April 3, 2008

President Bush, when he was first elected implemented a Fatherhood program.  That program continues to exist.  In April of 2008, they held a forum on Louisiana Fatherhood and Family Policy. Continue reading

General Provisions for Judgments RS 13:4201 to 13:4212

Okay, so this is a rather long-winded way to talk about my two favorite laws RS 13:4207 and RS 13:4210.

RS 13:4207 is the hammer to be used if the judge has failed to render a timely judgment in a case.  The clerk of court is meant to report the judge to the auditor whenever a decsision extends beyond thirty days.  The aditor is then meant to fine the judge.

So in theory, the plaintiff or defendent need tak no action to get the system to work.  In practice, the system is often stuck and needs a gentle shove.

For some reason, the ‘clerk of court’ does not want to get the judge ‘mad’.

While the direct law may be stuck much of the time, filing a judicial complaint will sometimes elicit action from the Louisiana Judiciary Commission and the Louisiana Supreme Court.

So please, if you or a friend are being sat on, file a complaint with the Judiciary Commission . If enough other people complain, then the the Judiciary may eventually move on the case.

Here are a few examples where at least some small measure of justice was served out on a corrupt judge:

In 1998, the Louisiana Supreme Court publicly censured Judge Leon L. Emanuel, III in case 98-O-3142 for sitting on the Patterson and Whitman cases for a year. (see page 17)

 The Emanuel Supreme court decision also refers to the Judge Tuck case (96-1444) and the Judge Paul R. Wimbish case (98-O-2882).  In Judge Tuck’s case, because the delays involved only a small number of cases but with very long delays and with no obvious malice they implemented a minimum sanction.

In October 2003, the Louisiana Supreme court suspended Judge Carl Van Sharp for 60 days without pay for violating this law.  Earlier the court had placed Judge Sharp on a three year propation for excessive delays in five cases.

In determining the punishment, the supreme court stated its rules for the amount of discipline to be meted out.

(1) the amount of delay from the date the case was ripe for decision;
(2) the complexity of the case;
(3) theadministrative and judicial workload of the judge;
(4) thenumber of special assignments given to the judge;
(5) theamount of vacation time taken; and
(6) other complaints involving delayed decisions made against the judge.

The Louisiana Supreme Court on Februrary 2004, suspended Judge Marcus Clark for 30 days without pay for nineteen cases with delays ranging from three months to five years.  This decisions shows that the judicial system remains broken in that it took the Louisiana Supreme Court a long time to address the issue with Judge Clark.

If the clerks of court and the auditors were doing their jobs appropriately, then Judge Clark would have been put on a short leash much earlier.

Sometimes the punishment is much more severe than a public censure or a brief period without pay.  In April 2004, the Louisiana Supreme court removed Judge Hughes from office.  Judge Hughes however had a number of charges brought against her besides just being slow on rendering judgments.


Title 13 of Louisiana’s revised statutes covers the Courts and Judicial Procedure. 

The General Provisions governing judgments can be found in Chapter 23.  This chapter runs from 4201 to 4212.  The current index for the general provisions on judgments is shown below (as of September 18, 2011 – always see the live database maintained by the Louisiana Legislature to ensure that you are viewing current law.)

RS 13:4201

RS 13:4201 Judgments
RS 13:4202 Rates of judicial interest
RS 13:4203 Interest on judgments from judicial demand in ex delicto cases
RS 13:4204 United states courts; recorded judgments as judicial mortgages
RS 13:4205 Same; recordation fees
RS 13:4206 Inability to pay money judgment not contempt
RS 13:4207 Maximum delays for decisions on cases under advisement and on applications for new trials and orders of appeal
RS 13:4208 Same; judgment and appeal when court not in session
RS 13:4209 Decisions by successor judge
RS 13:4210 Penalty for judge’s violation of r.s. 13:4207 through r.s. 13:4209
RS 13:4211 Application of r.s. 13:4207-13:4210 to all parishes, including orleans
RS 13:4212 To 4214 repealed by acts 1960, no. 32, 2, eff. jan. 1, 1961

RS 13:4201

§4201.  Voluntary dismissal or discontinuance; payment of costs before judgment rendered or signed

No order or judgment shall be rendered or signed by any court of the state dismissing or discontinuing any suit or reconventional demand, on the voluntary motion of any or all of the parties thereto, unless and until all costs and commissions due the clerk of court and the sheriff shall first have been paid, to be evidenced by certificates of those officers to be filed with and made part of the motion to dismiss or discontinue.

