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Baton Rouge Family Law Blog

Divorce: e-communications not as private as many think

With the technological revolution that has engulfed the globe over the last 20 years or so, individuals' lives are becoming more and more open for public viewing. This is particularly true of social media accounts. Although most individuals in Louisiana expect a certain level of privacy when it comes to their social media accounts, text messages and emails, the fact of the matter is that they may not be as private as one thinks.

In fact, there are a whole host of apps available to consumers that help them track their spouse's movements and communications. Some may think these are great ways to keep tabs on their spouse, especially if they suspect infidelity, but these individuals need to be careful. If the individual's spouse has a reasonable expectation of privacy on an electronic device, then using these apps could be a federal offense.

Adoption through the foster care system

Choosing to adopt a child is a major decision. Taking a child into your home can have an emotional impact on you and the child. Yet, knowing that you are giving a home to a child in need can give life purpose and spread happiness amongst your family. Although making the decision to adopt can be tough, those in Louisiana who choose to adopt have many other choices to make moving forward.

One of those decisions is whether they want to adopt through the foster care system or go another route. Foster children, who are wards of the state through no fault of their own, only return to their birth parents in half of all cases. Although other forms of adoption may allow an individual to adopt a baby, foster care adoptions often involve older children, from toddlers to teenagers. Additionally, many foster children have been subjected to trauma, meaning that an adoptive family needs to be prepared to effectively understand and help the child they are adopting.

Grandparents' rights in Louisiana

Nowadays, more and more grandparents find themselves in a situation where they need to care for their grandchildren. The reasons are various, whether due to parents who are unwilling or unable to parent or the sudden passing of a child's parents. However, there are just as many grandparents who want to spend more time with their grandchildren, but this valuable time is being threatened. This most often occurs when a child's parents get a divorce, with one parent being granted sole custody.

However, restricting grandparent access to a child can cause emotional harm to a child, especially when the relationship between a grandparent and the child was strong prior to the restriction. In these instances, it may be possible for a grandparent to protect his or her visitation rights. In order to do so, the grandparent must intervene in a pending divorce case and convince a judge that extraordinary circumstances exist justifying the visitation. Here, a judge will look at the length of the relationship, its quality and whether the grandparent can provide some sort of guidance and support that the child's parents cannot.

Louisiana firm crafting compelling family law arguments

In our last blog post we discussed a messy high-asset divorce where some family law issues have lingered for years. It's not uncommon for these matters to arise from time-to-time, even post-divorce. One parent may want to seek sole custody of their child, another may want to modify an existing child support obligation, or, as was the circumstance in the case discussed last week, one former spouse may want to modify an alimony obligation.

Regardless of what kind of divorce legal issue an individual in Louisiana is facing, knowing how to craft compelling legal arguments is the key to success. Child custody matters hinge on showing what is in a child's best interests, and child support and spousal support modifications are determined based on a satisfactory showing of changed circumstances. Since the legal system is adversarial by nature, those facing these issues need to know not only how to persuasively present their arguments but also negate the other side's position.

Divorce legal issues can linger for years after divorce

Regardless of who you are, your financial standing or your family makeup, getting a divorce can force you to deal with some serious legal issues. The outcome of these matters can reshape your financial and emotional future, and may even define how much time you get to spend with your children. Although many couples are able to resolve these family law legal issues in an amicable way, many others are forced to take their marriage dissolution to court where arguments are made and a judge issues a ruling to settle the matters.

This is where one high-profile divorce stands after the parties separated in 2007. The case, which involves the founder of Cancer Treatment Centers of America and his wife, involves extremely valuable assets. The couple is battling over the division of those assets as well as spousal support. The ex-wife is now seeking $400,000 a month in alimony, stating that the amount is necessary to maintain the standard of living she enjoyed while married.

Financial tips for divorce in the New Year

Regardless of your race, gender or age, divorce can be liberating. Divorce can reshape your life, but there may be steps you can take to ensure that you protect your financial interests so that you can find the stability you need to start your new post-divorce life.

One way to find financial stability is to seek alimony, also known as spousal support, from your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Many don't realize that this compensation may be obtainable even before a divorce is finalized. You may be able to obtain a court order that allows you to receive these payments, which could go a long way toward helping you find your financial footing.

Alimony and a spouse's educational expenses

For many Louisianans, divorce is much more than an emotional breakup, it is a financial one, too. Choosing to end a marriage may mean leaving a financial lifeline and a lifestyle that an individual once enjoyed. This can be stressful, especially when one spouse gave up their career for the betterment of their spouse or family. These individuals might feel cheated out of their future, and might be left wondering whether they should stay in their ruined marriage simply for financial purposes.

Although nothing is guaranteed in a divorce, individuals who find themselves in this position may have the opportunity to pursue spousal support, commonly referred to as alimony. These payments are often awarded to spouses who have given up their education or career to further their spouse or family's betterment. Alimony may also be awarded if contributions were made to one spouse's education, thereby leading to greater earnings for that spouse.

Unmarried and unknown fathers can snag adoption process

Choosing to adopt a child in Louisiana is a major life decision that can bring joy and happiness to a family and a child in need of a family. As beneficial as the outcome of the process may be, there are many legal issues that must be properly addressed in order for an adoption to be successfully carried out. If these matters are not address, or are addressed inadequately, then an adoption may be delayed or even disallowed.

One circumstance where this can arise is when an unmarried biological father enters the picture. Typically, biological parents have to consent to an adoption (unless their parental rights are terminated), which may include unmarried fathers. However, before an unmarried father can raise a proper objection to an adoption of his child, he must establish paternity and demonstrate that he is committed to parenting his son or daughter.

Family law firm addressing custody and visitation issues

A few weeks ago on this blog we discussed the visitation laws in Louisiana and why they are important for parents to understand. Those who are unaware of these laws may fail to take advantage of them when doing so is in their child's best interests. However, simply choosing to be knowledgeable about the law isn't enough to truly protect your legal rights. If you are seeking to exercise your visitation rights, you need to know how to make compelling legal arguments that support your position.

At the Rowe Law Firm, our legal team is dedicated to helping families resolve their legal issues. When it comes to resolving child custody issues, our team of legal professionals work with their clients to ensure that the law is used to their advantage. There may also be instances where therapists are involved in child custody and visitation cases, and we can work with them to identify an appropriate course of action that supports the child's best interests.

Military pension focus of Supreme Court family law case

On its surface divorce and its legal issues can seem relatively simple: a married couple decides to break up and they divide their assets and time with their children. This is a far too simplistic view of divorce. The reality for thousands of Louisianans is that divorce legal issues are complicated and the outcome of them can drastically affect their post-divorce life. Child custody, child support and asset division can all be challenging in their own rights, but there can also be special circumstances that make resolving these matters even more problematic.

To see an example, one need only look at a case that is pending before the Supreme Court. The case involves military pensions and how they should be handled during a divorce. The man had received a military pension, which was deemed a marital asset upon divorce. Therefore, the man's former wife was entitled to a portion his pension. However, the man was later determined to have a 20 percent disability rating. He elected to take his disability payment instead, which resulted in an offset to his pension. This offset caused the former wife to lose approximately $125 a month in payments from the pension.

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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