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Baton Rouge Family Law Blog

How to challenge a paternity dispute

As this blog has discussed in the past, there are many instances when a Louisianan may want to establish paternity. By establishing paternity, a custodial parent may be able to obtain much needed child support, and a man could claim his father's rights, which may include parenting time and custody. However, there are also instances when challenging paternity may be in one's best interests.

This may be especially true for a man who is being forced to pay child support for a child he believes is not his biological child. If paternity has been established, then the man will have to disprove the validity of that determination, which would then alleviate him of the obligation.

College expenses and child support in Louisiana

Having a child is expensive, and neither divorce nor having a child out of wedlock can shield one from the financial obligation of providing for his or her child. Though the length of child support can span many years, it eventually comes to an end. But when should it end? Obviously, once the child becomes an adult, child support is no longer necessary. Yet, many Louisianans may find themselves concerned about college expenses, as this period of life can bridge both childhood and adulthood.

If there is no statutory or case law that mandates child support for college expenses, what does this mean? It means that parents of a college-bound kid should try to resolve the matter as best they can on their own. If they fail to do so, then it will likely be left to the custodial parent and the college goer to foot the bill for the expenses.

Child custody jurisdiction when multiple states are involved

As we have discussed on this blog many times, family law issues can be complex. This can be especially true when matters cross state lines. When this happens, an individual in Louisiana needs to know how the law applies to them and how to protect their own rights, lest they be taken advantage of. Though multi-state involvement can affect many issues, one of the most important is child custody and visitation.

The first issue here is jurisdiction. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act lays out how a court obtains jurisdiction over a child so that it can issue orders regarding that child. There are essentially four ways that a court can obtain jurisdiction. First, a court can issue orders if the state in which the court is located is deemed the child's home state. A state is considered the child's home state if the child has lived with a parent there for six months or more.

We have years of experience handling adoptions

Adoption in Louisiana is a process that can be beneficial for all parties involved. A child needs a home where he or she can receive the love and care he or she needs, while adoptive parents are able to expand their family and enjoy the love and happiness a child can bring. However, sometimes there are legal complications related to adoption, and sometimes the adoption itself is contested. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel in over your head and don't know where to turn for help, you may need the assistance of a legal professional.

For example, if you are facing a contested adoption, then you need someone who can help you prepare for the battle ahead and craft strong legal arguments. It's critical to remember that in legal matters related to children in the family law context, a court will always put the best interest of the child first. Therefore, you will need to argue why your adopting of a child is better for him or her than the other party. This often requires acquiring and presenting evidence, including any therapist reports.

Mental health can affect divorce legal issues

To an outsider in Louisiana, the divorce legal process can seem quite simple: spouses who no longer get along divide their property and time with their children and go their separate ways. But what happens when the law prevents an individual from even saying that he or she wants to end a marriage? That is the case in one Kentucky case that is drawing a lot of attention. As this case highlights, the law can complicate matters significantly in an effort to ensure fairness and the protection of certain rights.

There, an 88-year-old man wanted to divorce his wife over irreconcilable differences. However, as of 2008, the man's wife is his acting guardian as, at that time, he was deemed mentally incompetent. Since the divorce's filing in 2013, the man's wife has claimed that he needs her to prevent him from squandering his finances on scams, and thus she will not consent to the divorce. The man, on the other hand, claims that he is a prisoner in his own house and that he is not mentally incompetent. As the law currently stands in Kentucky, a mentally incompetent individual cannot seek a dissolution of their marriage. The Kentucky Supreme Court will be hearing the case.

How do I qualify to adopt a child in Louisiana?

If you are thinking about adopting a child, then you are considering making a huge difference in a child's life. There are many children across Louisiana who are without permanent homes, and the decision to bring one of them into your family means giving them the forever home they deserve. But the process is regulated to ensure child safety and adoptive parents' ability to provide care for the child.

So how do you qualify to be an adoptive parent? First, though it's not required, it should be noted that Louisiana recognizes a dual certification to be both a foster parent and an adoptive parent. Why is this important? Certified foster parents may be eligible for certain benefits that non-certified individuals aren't afforded. Regardless, to qualify to adopt a child you must be 21 or older, have a sufficient income, and be in good overall health. Your marital status is inconsequential when adopting.

What is a Louisiana covenant marriage?

Many Louisianans are familiar with the concept of no-fault divorce, in which a party filing for divorce need only cite irreconcilable differences as the grounds for dissolution. However, there is another type of divorce that is a little less common: the dissolution of a so-called "covenant marriage." Those who have entered into a covenant marriage and are now contemplating divorce will want to carefully consider their legal rights.

A covenant marriage is similar to other marriages, but with two stipulations. First, a couple entering into a covenant marriage agrees to complete marriage counseling in the event that their relationship runs into trouble. Second, the grounds upon which divorce will be granted are restricted. Those wishing to enter into a covenant marriage must sign a declaration of intent, asserting that they have completed marital counseling, are devoted to each other for life, and have disclosed everything about themselves to their significant other.

What counts as income for child support purposes?

Those who have children can find the divorce process especially difficult. Sure, property division and alimony disputes may come into play, and can have a substantial effect on one's financial security moving into post-divorce life, but many parents going through marriage dissolution are most concerned about how to care for their children. For custodial parents, this means seeking out a fair amount of child support from the noncustodial parent.

In Louisiana, the amount of child support a noncustodial parent is ordered to pay is based on guidelines which take into account the combined income of both parents. The idea sounds simple enough, but it can be easily complicated simply by asking what counts as "income." Thankfully, the law provides some guidance. A noncustodial parent's salary and wages, which may include tips, bonuses, and commission, count towards his or her income. In addition, money received from one's pension, trust, and self-employment may be deemed income.

Rowe Law Firm fights for clients going through gray divorce

A divorce can shape your financial future for years to come. This can be particularly true for those who aged 50 and older, as we discussed in last week's post about gray divorce. If you are considering ending your marriage in Louisiana, you want to do everything necessary to ensure you start your post-divorce life with as much financial strength as possible.

To do this, you need to ensure that you address every divorce legal issue that may arise. You have to be prepared to handle property division matters, which includes identifying and valuing assets, and arguing for or against spousal support. If these issues are mishandled, then your soon-to-be ex-spouse could take advantage of you, leaving you with far less than you deserve.

Gray divorce may hit women harder than men financially

Many Louisianans picture their golden years as a time to spend with their loved ones, enjoying a comfortable retirement. This is certainly picturesque, but is it realistic for everyone? Perhaps not for those going through a gray divorce, usually defined as a divorce involving individuals over the age of 50. In fact, studies have shown that these types of divorces, which are on the rise, can leave women with financial difficulties that can drastically affect their golden years.

One reason for such financial hardship for women coming out of a gray divorce is that many of these women have taken significant periods of time off to raise families. Their working ex-husbands, on the other hand, may have an extensive work history and the ability to earn a higher income. Though women who have gone through a gray divorce can certainly still enter the workforce, their options, and their salaries, may be more limited.

Contact Our Child Custody And Support Lawyers In Baton Rouge

We will take the time to learn as much as possible about your situation. Based on your goals and circumstances, we will help you determine the best course of action. Contact a Louisiana family law attorney at our law firm today.

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