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Baton Rouge Family Law Blog

Is single-parent adoption a possibility?

For many Louisianans, children are a true blessing. They love the dynamic of a nurturing family and strive to raise their children in a way that sets them up for success. Yet, there are many Louisianans who are either incapable of having biological children or they do not wish to have biological children, so they turn to adoption. Some adoptive parents simply want to give a struggling child a stable home and a shot at a good life.

Many individuals assume that only couples are capable of adoption. This, however, is false. Single men and women are also able to adopt. Though this may have raised eyebrows decades ago, the commonality of single-parent households caused by divorce has made single parent adoption more acceptable. Single parent adoption has also become easier, financially speaking, with the assistance of state adoption subsidies.

DMX arrested for not paying child support

Many Louisiana residents struggle to raise their children. A big part of this is a lack of financial resources, particularly if the noncustodial parent is not pulling his or her weight. On the other hand, many noncustodial parents find themselves facing their own financial uncertainty, and are therefore unable to make good on their child support obligations. This means that a delicate balance must be struck in regards to a child support payment amount and the understanding that anything less could lead to undesirable consequences.

Even celebrities are not immune to child support issues. For example, rapper DMX was recently arrested for failing to pay his support obligation. According to reports, the rapper was in contempt of the court's order when he failed to pay his children's mother $10,000 a month in support. DMX was release without bail after claiming that he had performances scheduled that would help him earn the money he owes.

Domestic violence, child custody and the rebuttable presumption

For any number of reasons, many Louisianans find themselves in an abusive relationship. The abuse itself can take many forms, including emotional and physical, and the severity can also range widely. However, domestic violence of any kind is unacceptable, and those subjected to it should seek legal assistance to put it to a stop. But how can domestic violence affect a victim's children?

Domestic violence may certainly come into play when child custody becomes an issue. In Louisiana, state law provides a rebuttable presumption that awarding sole custody or joint custody to a perpetrator of domestic violence is not in the best interests of the child, if certain conditions exist. In order to initiate the presumption, a parent who is the victim of domestic violence must show that there is a history of family violence. This element can be satisfied by showing that there has been more than one instance of domestic violence, or that there was one instance that resulted in serious injury.

How important are fathers in their children's lives?

It is seen all the time in the legal field: fathers who are shut out of their children's lives. Oftentimes this happens when a child is born out of wedlock and the man is not recognized as the child's legal father, and other times it occurs after a nasty divorce. Either way, men across Louisiana are left not knowing what they can do to become a part of their child's life and whether the effort is even worth it.

Studies have shown that the effort is certainly worth it. Actively engaged fathers have a tremendous impact on their children's lives. To start, children who have a father in their life are more likely to have better educational outcomes, extending throughout adolescence and adulthood. Engaged fathers also help their children become emotionally secure, confident, and able to acquire better social connections as they grow.

Passionately representing Louisianans in child support cases

Child support is often one of the most hotly contested issues in a divorce, and for good reason. As we highlighted in last week's post, your child support obligation can be expensive and long-lasting. For some, their child support obligations can leave them facing financial difficulty. Yet, the same is true for custodial parents on the other end. Without the continued and consistent financial support of a noncustodial parent, these individuals may be unable to adequately provide for their children.

Neither option is ideal, which is why it is important to strike the right balance. But circumstances change, and what once worked may one day be insufficient. When this happens, parents may want to consider seeking a modification of the child support order. For example, if you have recently lost your job or find yourself facing extensive medical costs due to a new illness, and you owe child support, you may want to see if you can have your child support obligation reduced. On the other side, if a noncustodial parent takes a better job and is suddenly making significantly more money, then you as the custodial parent may want to seek modification for an increase in support.

When can child support be terminated?

If you are a noncustodial parent, then you know the financial strain support payments can put on you. Even though support modification may help give you some breathing room, you might eventually want the support payments to stop altogether. Whether it is because you feel they are unjustified or because they are no longer needed, altering or ending these payments might be needed. There are instances when child support will be terminated, but there are also some circumstances that may give rise to a continuation of support, even when it would otherwise be terminated.

Speaking broadly, child support stops when a child reaches the age of majority or is emancipated. However, if your child is in college or another secondary school, is under the age of 19,and is dependent upon one of his or her parents then, under the law, child support is to continue.

Gary Oldman's divorce finalized

When celebrities get divorced it is oftentimes considered headline news. Louisiana residents might grow tired of seeing these stories, but there is a lot to learn from them. Normal, everyday people can see how those who go through a high asset divorce handle common divorce legal issues such as property division and spousal support, which might help give insight into the marriage dissolution process.

For example, Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman recently finalized his fourth divorce, severing marital relations to Alexandra Edenborough. As part of the divorce settlement, Oldman will pay the singer $3.3 million. Their assets were also divided and each individual will keep all rights to their own entertainment activities. The settlement ends their six year marriage and, as can be seen by the amounts of money in play, may have significantly reshaped each party's financial standing.

How do I tell my children about divorce?

If you are going through a divorce, or thinking about filing for divorce, then you may find yourself stressing about your finances and the legal battles that may lie ahead. However, if you have children, then what you might worry about most is telling your children about the divorce and helping them get through the process as best as possible. This can be complicated, especially if a dispute with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is heated and child custody is a sticking point.

There are two factors to consider when children are involved in the divorce process. First of all, you should be sure to keep all confrontations away from your kids. Discussing legal matters and fighting with your spouse can make it even more difficult for your children to accept the divorce.

How can a parent locator service help me?

When your child's other parent has been ordered to pay support, it may feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. You may feel as if you will receive the financial assistance you need to get by, and you no longer have to struggle to provide for your child. Sadly, though, far too many Louisiana parents are left in a state of financial insecurity because their child's noncustodial parent fails to pay his or her obligation. This can be infuriating, however, there is some good news when dealing and addressing this situation.

The state and federal governments make resources available to custodial parents in an effort to help them recoup the child support they are owed. One of these resources is the parent locator service. This service can provide a custodial parent with information about those who receive Social Security, a veteran's pension or those who work for the federal government.

Our legal team is experienced in creating parenting agreements

As we discussed last week, parenting agreements can be a successful way to handle issues regarding the children of divorce or separation. Specifically, they address child custody and visitation issues, detailing a resolution. These documents can clearly spell how who will have physical and legal custody, how birthdays and holidays will play out and what a visitation schedule will look like. Though this sounds great, and it certainly can be, care must be exercised when coming to such an agreement. Far too often emotions can cloud judgment, leading to unwanted results.

For example, a desire to make a soon-to-be former spouse happy may drive you to be overly agreeable to the other side's proposals. If you are non-confrontational, you may wind up with less time with your child, which is not only unfair to you, but it could be hurtful to your child. Therefore, if you are going through a divorce and would like to see if you can settle child custody matters outside of the courtroom, you may want to consider obtaining competent legal counsel to help.

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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