The first law is very simple.  A lawsuit cannot be dismissed until all the court costs due to the clerk of court and the sheriff have been paid.

The party seeking dismissal has to get a certificate from both the clerk of court and the sheriff indicating the costs have been paid before the judge can voluntarily dismiss the case.

§4202.  Rates of judicial interest

A.  The rate of judicial interest resulting from a lawsuit pending or filed during the indicated periods shall be as follows:

(1)  Prior to September 12, 1980, the rate shall be seven percent per annum.

(2)  On and after September 12, 1980, until September 11, 1981, the rate shall be ten percent per annum.

(3)  On and after September 11, 1981, until January 1, 1988, the rate shall be twelve percent per annum.

(4)  On January 1, 1988, and for the entire year of 1988, the rate shall be nine and three-quarters percent per annum.

(5)  On January 1, 1989, and for the entire year of both 1989 and 1990, the rate shall be eleven and one-half percent per annum.

(6)  On January 1, 1991, and for the entire year of 1991, the rate shall be eleven percent per annum.

(7)  On January 1, 1992, and for the entire year of 1992, the rate shall be nine percent per annum.

(8)  On January 1, 1993, and for the entire year of both 1993 and 1994, the rate shall be seven percent per annum.

(9)  On January 1, 1995, and for the entire year of 1995, the rate shall be eight and three-quarters percent per annum.

(10)  On January 1, 1996, and for the entire year of 1996, the rate shall be nine and three-quarters percent per annum.

(11)  On and after January 1, 1997, until August 1, 1997, the rate shall be nine and one-quarter percent per annum.

(12)  On and after August 1, 1997, and for the remainder of 1997, the rate shall be seven and nine-tenths percent per annum.

(13)  On January 1, 1998, and for the entire year of 1998, the rate shall be seven and six-tenths percent per annum.

(14)  On January 1, 1999, and for the entire year of 1999, the rate shall be six and seventy-three-hundredths percent per annum.

(15)  On January 1, 2000, and for the entire year of 2000, the rate shall be seven and two hundred eighty-five-thousandths percent per annum.

(16)  On January 1, 2001, and for the entire year of 2001, the rate shall be eight and two hundred forty-one-thousandths percent per annum.

B.(1)  On and after January 1, 2002, the rate shall be equal to the rate as published annually, as set forth below, by the commissioner of financial institutions.  The commissioner of financial institutions shall ascertain, on the first business day of October of each year, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors approved “discount rate” published daily in the Wall Street Journal.  The effective judicial interest rate for the calendar year following the calculation date shall be three and one-quarter percentage points above the discount rate as ascertained by the commissioner.

(2)  The judicial interest rate for the calendar year following the calculation date shall be published in the December issue of the Louisiana Bar Journal, the December issue of the Louisiana Register, and in one daily newspaper of general circulation in each of the cities of Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Monroe, New Orleans, and Shreveport.  The notice in the daily newspapers shall be published on two separate occasions, with at least one week between publications, during the month of December.  The publication in the Louisiana Register shall not be considered rulemaking, within the intendment of the Administrative Procedure Act, R.S. 49:950 et seq., and particularly R.S. 49:953.

Acts 1997, No. 275, §§1, 3, eff. June 17, 1997; Acts 2001, No. 841, §1.

Louisiana used to set the interest rate using this law.  HOwever in 2001, this authority was delegated to the Lousiana State Bar Association.  So where do we go to find the current Judicial interest rate?


