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Lafayette Family Law Blog

Procedural flaws can lead to unfair support conditions

When we are children, a lot of emphasis is put on what's fair. Even a pick-up game of basketball on a neighborhood court in Lafayette comes with an expectation that the basic rules of the game are in force. The understanding is so clear that whistles are needed.

It would be nice to think that the same would apply to family law. But the game of life and fighting for rights under family law statutes is a lot more complicated. Very often, what seems obviously fair to one person might be deemed unfair by someone else. The court might have yet another opinion. In the end, it's the court's call. While the appeals process offers the chance at a do-over, there are no guarantees.

Research: To improve education for all, counter domestic violence

Cries for improving schools in Louisiana are not new. Our state and every other state has concerns about whether our children are getting the education they need to realize their dreams and succeed in life.

Experts generally agree that every child learns in different ways. Many elements need to combine to create the right environment for each student to achieve his or her real potential. That puts a great deal of pressure on schools, teachers and counselors. And some researchers say one particular element that deserves greater attention is being proactive against domestic violence.

Fathers Play a Crucial Role in the Development of Their Children

Parenting is a difficult job, often stretching people to the extremes even when both parents are actively involved in the home. But if you are a divorced mother and you find yourself juggling the rigors of raising your children, meeting the demands of your career and other things vying for your attention, parenting can often stretch you beyond reasonable boundaries.

Women have often been placed in the position of primary caregivers; having to prove to themselves and to their employers that they can manage their careers, while still raising healthy, well mannered, well-adjusted children. In reality no one is capable of being all things to all people, and when you attempt to do so, some aspect of your life will go lacking. If you are fortunate enough to have an ex-husband who wants to spend more time with his children, you should consider the potential benefits for your children.

Among ways to end spousal disputes, crime is not advised

Paul Simon sings about how there must be 50 ways to leave your lover. There are a lot of them, to be sure. Bank robbery probably is not on very many people's lists. In Louisiana, the remedy for legally cutting ties with a spouse or dealing with some other domestic issue is through the family law courts. And consulting with a skilled lawyer about possible options is always advised before taking any action.

This might be a question a Kansas man is pondering now. The back-story remains murky, but what seems apparent from the news reports of his case is that he is no longer happily married to his wife. In a bid to get away from her earlier this month, he allegedly opted to rob a bank and go to jail rather than stay under the same roof with her.

Easing awkward 'back to school' situations after divorce

The school year is once again underway. This year could be tougher than others for students in Lafayette Parish. For awhile, the flood situation in the region raised questions about whether doors would be open, but things appear to be on track with more than 95 percent of students having reported for classes as they resumed last week.

If there is one thing of which the Acadiana region has been reminded in recent months, it is that life does not always go without a hitch. Not only can the weather wreak havoc on everyone, there are families staggered by the upheaval associated with divorce. Children of divorce facing the unknowns of a new school year may also be feeling unsettled by their parents' break up. Of course, it can be tough on parents, too, as they come to terms with new child custody arrangements.

Can a prenuptial agreement affect mortgages?

Events in life can be highlighted as happening in very distinct windows of time. That can leave those in Louisiana who experience them feeling as if they are singular occurrences. However, as anyone who works in family law will likely agree, life is not lived in a silo. What happens today can have a way of rippling. Not only might it be felt far in the future, but some who weren't even around when the original event took place might also feel it. This certainly can be said of marriage and divorce, even prenuptial agreements.

Take that last item for example. A prenuptial agreement is something that typically is drawn up before a couple weds. Its purpose is to spell out clearly what each party brings to the marriage in terms of assets and debts and how those elements will be handled in the event of a divorce. Assets and debts accumulated during the marriage are treated as being equally owned by both spouses.

Striking a proper (fair) property division balance

Our last post looked at the possibility of psychological differences between men and women that could leave women at something of a disadvantage in settling for divorce. This could be in Louisiana, or any other state for that matter.

But, you may ask, how is that possible in a state where the concept of community property is the standard? Legal theory would suggest that all community property is supposed to be subject to equal division between the couple. Is it possible for one side or the other to come out ahead in such a situation?

Does psychology matter when dividing property in divorce?

The process of dissolving a marriage can have a certain "checklist" feel to it. In Louisiana, the rule of family law is one of community property. What that means is that the spouses own assets, debts and property acquired during the marriage equally. That being so, the objective of the court is to see that property and debts are divided equally, either physically or by virtue of an equal division of money based on valuations. Obviously, this requires a certain level of business-like detachment.

As much as marriages are considered contracts under the law, emotions cannot be dismissed. Human psychology is such that emotions need to considered to so that individuals don't act against their best interests and their rights are protected. To that end, consideration may have to be given to research suggesting that psychological differences between men and women may need to be balanced.

Violation of child custody has dad indicted on federal charges

Civil court is where family law disputes are to be resolved. This is true for Louisiana and every other state. Unfortunately, there are times when the circumstances of a case escalate beyond that arena. Then the criminal courts may have to be turned to.

Different things can trigger such jumps in jurisdiction. One that all experienced family law attorneys have come across is when a parent chooses to violate provisions of child custody and visitation orders. If a parent feels he or she can't achieve the outcome they desire, they may feel pressed to take actions that expose them to criminal charges. Few would consider that a good situation.

To help domestic violence victims it's important to know facts

Did you know that there are 245 active missing persons cases now ongoing in Louisiana? That's the word from an official with the Forensic Anthropology and Computer enhancement Services Laboratory at LSU.

These are outlier cases in one way. According to the official, who spoke as part of a recent community event in Breaux Bridge aimed at raising public awareness about missing persons, hundreds of people go missing in the state every month. Fortunately, most are found within a week. That sets the long-term cases apart and organizers of the event say they don't want those cases falling off law enforcement radar.

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