Although there was a time when couples shied away from talking about financial issues before getting married, now more and more recognize that a frank discussion can prevent financial instability in case the marriage does not last. A prenuptial agreement, an agreement signed before the couple enters into marriage, is one that changes the regime of separation of property and ancillary matters and is recognized under law in Louisiana.
As previously discussed, Louisiana recognizes two types of marriages-the traditional marriage and the covenant marriage. Regardless of the type of marriage that one is in, when a couple is having marital difficulties they believe cannot be reconciled, they may want to put an end to their marriage. Covenant marriages have certain stipulations that must be met before the couple can get a divorce, but even within a traditional divorce, the couple must have lived apart for at least six months. The exception for this is if one of the spouses has been convicted of a felony.
There are two types of spousal support a divorcing couple can receive during the dissolution process in Louisiana. Temporary support is granted during the divorce until the marriage is dissolved and permanent or post divorce spousal support is awarded at the dissolution of the marriage.
Most people have heard of divorce being granted due to irreconcilable differences. In Louisiana, this method of divorce is known as 'no-fault' divorce. Through this route, parties do not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. The vast majority of marriage dissolutions follow this path, as no-fault divorces often provide the least resistance and allow parties to quickly end the relationship and settle pending family law matters. Yet, pursing a divorce on no-fault grounds is not the only option available to Louisianans.
Sometimes divorce can be settled amicably, meaning that the parties work well together in addressing pertinent legal issues, such as property division, child custody, child support, and alimony, and are able to reach a fair resolution with which all are comfortable. However, there are other times when even the most skilled mediator is able to bring parties to an agreement regarding one or more of these issues. When this happens, the matter may need to be taken to court.
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 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 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.
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.