Divorce Lawyer in Louisiana
The rate of divorce has increased over the years, and much of it has to do with social acceptance of it. Social acceptance, however, does not make the dissolution of a marriage in Baton Rouge any easier. When a marriage ends, you have decisions you need to make that will affect your future and the future of any children you may share with your ex-spouse. Getting the right information can help you make informed decisions.
At Ethel M. Clay, Attorney at Law, our divorce lawyer knows you have questions. We help you understand your rights and responsibilities during this particularly difficult time. You do not have to endure a divorce alone. Get answers to your questions today and contact us online or at 225-906-0435 to schedule a consultation. Schedule Your Consultation Online Now.
Uncontested and Contested Baton Rouge Divorces
The divorce process is dependent in part on whether it's contested or not. Uncontested divorces can move along rather quickly when the divorcing couple agrees on partition of community property, spousal support, child custody, and child support. When one spouse challenges any of these matters, the divorce becomes contested.
The process will proceed to trial unless the soon-to-be ex-spouses can come to an agreement. Sometimes mediation or another alternative dispute resolution process may be used to help them come to that agreement.
Common Grounds for Divorce
In most states, you do not have to show fault in order to get a divorce. Most divorces today, in fact, are no-fault divorces. There are, however, some divorces where one spouse must or prefer––for strategic reasons––to show fault.
When the parties live separate and apart for a requisite amount of time, the parties can be granted a divorce.
- 102 Divorce - Parties live separate and apart 180 days with no children & 365 days with children after filing for divorce
- 103 Divorce - Parties live separate and apart 180 days with no children & 365 days with children before filing for divorce
Fault-based divorces are seldomly required today, but some people may still wish to pursue a fault-based divorce for a number of reasons, like using it as a factor to obtain a better outcome for:
- Spousal support
- Child custody
The grounds for a fault-based divorce typically include things like:
- Adultery, the other spouse had an affair during the marriage
- Abuse, the other spouse physically or sexually abused the spouse seeking a divorce or a child of the spouse
- Felony conviction, the other spouse has been sentenced to death or imprisonment with hard labor
Fault-based divorces are far more contentious. They can, however, lead to better outcomes in property distribution, spousal support, child support, and custody arrangements for the spouse who filed for the dissolution of the marriage.
Property division is a key part of any divorce and involves marital property. Marital property is property acquired or obtained during the marriage as opposed to separate property that the spouse had prior to the marriage. In Louisiana Community property where assets are split 50-50
Types of marital property include:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Investment property
- Vehicles, boats
- Retirement accounts
Spousal Support in Louisiana
Spousal support, also commonly referred to as alimony, is not awarded as often as it was in the past. Its purpose is to make sure the divorce does not result in an unfair economic situation for the dependent spouse. The couple can agree to spousal support or the court can order it. Decisions about alimony are made based on many factors, but the more common factors include:
- Health (physical, mental, emotional)
- Potential to earn
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Length of the marriage
- Difference between earning capacities
Louisiana has both Interim Spousal Support and Final Spousal Support. There are different qualifications for both.
Child custody is one of the most contentious areas of a divorce. It's highly emotional and can cause serious bitterness. Courts prefer both parents partaking in a child's life and, as such, accommodate joint custody, which includes physical and legal custody. In some situations, one parent may have sole custody while the other may have visitation rights. Courts determine child custody based on what is in the child's best interest.
Both parents are required to provide financial support for their children. When a parent has primary custody and the financial circumstances require it, the court may order child support. Most courts will use a child support calculator to help determine the amount.
There's a lot to consider when you are going through a divorce. The decisions made during this time will impact you and your family's life for quite a while. It's important to get guidance from a family law attorney who will advocate for you and your family. Contact us online or call us directly at 225-906-0435 to schedule a consultation.