2011 Judicial Interest Rate is 4%
Posted: 12/22/2010

Pursuant to authority granted by La. R.S. 13:4202(B)(1), as amended by Acts 2001, No. 841, the Louisiana Commissioner of Financial Institutions has determined that the judicial rate of interest for calendar year 2011 will be four (4.0%) percent per annum. Need to calculate judicial interest? Check out the 2011 Judicial Interest Rate Calculator (courtesy of Alexandria attorney Charles D. Elliott). Go to:, and click “Judicial Interest Rate Calculator” on the left side of the home page. A judicial interest rate history also can be found at that link.

§4203.  Interest on judgments from judicial demand in ex delicto cases

Legal interest shall attach from date of judicial demand, on all judgments, sounding in damages, “ex delicto”, which may be rendered by any of the courts.

 Now this law is rather confusing because they throw the latin word ‘ex delicto’ at us.  Well, according to, this means:

Ex Delicto

(ex dee-lick-toe)adj. Latin for a reference to something that arises out of a fault or wrong, but not out of contracts. Of only academic interest today, it identified actions which were civil wrongs (torts).

So all this law says is that they can start charging interest from the date of the judgment.

§4204.  United States courts; recorded judgments as judicial mortgages

All judgments rendered by United States courts of original jurisdiction in Louisiana, or those registered in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §1963, when recorded in the mortgage records of any parish shall rank as judicial mortgages against all of the immovable property of the judgment debtor situated in the parish to the same extent and effect given by Louisiana law to the recorded judgments of the courts of this state.

Acts 1988, No. 986, §1.

{{NOTE:  SEE ACTS 1988, NO. 986, §2.}}

This law gives federal court judgments the same rights as Louisiana judgments.

§4205.  Same; recordation fees

The same fees allowed by law for the recordation of state judgments shall apply to judgments of the United States Courts.

And it instructs the clerk of court to charge the same fees for the federal court judgments as it does for any state court judgment.

§4206.  Inability to pay money judgment not contempt

Failure to obey an order or judgment of court, when such order or judgment is in effect an order or judgment for the payment of money, shall not be construed as a contempt, if it appears that the failure to obey is due to inability to comply with the order or judgment which inability existed when the order or judgment was rendered.

Now this law is interesting.  If you are unable to pay a judgment, then you cannot be held in contempt of court for failing to pay that judgment provided that that inability existed when the court order was given.

So it does not appear that any protection is given to someone who later becomes unable to pay the judgment.

§4207.  Maximum delays for decisions on cases under advisement and on applications for new trials and orders of appeal

If oral reasons for judgment are not rendered in open court and the matter taken under advisement, the district judges and judges of the city courts shall render a written judgment within thirty days from the time the cases are submitted for their decision.  All motions or applications for a new trial and all orders of appeal  shall be passed upon by judges of the city court within three days from the time such motions or applications for new trial or orders of appeal are submitted to them for their decision and by district court judges within seven days from the time such motions or applications for a new trial or orders of appeal are submitted to them for their decision; but by the written consent of the attorneys representing both sides, filed in the records or spread upon the minutes, the time herein granted may be extended for a further period of ten days, but no longer.

Acts 2006, No. 653, §1; Acts 2007, No. 82, §1.

This law provides the teeth to prevent a judge from sitting on a persons case and not providing a decision.  A person cannot appeal a decision until they have a final, written judgment.  And they cannot get a final written judgment if the court fails to make the judgment.

Once the parties rest their cases, the judge must issue a final decision within thirty days.

If the issue is a motion for new trial, then the city courts must decide these issues within 3 days and the district judges must decide these issues within 7 days.

Note that the authority to issue the judgment remains with the judge.  While the judge may delegate the authority to an attorney to write the decision, the onus remains with the judge to produce the decision.

