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Lafayette Family Law Blog

What's the best parenting plan for my situation?

Families are made up of individuals. Just as no two individuals are alike, neither are any two families. And in the event that parents of a family decide they can no longer operate as a unit, it doesn't mean that they give up their roles and responsibilities as parents.

Louisiana family law courts are not blind to this reality. The overriding goal of the courts is to ensure that the best interests of the child or children are met. Defining best interest is often a matter of some interpretation and debate. The work of achieving a fair and equitable parenting plan can take some skilled negotiation or legal representation if the dispute winds up going to the court.

Family is foundational to society. Dad is foundational to family

It is regularly stated that the family is the foundation of society. Whether you grant that to be true or not, one thing that has become abundantly clear is that how society defines family is something that is undergoing significant change.

Experienced family lawyers in Lafayette know that families can become fractured due to divorce. In some cases, the parents were never much of a steady couple, but still have children together. And then there are same-sex couples who establish families through surrogacy, adoption or some other means.

Is divorce risk higher or lower for those who marry later?

As individuals, we tend to hate to think that we fall into categories. But the truth is that we are social animals. That means we have a tendency to find like-minded individuals and congregate with them. As Shakespeare says, all the world's a stage and we are merely players.

Very often, the script is predictable and it's only when things deviate from the expected that life's dramas develop. Because we rely on the rule of law in Louisiana and the rest of the country we turn to the legal system to get ourselves through these moments. Experienced divorce and family law practitioners understand the legal and social dynamics in these matters and how to navigate what can be choppy seas.

Do I have to pay child support if I'm receiving workers' comp?

Success in real estate is said to depend on three things: location, location and location. When the issue of child support is under discussion in Louisiana, it could be said that the three factors that are most important are: income, income and income.

It does not matter what the source of your income may be. Whether it is a regular paycheck, gains on investments or benefits received through government support or something like workers' compensation, the expectation is that you will meet the obligation that the court sets for paying child support.

No matter a victim's age, domestic violence deserves response

Physical, mental or sexual attacks by one person against another are never OK. When someone who supposedly loves you commits such acts, it is worse. It does not matter what the nature of the relationship is. There are actions that can be taken under the law to seek protection from attacks or even the threat of them. But it does require taking the initiative.

We have mentioned previously on this blog about the fact that in Louisiana, the law includes 11 articles that grant the right of individuals to seek court ordered protection from someone else. It could be a single person trying to escape the stalking of a former romantic partner; a spouse fearing harm from his or her mate; a parent worried for the safety of the children; or even an aging man or woman now vulnerable and at the mercy of an adult child caregiver or some other person.

Expert: Dating plans after divorce should include AIDS testing

The last thing a person might be looking to do immediately after a Louisiana divorce is launching into the dating scene. While the state has something of a reputation for having relatively easy and amicable divorces, that doesn't mean that the yearnings of those who go through them lightly turn to proverbial poetic thoughts of love.

The reality is that going through a divorce can have its stressful moments in the best of times. And in some cases, circumstances can be such that it can pose particular challenges regarding property division, child support and visitation. That's why the help of an experienced attorney is always recommended.

Once granted, divorce is typically hard to undo

Louisiana stands apart from most other states in the nation. Few would likely dispute that assessment. One of the things that make it different is that among its laws is one that provides for the option of covenant marriages. As we noted in a previous post, covenant marriage is something the state supports as a possible means of reducing the numbers of divorce.

In opting for this form of union parties to a marriage are expected to make a written commitment to each other before vows are uttered. The process includes premarital counseling and signing an agreement saying that they will seek counseling before pursuing a divorce if they hit snags in their relationship. The theory behind this model is that the reinforcing steps will keep couples together.

Co-mom households have benefits. Are they better?

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are nearly 11 million single parents in the United States right now. What the number may be in Louisiana and how they may be broken down in terms of gender is a bit more of a guess. Data is hard to come by easily. But if Louisiana is in line with the country as a whole, most of those households are headed up by mothers.

How young moms and dads come to be in the situation of being a single parent can vary. Sometimes the parents are unmarried, having never lived together. Divorce can play a role as well, as any experienced Louisiana family law attorney well knows.

Conflicting filings raise custody concerns in Rock's divorce

The legal status of a young girl is in question as a result of divorce proceedings between comedian Chris Rock and his ex-wife Malaak Compton-Rock. At issue is the fact that Compton-Rock is seeking child support for a child that Rock says is not his dependent. As a result of the dispute some are raising concerns about whether the situation represents a case of possible child trafficking.

According to reports, the 7-year-old girl is from South Africa. While she has not been legally adopted, the Rock's have been raising her since she was 9 months old. In many instances over the years, the girl has been photographed with the Rocks and their two biological daughters as part of the family. In 2010, Compton-Rock dedicated a book she wrote to all of her daughters and named the child among them.

Court: Contract binds parents to child support in surrogacy case

The traditional view is that if two adults bring a new baby into the world, they both have a responsibility to contribute to the well-being of the child. But as nearly everyone would likely attest, family law is one area in which tradition does not always apply.

It is in this environment that the courts in Louisiana continue to weigh in when issues related to child custody and child support are brought into question. The rights of the individual parents carry weight. But what the law says the court has to be particularly concerned about is the best interests of the child. And in such instances, tradition may still rule.

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