Section 1. All petitions seeking ex parte order for provisional custody of children shall be accompanied by a separate affidavit of the party seeking custody setting forth how long the child or children have been in the petitioner's custody and in what manner the physical custody was obtained.
Section 2. In each domestic relations case where an answer is filed by the defendant in propria persona, the trial may not proceed unless either the defendant is present in Court, or the plaintiff shows by competent evidence that the defendant was notified in writing of the date and hour scheduled for the trial which notice must have been given to defendant not less than (10) days prior to the date of the trial.
Section 3. The fixing of child support shall be in accordance with LSA R S. 9:315, et seq. The parties shall complete the Family Law Affidavit found in the Rules for Louisiana District Courts and Juvenile Courts and Louisiana Family Law Proceedings Appendix 23.0B. This affidavit shall be signed by both parties and their attorneys and shall be submitted as provided by law between the parties and shall be presented at the Hearing Officer Conference.
Section 4. Whenever any party requests joint custody, each party shall file in the court record and submit a copy to the presiding Hearing Officer at the first conference a plan of implementation.
The plan of implementation shall include provisions for:
(a) The residence of the child;
(b) Financial support;
(d) Holidays, birthdays and vacation visitation;
(f) Religious Training;
(g) Access to the child's records;
(h) Medical and dental care;
(i) Communication between the child and parents; and
(j) Conflict resolution.
Section 5. When it appears on the fact of a petition or motion that custody or visitation is an issue for decision, the Court or its Hearing Officer may require the parties to mediate. In any custody or visitation proceeding, if the rule is contested on the date fixed in the Order, when the case is called, a pre-trial conference will be held. If no settlement is agreed upon, the Court may require the parties to mediate their differences. The mediator shall be selected by the Court or its Hearing Officer.
The costs will be apportioned in accordance with their pro rata share of income. All mediation will be handled on a fee schedule based on income.
Noncompliance with the provisions of the order of Mediation will subject such party to the contempt powers of the Court.
Upon resolution of the controversies by the parties, the mediator shall prepare and provide to each party a written, signed and dated agreement, verified by the mediator, setting forth the settlement terms of the controversies. If an agreement is reached by the parties through mediation, a consent judgment and/or plan of mediation incorporating the agreement shall be prepared by respective counsel for each of the parties. The consent judgment and/or plan of mediation shall be submitted to the Court for its approval and signature.
Section 6. When custody or visitation is or appears to be an issue for decision, each party shall provide to the Court prior to the time fixed for trial of the rule a verified income statement showing gross income and adjusted gross income, together with documentation of current and past earnings. The documentation shall include a copy of each party's most recent federal tax return. Failure to provide the statement and documentation shall result in the party being assessed the maximum mediation cost per hour pursuant to the income-based fee schedule.