§4208.  Same; judgment and appeal when court not in session

When the thirty days herein provided in R.S. 13:4207 expires at a time when the judge is not holding court in the parish wherein the case was tried and submitted, or while the judge is on vacation, the judge shall forward his decree to the clerk of the court, who shall enter the decree upon the minutes of the court, and the decree shall have the same effect as if rendered in open court.  In all such cases which are appealable, the judges, at the time of rendering their judgments, shall grant an order of appeal, and fix the appeal bonds when not fixed by law.  Either party to any such suit, upon filing the required bond, may take an appeal, which shall have the same legal effect as if granted in open court.  The clerk of court as aforesaid, shall file same and issue notices of the decree to all the parties to the suit, or to their attorneys of record, unless the notice has been waived by the parties, or by their attorneys of record; and the sheriff shall serve the notices.  The time granted parties under existing laws to take appeals, in cases where decrees are rendered under this section, shall begin to run from the time of the service upon the parties or their attorneys, unless the notice has been waived; and if the notice has been waived, the delay for appeals shall begin to run from the date of the clerk’s receipt of the decree.

This law covers what happens if the court is not in session.

§4209.  Decisions by successor judge

A.  In all cases heard and taken under advisement of the district judge or judges of the city courts, if the judge before whom a case is tried dies, resigns, or is removed from office, or if his term expires before rendering his judgment in the case, his successor in office shall decide the case from the evidence in the record, if all of the testimony is in writing.  If it is a case in which the testimony has not been reduced to writing, the succeeding judge shall decide the case from a statement of the facts, if one is found in the record, or if the parties to the suit agree upon a statement of facts.  If the testimony is not in the record, and there is no statement of facts, the case shall be tried de novo.

B.(1)  In cases which are heard and in which judgment is rendered, but not signed, whether the case was taken under advisement or not, if the judge who rendered the judgment dies, resigns, or is removed from office, or if his term expires before signing judgment in the case, his successor in office shall have the authority to sign a judgment which conforms with the judgment rendered.

(2)  If a prior judge has stated an affirmative intent to sign a judgment and failed to do so for whatever reason, the successor judge is empowered to sign the judgment.

Acts 1993, No. 1009, §1.

This law covers what his supposed to happen if the judge dies or is removed from office.

§4210.  Penalty for judge’s violation of R.S. 13:4207 through R.S. 13:4209

All judges mentioned in R.S. 13:4207 through 13:4209 who shall violate those provisions or requirements, relative to the time within which they shall render decisions as aforesaid, shall forfeit one quarter’s salary for each violation.  The clerk of court shall notify the auditor of any failure on the part of the judge to render a decision within the time prescribed herein.  The auditor, upon receiving such notification from the clerk of the court, shall withhold from such judge the payment of one quarter’s salary, which amounts shall be paid by the auditor into the general school fund.

Ah, my favorite law.  This is what is supposed to happen if a judge violates this rule.

The judge is supposed to lose one quarters salary for each violation.

The clerk of court is supposed to notify the auditor of any violation on the judgest part.

The auditor is supposed to withold one quarter’s salary.

Best of all, the judges pay goes to the general school fund.

§4211.  Application of R.S. 13:4207-13:4210 to all parishes, including Orleans

The provisions of R.S. 13:4207 through 13:4210 shall apply to all parishes in the State of Louisiana, including the parish of Orleans.

Amended by Acts 1954, No. 286, §1.

This law, added in 1954, ensures that this law applies to all parishes in the state of Louisiana.  They specifically include the parish of Orleans.  So they were probably having problems with Orleans parish even back in 1954.

Ohio changes child support collection tactics | The News-Messenger |

There is some good news out of Ohio on the child support front.  Apparently Ohio has changed its tactics somewhat on license suspensions. Perhaps it is time that Louisiana also revisited and changed its tactics on license suspensions.

Ohio changes child support collection tactics

State alters rules on drivers’ license suspensions for failure to pay

Written by  Jessica Alaimo

A non-custodial parent will be able to continually pay just half of his or her child support obligations with no risk of losing driving, recreational or professional licenses, starting Oct. 1.

