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Lafayette Family Law Blog

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.

Emancipation: When parents and children seek to separate

The general rule of law in Louisiana is that parents and children are bound to each other in some way until the children reach the age of adulthood. Children have a right to expect a certain level of support from their parents and parents have an obligation to provide for the child. There's also some expectation that the parents will take appropriate steps to raise the child to become as productive a member of society as possible.

Things don't always work out according to the ideal. Just as two adults who marry sometimes wind up divorcing, there are situations in which children and parents might begin to consider whether it wouldn't be a wise idea to separate from each other. No legal basis exists for minor children to divorce their parents, but they may be able to petition for legal separation by seeking emancipation through the courts.

Parents advised to avoid child custody conflicts after divorce

Louisiana parents who end their marriages often face continued legal battles afterwards. Unfortunately, such battles often involve issues regarding their children, such as child custody or visitation agreements. In order to help children adjust to new family lifestyles after divorce, many family advisers say it is crucial for parents to avoid conflict, especially in front of their children.

It can be very difficult to maintain an amicable relationship with a former spouse who refuses to cooperate regarding the upbringing and raising of children following divorce. A parent facing such difficulty may find it helpful to retain legal representation in the matter. Experienced family law attorneys are often skilled negotiators who can help a concerned parent obtain a peaceable resolution to legal problems surrounding parenting issues after divorce.

Baseball star, Bartolo Colon, in court dispute over secret family

Whether in a quiet Louisiana neighborhood, or in the limelight of a professional baseball team, it is never easy to become engaged in a drawn out court battle over child support. Major League Baseball pitcher Bartolo Colon is currently involved in such a dispute, however. The incident arose when a woman who is not his wife filed a lawsuit against him.

Colon is known as "Big Sexy" by  baseball fans and reporters throughout the nation. His 6'11", 285 pound frame is a force to reckon with on the pitcher's mound. Apparently, his 21-year marriage that brought forth four sons was not the only "family" relationship in which he has been involved.

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.

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