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Lafayette Family Law Blog

Create a positive impression at child custody hearings

Divorce is rarely easy, and, even after a settlement, former spouses often face ongoing legal problems. Continued discord may be associated with child custody or other matters concerning the care and upbringing of children. Louisiana parents are advised to keep in mind the apparent importance of creating a positive first impression when appearing at a court-ordered hearing to discuss such issues.    

More than 60 counties in another state require parents to attend alternative hearing procedures before the court rules on custody-related issues. Known as a "custody conciliation conference," such a hearing is designed as a pre-trial mediation meeting. The officer overseeing the hearing then has the authority to make recommendations to the court. 

Louisiana child support guidelines may vary from other states

It is not uncommon for those who divorce in Louisiana to worry about facing further legal challenges regarding issues that pertain to the care and upbringing of their children. Matters such as child custody, child support and visitation can cause both parents and children to undergo some difficult lifestyle changes that may affect finances, schedules and other daily life experiences. Avoiding contentious debates and protecting a child's best interests is often made easier through effective legal representation.

At the Law Office of Laura L. Davenport, we represent clients seeking trusted legal advice in a wide variety of family law issues. It has often proved beneficial to take a proactive stance when facing continued legal challenges after divorce. Child support guidelines vary by state; in Louisiana, the court takes the incomes of both parents into consideration when making such decisions. Typically, each parent is required to pay a certain percentage toward a combined amount, as determined by the court.

Government may end funding for domestic violence shelters

Various types of altercation may be grounds for criminal charges, as well as civil lawsuits in Louisiana. Domestic violence encompasses a wide range of potential incidents, including but not limited to physical abuse, emotional trauma and/or sexually related issues. Such situations may be difficult to pursue in court without help from experienced legal advisors.

The issue of domestic violence is said to be ranked number one regarding current health concerns in the United States. Some say the actual number of cases is probably much higher than reported events, due to the intensely personal, and often frightening nature of such circumstances. In addition, those involved need not to be biologically related to one another in order for an instance to be categorized in this manner. 

Tupac Shakur's parents in divorce battle before recent death

When affluent couples in Louisiana choose to end their marital unions, various legal challenges often arise. The same can typically be said of many high profile celebrity spouses, or, as in a recent situation, those related to celebrities. This especially holds true when no prenuptial agreement exists before divorce, which allows battles to rage regarding division of assets, who will retain ownership of homes and properties, and whether one spouse should be made to pay alimony to the other.

Superstar rapper Tupac Shakur's sudden and unresolved death rocked the world in 1996. His mother, Afeni Shakur, was said to be a great inspiration in her son's music industry work. Reportedly, her net worth was recently listed as more than $50 million. 

Is domestic violence a gender issue or a human issue?

In our last post, we explored how Louisiana has a lot of different ways to seek protection from possible threats of domestic violence. Our purpose in doing that was to show that the laws are framed in hopes of being able to account for the many different circumstances that can trigger violence among people -- even those who might claim to love each other.

Life is complicated and the application of the law as it relates to seeking temporary or long-term restraining orders can be an intricate process that is made easier with the help of experienced legal counsel. Another thing that can hinder people from pursuing available protection can be social stigma and the misconception that the only ones who need or deserve the protection are women.

How do I go about seeking a protection order in Louisiana?

Did you know that there are 12 statutes and articles on the books in Louisiana related to seeking protection orders from the court? That there are so many seems to be an acknowledgment that the conditions that might prompt such action can be as different as the people involved.

The objective of all protection orders, of course, is to keep one person away from another. The expectation is that a formal order will prevent abuse and increase domestic security and stability.

What Louisiana laws cover grandparent visitation and custody?

Few would likely deny that the norm for most Louisiana families is one that is cross-generational. Where there are children, there are parents. Where there are parents, there are grandparents. And there's generally a presumption that everyone will be actively involved in each other's lives.

That ideal isn't always achieved. A lot of things can happen that can put up barriers to family involvement. If the parents divorce, a rift between custodial parent and a grandparent could surface. If one or the other of the parents dies or winds up becoming incarcerated, that could create friction. What are a grandparent's rights around seeking visitation or custody in such situations?

What can I as a parent of a divorcing child do to help?

Lots of books and seminars offer guidance to help couples get through divorce. There's not much out there to help parents of divorcing offspring know what they should do, however. Just as no two divorce situations in Louisiana are exactly alike, the same is true for the answer to the question of how parents can best help their adult children as they go through a dissolution. Should you swoop in or should you stand back? The answer is that it depends on the circumstances.

At the very least, and especially if there are grandchildren who will be affected, it wouldn't hurt to encourage your son or daughter to find experienced legal counsel that he or she can trust to help sort out what can be a long list of complicated issues.

Can pet custody be part of a prenuptial agreement?

When you talk about your family do you include Fido, Fluffy, Polly or Iggy? A lot of people in Louisiana do. For many people pets are more than property. They are companions that have personalities that make them more than just animals. Some couples never have children and pets become their family.

With the bond between owners and pet often so strong what is a couple supposed to do to resolve possible disputes over custody and visitation related to pets? Considering that under family law pets are considered property, resolution might come in the form of some sort of buyout by one of the spouses. But to understand all possible family law options it's important to consult with an attorney.

What Social Security rights do children of unwed parents have?

Child support is probably one of the most important matters that family law deals with in Louisiana. It can also be an issue that can generate the greatest amount of divisiveness for parents, married or not.

As we noted in a previous post, a lot of things can influence how the court goes about making final decisions on levels of child support. In cases where the child might be on some sort of government assistance, such as the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program or Medicaid, the state's stake is such that regulators seek to be sure both parents are doing all they can to support the best interests of their child.

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