From Jan. 1 to Aug. 31 of this year, 100,533 parents lost a drivers’ license, 83 lost a professional license, and 997 lost a recreational license for failure to pay child support, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. A parent could have more than one license suspended.

via Ohio changes child support collection tactics | The News-Messenger |

We obtained the article through the Fathers & Family web sites report on it. Continue reading

Conversion of Dr. Gardner’s handout

OCR conversion of Dr. Gardner provided this handout.


September 12, 2011                                          Child Support Review Committee
Child Support Guidelines

I.    Child Support Formulas Across the United States

A.    There are 13 states that use the ‘Percentage of Obligor Income’ model, including Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

  1. The child support amount is determined based on a percentage of noncustodial parent income only. Income can be gross or net. The percentage may be flat or vary according to income. Most of these states assume that the custodial parent spends an equal amount on the child.
  2. Example: Mississippi’s guidelines, shown below,

“..provide the percentage of the noncustodial parent’s adjusted gross income that should be awarded for support based on the number of children due support.”‘

Number of                          Percentage of Adjusted Gross Income
   Children                                             That Should be
Due Support                            Awarded for  Support
One (1)                                                        14%
Two (2)                                                       20%
Three (3)                                                    22%
Four (4)                                                      24%
Five or More (5)                                         26%

B.    There are 33 states that use the Income Shares model.

  1. According to PSI, among those Income Shares states that updated their schedules after 1991, most have updated their schedule using the Betson-Rothbarth estimates, which were not released until late 1990.2
  2. All of the Income Shares states that continue to use the Espenshade-Engel estimates have never updated or last updated their schedule prior to the release of the Betson-Rothbarth estimates, with the exception of Michigan and Rhode Island.

C.    Three states (HI, DE, MT) are based on the Melson formula and 2 states (DC, MA) use a hybrid approach.

II.    Summary of Louisiana’s use of the Income Shares model

A.    The basic principle of the Income Shares model is that it seeks to allocate to the child the proportion of the parental income that would have been spent on the child if the parents were living together.

B.    Basic Methodology:

  1. Use the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX) to obtain estimates of child-rearing expenditures as a percentage of total household consumption expenditures.
  2. To the basic child support obligation should be added the costs of child care, extraordinary medical expenses (in excess of $250 per year), and the child’s share of health insurance premiums.
  3. Adjust the national estimates of child-rearing expenditures to reflect Louisiana’s lower income distribution.
  4. Relate a family’s consumption expenditures to net income.
  5. Relate net income to gross income using current withholding tables for a single obligor.
  6. Incorporate a self-support reserve to ensure that the support obligation (other than the monthly minimum) does not reduce the obligor’s net income below a level necessary to maintain a subsistence standard of living.
  7. The foundation of Louisiana’s current child support guidelines are estimates of child-rearing expenditures.
  8. National estimates of child-rearing expenditures are typically developed using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX).
  9. There are several different methodologies available, and in use, for estimating child-rearing expenditures. The following apply to Louisiana’s current guideline schedule:From the combined adjusted monthly gross income range of $600 to $10,000 the child-rearing estimates are based on a study completed by Dr. Thomas Espenshade in 1984. The estimates are based upon national data from 19724973 and use the Engel estimator.
  10. From the combined adjusted monthly gross income range of $10,000 to $30,000, the economic estimates of child-rearing expenditures are based on a study by Dr. David Betson. These estimates are based upon the Rothbarth estimator using national data from 1998 — 2004.Ill. Economic methodologies for estimating child-rearing expenditures.
  11. The general approach is to compare expenditures between two households that are equally well off economically, one with children and one without. The additional expenditures by the household with children are deemed to be the costs of child-rearing.
    1. The child-rearing expenditures are estimates from samples of two-parent households.
    2. The example described in Louisiana’s “Economic Basis for Updated Child Support Schedule’ written by Performance.Service.Integrity. in 2004 describes two families who are assumed to have two adults and are considered to be equally well off:
    Family A Family B
    Number of Children 0 2
    Total Household Expenditures $18,000 $30,000
    Children’s Additional Cost $12,000
    Children’s Share of Total $12,000 /




    1. The $12,000 is considered as the marginal cost of the children.
    2. For this approach it is necessary to construct a standard of well-being that is independent of income. Only with such a standard can two families be considered as equally well off, one with children and one without, even though they have different incomes.

