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Baton Rouge Family Law Blog

Mediate your way to better family law solutions

Divorce is stressful and complex, even for amicable couples, and some Louisiana couples may look for ways to reduce the complications associated with this process. One way that you can do this is by choosing mediation over traditional divorce litigation. Mediation is not possible for everyone, but it could offer you a better way to resolve complex family law issues.

Mediation is different from litigation in many ways. Instead of going to court or becoming embroiled in a complex legal battle, you will work through the terms of your divorce order through respectful negotiations and discussions. If you are looking for a way to make the divorce process a bit easier, you may consider the benefits of mediation.

When can grandparents get custody of grandchildren?

The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is a very strong one-they can enjoy their grandchildren and provide them with the love and attention that perhaps they were unable to shower on their own children. Each generation plays an important role in the other's well-being-children help their elders stay young and grandparents provide support and a strong foundation. When the child's parents are going through a divorce, this bond also ends up being affected, much to the dismay of grandparents.

Like the majority of other states in the country, grandparent's rights in Louisiana are limited as the parents are considered the best parties to make important decisions about their children's welfare. But this does not mean that grandparents have to sit by silently while their grandchildren are being abused or neglected.

When was I separated from my spouse and does it matter?

When one is getting married, the question they invariably end up answering the most is "how did you know your spouse was the one?" and when one is getting divorced, the most asked question is "how did you know your marriage was over?". It helps a divorcing individual get through the process as well by drawing a line between their former life and the life they are about to embark upon. Emotionally, it can be part of the healing process. It might surprise Louisiana residents to know that this proverbial line in the sand is an important part of the divorce process as well.

Simply put, the date of separation is the date the couple is no longer a married couple. However, the calculation of this date differs from state to state-some may consider the date of separation as the date that one spouse informed the other of their intention to get a divorce. It could even be the date one spouse moved out of the house or started living in a separate portion of the same house. Since there can be confusions about these dates-one spouse could say they didn't know the intention to get a divorce was serious or that they were going through a trial separation, not a final one, other states prefer the legal process to determine the date of separation. They consider the date the divorce papers were filed or the separation agreement was signed as the date of separation.

Experienced help can increase chances of success in divorce

Though various studies have identified certain risk factors that could increase the chance of a marriage ending in divorce, the reality of the situation is that marriages end across Louisiana daily for a number of reasons. Regardless of the reason, dissolving a marriage is never an easy road to embark upon and it helps greatly to have someone supportive and sympathetic by their side.

Ending the marriage though is just the beginning of the road-there are a number of family law issues involved in a divorce and they have to be handled delicately and with a long-term goal in mind. While some may be in a hurry to end their legal relationship with their spouse and be willing to accept any divorce agreement in a rush, it is important to understand the long-term ramifications of issues such as alimony, child custody, visitation and property division. however, the legal complexities may be overwhelming for someone who is already going through an emotionally difficult time and it is beneficial to have an experienced attorney by one's side.

Are there any factors that could increase the chances of divorce?

With so many statistics flying around these days about how many marriages are likely to end up in divorce, Louisiana couples may already be reluctant to tie the knot. It is even more distressing to know that experts have identified a couple of factors that could increase the risk of a termination of marriage, including one's genetic disposition.

According to a new study published in Psychological Science, divorce is more common in children of divorced parents, but this has more to do with nature rather than nurture. After studying thousands of adopted children, the researchers concluded the children's marriage trends tend to follow that of their biological parents, not of their adoptive. This means while parents stress their divorce affects their children psychologically and focus on regulating their environment, kids could also be inheriting personality traits that could lead to issues down the line. For example, neuroticism and impulsivity could be inherited personality traits that are identified as high risk for divorces.

Conditions for interim spousal support in Louisiana

While a couple is married in Louisiana, they develop a routine, which may include one spouse running the home while the other continues to work. Or, one spouse may have accepted a lower paying job with better hours while the other works in a better paying job. Whatever their arrangement is, they have generally agreed on a situation that allows them to maintain a certain standard of living and it involves one spouse's financial dependence on the other. If the couple ends up divorcing, not only does this place one person at a long-term financial disadvantage, but also short term when they are suddenly deprived of the means of making ends meet.

Alimony, or spousal support, is a financial tool that couples use during a divorce. One spouse is obligated to pay another a certain amount of financial support after the divorce takes place and the court determines this amount after considering a number of factors including the party's ability to earn money currently and in the future, their ages and health, how long the parties were married and the conditions that led up to the divorce. Louisiana allows for both long term and temporary alimony.

Virtual visitation may be an option in your child custody matter

Technology now plays a role in practically everything Louisiana residents do. From their smartphones individuals can order groceries, buy clothing that will be delivered to their doors, catch up on the news, communicate with friends and family members, find dates, manage work commitments and a plethora of other activities. Electronic connectivity is making the world smaller and is now impacting the way that some families handle their custodial and visitation responsibilities.

While traditional methods of visitation between children and their noncustodial parents involved the kids and adults coming together for short periods of time based on schedules, virtual visitation expands visitation opportunities to anywhere the parties can connect electronically. For example, if a noncustodial parent and their kids lived far apart and could not regularly get together, virtual visitation may allow them to connect online and maintain the important relationships with each other that serve the children's best interests.

Who can adopt privately in Louisiana?

Deciding to expand one's family by adopting a child is a rewarding and exhilarating decision for many Louisiana residents. Not only does it provide a child with the stability they deserve and crave, it allows parents to take over the emotional, physical and financial care of a child who deserves it. Understandably though, the laws surrounding adoption are very stringent and adopting parents must meet certain criteria before they are approved.

Louisiana is one of a handful of states that requires that the person who is about to adopt a child be at least 18-years-old. Other than this age requirement, anyone can adopt a child, depending on the type of adoption. Louisiana allows for agency, private and intrafamily adoption. The following post will focus on private adoption and an upcoming post will focus on the adoption process that takes place within a family.

Not all assets and accounts are equal

During a marriage, couples are likely to divide the daily chores between each other, including the responsibility of fulfilling financial obligations. When the couple divorces, this could mean one spouse is unaware of where they stand financially. And this could leave one party in worse shape than they expected to be in after the marriage ends. There are, however, a few steps that can be taken to avoid financial missteps.

Couples often end up fighting over who keeps the family house. Although this may provide some stability during an otherwise unsettling time, keeping the house is not the best option for everyone. Maintaining the house can be expensive. Similarly, one should think twice before accepting the house in lieu of the other party getting comparably valued investments. This means one party accepts the house while the other takes retirement accounts or bank accounts worth the same amount. While the amount may be equal on paper, in reality maintaining the house is more costly than the other financial obligations.

What are the pros and cons of nesting?

When coming up with child custody arrangements post-divorce, Louisiana residents may often consider the traditional options that would be in their child's best interests when it comes to joint physical custody and legal custody. Even though parents and courts alike try to ensure the time spent with each parent is equal to the other, it often involves a lot of upheaval for children, such as kids packing up and going from one house to another routinely. This causes confusion and the eventual phone call asking for homework or a violin to be brought from one location to another, for example.

Another option gaining popularity as a way to provide children with the stability they need to flourish is "nesting." Nesting is an arrangement in which the children remain living in the family home and it is the parents who rotate in and out, depending on the custody arrangement. This practice allows everything to remain stable and predictable for the kids and avoid a situation where there are two sets of toys, bedrooms and materials.

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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