Law Office of Laura L. Davenport
Lafayette Divorce And Family Law Attorney

Lafayette Family Law Blog

Handling your child's request to move in with the other parent

Your child was younger when you first divorced and made custody arrangements. Since that time, your child has lived with you the majority of the time, and your house serves as his or her home base. Where he or she attends school, the friends he or she makes, and other important life factors all originate from this location.

All goes well for some time, but then your child drops a bombshell on you -- he or she wants to move in with the other parent full time. As much as you may want to do so, don't dismiss the idea right away.

Why having more money might lead to more divorce

Living through poor economic times can be tough. Incomes usually stagnate, jobs become scarce and Louisiana couples may have to face a growing number of financial problems in their marriages. Since money is a major cause of marital stress, some might think that the divorce rate will increase as the economy heads south. In reality, the opposite is usually true.

It is true that money is one of the biggest causes of marital strife. In a 2018 Planning & Progress Study from Northwestern Mutual of 2,000 adults, 41% reported that financial anxiety negatively affected their relationships. Those financial worries not only make for unhappy marriages, it also makes it harder for people to overcome their fears associated with post-divorce finances when the economy is not doing so great.

Divorce rates go up as incomes increase

A better, stronger economy is supposed to be good for everyone. However, for some people in Louisiana, it could mean something very different -- divorce. As it turns out, the divorce rate actually decreases during poor economic times and increases again once things are improving.

Financial concerns are more than just a problem during marriage; they are also a barrier to filing for divorce. When the economy is not doing so great, people who are considering divorce often look at what they think the financial outcome might be. If they are worried about money and their future financial stability, they have a higher likelihood of deciding to stay married. That changes when the economy picks back up.

How to protect finances after you're asked for a divorce

For some people the question comes as a complete surprise, while for others it is more of an expected step in their marriage. No matter how a person felt when their spouse asked them for a divorce, it is important to take action in a timely manner. While there are many factors that cannot be dealt with until the divorce process gets underway, people in Louisiana can take important steps to protect themselves and their finances relatively early on.

It is unfortunately not uncommon for one person to think he or she is heading for a relatively amicable divorce only to discover that it is not meant to be. Joint credit cards are a serious problem during divorce, as either spouse can run up large debts for which the other spouse will still be liable for. Closing all joint credit card accounts as soon as possible will prevent this from happening.

Should you count on that child support?

Getting a divorce as a parent can be overwhelming, especially for Louisiana parents who end up with primary custody of their children. Raising children on a single income is certainly a difficult task. Many of these parents rely on child support payments from their ex-spouses to make up any shortfalls in their children's financial security. Unfortunately, that child support does not always come through.

Most parents -- both those receiving and those paying -- understand just how important child support is. Around 40% of those ordered to pay support do so regularly and on time. While this might strike most people as a good thing, they might be ignoring the other side of the equation.

Could divorce mediation be the right solution for you?

Deciding to divorce can be an emotionally-charged experience, and the idea of heading to war in the courtroom can seem necessary and even cathartic. However, what might feel satisfying in the moment might not be a good idea for in the long run. Divorce mediation can provide a better overall experience for Louisiana couples who want to get through the process without going to battle.

Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution that gives divorcing couples the tools they need to navigate their own divorce settlements. This approach has been available to people in Louisiana for several decades, and despite its success there are still many people who are not quite sure what the process is all about. Mediation is not about getting into a room with an ex-spouse and hashing everything out one last time. Instead, an experienced mediator will guide both parties through careful and respectful negotiations.

Why does how and where you live affect custody decisions?

Despite the fact that gender roles within families continue to change, the perception of the mother keeping the family home with the children and the father living in a small, dark and dingy apartment seem to persist.

You may be facing paying child support and/or alimony, so your choice of place to live may be from a place of panic that you won't have enough to live on after the finalization of the divorce. The problem with that is that when you ask for either sole or joint custody, the court will scrutinize your choice of abode.

What happens to retirement savings during property division?

Saving for retirement is no small feat. Many couples in Louisiana try to start saving as early on in their marriages and careers as possible, but rising costs of living can leave some feeling worried about how stable their financial futures really are. These worries can be compounded by divorce, when couples will have to address retirement savings during property division.

Making early withdrawals from tax accounts is not easy and can result in steep penalties and taxes. In defined contribution plans like 401(k)s, making a withdrawal before turning 59.5 comes with a 10% tax penalty. Rather than avoid dividing this type of account during divorce out of fear of losing money, a judge can issue a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. A QDRO specifies what benefits a person is legally entitled to as part of a divorce settlement.

Laura Davenport Has Been Nominated and Accepted as 2019 AIOFLA'S 10 Best in Louisiana For Client Satisfaction

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of Louisiana's Family Law Attorney Laura Davenport as 2019 10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction.

Don't let child support fears hold you back from divorce

Filing for a divorce is not a decision that many Louisiana parents take lightly. Even when in an unhappy marriage, parents often worry about how much time they will still have with their children and whether they can still provide the necessary financial support. Financial worries are understandable, but demystifying certain aspects of child support might be helpful for some.

Courts can take a wide range of factors into account when deciding on an appropriate amount for child support. This is because no two families or children are alike, so there cannot be any type of one-size-fits-all approach to nailing down the number. In general, though, a child's financial needs as well as his or her parents' incomes will factor into the decision.

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