    B Rothbarth estimator.

    1. This estimator uses the proportion of family expenditures on luxury goods as a standard of well-being. The Rothbarth approach estimates child expenditures based on the level of household expenditures on adult goods (e.g. adult clothing, alcohol, tobacco).
    2. According to the US DHHS Lewin/ICF Report, the primary basis of the Rothbarth methodology is that it is theoretically most likely to understate child-rearing expenditures. However, this has been contested by more recent studies.
    3. Dr. Betson conducted his first study in 1990 using date from the 1980-86 CEX. Since then he has completed three additional studies:

    a. In 2002 he updated his estimates using CEX data from 1996 — 1998.

    b.ln 2006 Oregon commissioned a study in which Dr. Betson updated his estimates using 1998 — 2003 CEX data.

    c. NEW: In 2010 California commissioned Dr. Betson to update his estimates using CEX data from 2004 through 2009.

    C.Engel estimator.

    1. Under this standard, total expenditures devoted to food are deemed to be a valid indicator of economic well-being. The Engel approach estimates child expenditures based on total household expenditures on food.
    2. Thus, if two families of different size spend the same proportions of their incomes on food, they are deemed to be equally well off.
    3. According to the US DHHS Lewin/ICF Report, the primary basis of the Engel methodology is that it is theoretically most likely to overstate child-rearing expenditures.

    D. Wisconsin

    1. The third most frequently used economic estimate is based on Wisconsin’s interpretation of a 1981 summary article of child-rearing costs.
    2. Wisconsin uses a flat percentage of gross income to determine child support. The amount of the obligee’s income has no effect on the child support order amount.

    E. USDA estimates

    1. The USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) develops economic estimates for the major categories of child-rearing expenditures.
    2. No states uses the CNPP estimates as the basis of its child support schedule. The CNPP only considers three income ranges (low-income, middle-income, and high-income).

    IV. Converting net income to gross income

    A. The following assumptions are made to simplify the conversion process:

    1. All income is treated as earned income subject to taxes;
    2. All income is assumed to be earned by a noncustodial parent with no dependents; and
    3. Only adjustments for federal and state taxes and FICA are considered.
    1. For federal taxes, two federal withholdings are assumed (the employed withholding guide for federal taxes does not separate standard deductions from exemptions, each is considered one withholding).
    2. For state taxes, the one personal exemption is assumed.
    3. “In modeling differential tax impacts associated with different family situations including the new child tax credit, we have found that adjustments to account for the actual tax impacts generally serve to increase the total net income available for support, increase the total support obligation, and, except in unusual circumstances (e.g. all income is earned by the custodial parent), increase the noncustodial parent’s share of that obligation” (PSI 2004).

    B. Net income is computed independently using CEX data on gross income and on itemized deductions for

    1. Federal, states, and local taxes, including personal property taxes;
    2. Social security (FICA) taxes; and
    3. Union dues, which are considered to be mandatory expenses. Thus,

    Net Income = Gross Income — taxes — FICA — union dues

    1. To relate expenditures on children to net income, where EC = expenditures on children, C = total consumption expenditures, and NI = net income:

    EC/C X C/NI =EC/NI


Notes from the September 12 meeting of the 2011 Guideline Child Support Review


Date:           September 12, 2011
Location:    Iberville Building Room at North and Fourth in Baton Rouge
Room:         1-129
Start time:  1:15 p.m.
End time:   About 3:30 p.m.


