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Baton Rouge Family Law Blog

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.

Examining the benefits and difficulties of custody

If you have children, then you likely make them a priority in your life. You probably want what is best for them with regard to their education and upbringing. While this isn't always a problem, you may find yourself facing difficulties with regard to seeing, providing for or protecting your children. This issues often come up in family law, not only with regard to child custody and child support, but also with visitation.

Looking at the big picture, a court usually allows visitation since it is largely in the child's best interest. All non-custodial parents have the right to visit with their children. However, that right can be infringed upon if there are allegations of abuse. If there are allegations or a history of violence, then a court may order a parent's visitation to be supervised until a different recommendation is made.

What is the general timeline for a divorce?

Some people in Louisiana know, generally speaking, how divorce works. In essence, you break up with your spouse, divide your assets, determine child custody and set any child support and spousal support obligations. In reality, though, divorce is much more nuanced, and you may find yourself wondering how it works from a technical aspect. Although it may seem basic, understanding the simple timeline of a divorce can help you get a grasp of what is to come and what to expect.

A divorce always starts when a spouse files a petition for divorce. This document will state why the spouse wants a divorce, and how he or she thinks that certain divorce legal issues, such as property division and child custody, should be handled. Once this petition is filed and served on the other spouse, the other spouse then has time to file an answer. An answer will demonstrate whether the spouse agrees with the petition and, if not, how he or she thinks divorce legal issues should be handled.

QDRO may be necessary to protect financial interests in divorce

Getting a divorce can certainly take a tremendous emotional toll on an individual in Louisiana. What was once a steady relationship has come to an end, sometimes amicably and sometimes with a ton of negative animosity. Moreover, divorced individuals need to find a way to begin their new post-divorce life. Although this can be emotionally challenging, it can also be a financial struggle as a divorce by necessity involves property division.

Amongst the assets to be divided are retirement accounts. Individual retirement accounts (IRAs), 401ks, and other investments can all be on the chopping block when a couple decides to end their marriage. Although dividing these assets may seem simple enough, there can be significant contention regarding how much each party should get. Additionally, there may be issues with regards to logistics of dividing these assets. The logistics should not be ignored, as doing so could lead to significant financial consequences.

November is National Adoption Month, and LA continues to succeed

For many Louisiana families, adoption is a viable way to expand their families. For many Louisiana children, adoption is a great way to find the loving, caring family they deserve. The number of children in foster homes awaiting adoption is quite high but, fortunately, Louisiana has a strong record of adoption, giving children the forever homes they deserve.

In fact, Louisiana leads the nation in foster care adoptions, and has done so over the last four years. Between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016, 735 Louisianan children were adopted from foster homes. Despite the number of adoptions, though, the state still sees a large number of children in need of a forever family. In fact, in the Lake Charles area alone there are currently 64 children waiting to be adopted.

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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