  1. Survey Monkey Results
  2. Dr. Gardner:  Possible Methods for Revising Schedule
  3. Professor Spaht:  Dual Paternity
  4. Vincent Saffiotti:  Private School Tution and Daycare expenses
  5. Other Business


  1. Paul S. Fiasconaro designeee for K. Jacob Ruppert President of La H.O. Association
  2. Professor Spaht, ? Who is she representing
  3. Jessica Braun, designee for House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure.
  4. Tiffany Simpson, La Children’s Cabinet
  5. Gary E. Franklin, DCFS CSE;
  6. Melissa Moreau, LDAA
  7. Lisa Andry, DCFS/CSE Executive Program
  8. Lara Gardner, Economist from Southeastern Louisiana State University.
  9. Jennifer DeBlanc, Designee for the Louisiana Senate, Senator Julie Quinn’s office.

Absent, attended by phone:

  1. Judge Lisa Woodruff-White designee for the La District Judges Association


  1. Bennett Wolfe, La Ch of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  2. Vincent Saffiotti, designee for the Louisiana State Bar Assocation’s Family Law Section
  3. Judge Pamela Baker, designee for the Juvenile and Family Court Judges
  4. Randy Trahan, designee for the La State Law Institute Marriage and Persons Advisory Committee.

It is a very hostile committee.

Public in attendance:

  1. Gregory Rattler Jr.   Mahalia Jackson Community Center
  2. Tanya James,  Mahalia Jackson Community Center
  3. Nicholas James, LaDads
  4. Glenn Hoover, Daniel Hoover’s father
  5. Angelo, LaDad member
  6. another dad,  LaDad member

I gave a handout of the initial divorce petition in the Hoover case at the begining of the meeting.

We were not allowed to speak until the end of the meeting.  The very end of the meeting when everyone was already packed up and ready to go. By this time, all of the public was gone except for Mr. Hoover and Me.



Dr. Gardner provided this handout.

Professor Spaht provided these two handouts.

Allocation of Child Support between Legal and Biological father

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Hoover  got up and spoke briefly.  He handed out  copies of his son’s final divorce judgment that awarded 100% of his sons income as child support.

I was then allowed to speak briefly.  I stated that we needed to revise the child support codes to prevent what had happened to Daniel Hoover from ever happening again.

Letter to Dr. Gardner

Dr. L. K. Gardner
Management and Business Administration
(985) 549 3068

2011 Louisiana Child Support Guidelines Review

Dear Dr. Gardner,

It was a pleasure meeting you at the September 12 child support guideline review meeting.

LaDads has scanned all of the states child support reports since 2000 and made them available on the internet.  These files are downloadable from the following links, see below.  The files are semi-searchable by keyword.

2008 Report by DSS

This was the last report done.
2008 Review of Child Support Guidelines by DSS/DA

2004 Report by DSS Lisa Woodruff-White (now Family Court Judge)

The first two pages are the summary recommendations for 2004.
The Report to the legislature goes from pages 3 to 317
The Survey findings for that years start on page 268
The Low-Income Fathers and Child Support in Louisiana – Best Practices and Recommendations report by PSI starts on page 318 to page 443.  Many of these recommendations were not implemented; some were not even presented to the legislature.

2004 Child Support Review


2001 Task Report by Professor Spaht.

The legislature commissioned a Task Force headed by Professor Spaht to review the 2000 report.

2001 Report of the Task Force

2000 Report – split into two files

This was the first report done by Judge Lisa Woodruff-White.
In it it has the methodology of the economists hired by the state – PSI (Jane Venohr) that set the original child support tables and have done all of the updates since then (except this last update).
2000 Review of Child Support Guidelines A

Exhibits attached to the report are in the B file.  Exhibit 1 is the economists report from Jane Venohr, PhD for PSI, to the review team. It describes in detail the methodology used to create the child support tables.  Attached.
2000 Review of Child Support Guidelines B

Sincerely yours,

Nicholas James
(email and phone number redacted)