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Lafayette Family Law Blog

Is one of your New Year's resolutions an uncontested divorce?

When a new year begins, many Louisiana residents take stock of their lives. In doing so, some will determine that their marriages need to end, particularly if they had not already made that decision before the holidays, but wanted to delay so as not to mar the season for children and other family members. Now that the holidays are over, couples may be ready to take the next step, and many may be hoping for an uncontested divorce.

For Louisiana couples who share this goal, being prepared could go a long way to making it happen. Few things can stop amicable negotiations in their tracks like saying something offensive to the other party. This is why many people will recommend staying off social media during a divorce. Not only could it cause enough tension to turn a friendly divorce into a contentious one, but it could also provide the other party with leverage, even if no wrongdoing actually occurred.

Overnight visits with Dad can make all the difference

If you are a dad with a divorce looming in your future, you may be dealing with many emotions. Foremost in your mind may be the concern that you will not receive a fair share of custody, especially if your child is an infant.

Unquestionably, the odds have been against fathers for generations, and understandably so. After all, the advice of many well-respected psychologists caused concerns that taking infants from their mothers may be dangerous. However, recent university studies may give hope to you and other fathers.

Parents don't pay child support to be able to see their children

Whether married or divorced, parents have an obligation to support their children financially. When the relationship between parents ends, Louisiana family courts often order one parent to pay child support. It is important to note that the financial obligation that a parent has to the children is separate from the desire to be part of their lives.

In some cases, the Louisiana parent responsible for making court-ordered child support payments fails to uphold his or her obligation. Even so, that parent cannot be denied the right to see the children as long as doing so would not cause them harm. The fact of the matter is that child support payments are not made in order to spend time with the children. Instead they are made to help support their financial needs.

Finding relief from physical abuse with a protective order

Not all relationships turn out the way a Louisiana couple imagines in the beginning. Your relationship may have failed to meet your expectations. You may have realized too late that your significant other has a temper that can turn into physical abuse. If that is the case, you may wonder how to seek a protective order and what it can do for you.

Without a doubt, leaving an abusive relationship takes courage, but it also takes planning. Part of your plan may include seeking a protective order. Such an order would restrict the other party from taking numerous actions against you such as harming or threatening you and your family. The other party will more than likely not be able to come within a certain distance of you or go to certain places where you frequent such as your home, work or school.

Avoid mistakes in dividing debt in an uncontested divorce

Amicable separations are becoming more common among married couples here in Louisiana and elsewhere. As a result, more people take advantage of the uncontested divorce option in lieu of the traditional, more adversarial, courtroom battle. Even so, couples taking advantage of the less contentious option still need to remain vigilant in order to preserve their financial security in the future.

This is because after the property is divided, the debts need to be divided as well. In most cases, the longer a couple has been together, the more debts they share. Since Louisiana is a community property state, this means that the courts will view all of the debts incurred as marital and joint. This means that each party is responsible for all debts incurred during the marriage.

Is the best way to win a child custody battle not to fight?

Many Louisiana parents find themselves at the end of their relationships. As a result, they may also find themselves involved in a child custody battle. In some cases, the best way to win is not to fight, but what happens when that does not work?

Some couples can come to a custody agreement without going to court. If that does not work for you and the other parent, it may help to know what you could face. Understanding what the court looks for when it hears child custody cases, could provide you with the tools you need to prepare for your court date.

Maintaining control of the future through divorce mediation

The end of a Louisiana marriage often causes a couple to feel as though their lives are spinning out of control. How you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse deal with these emotions in the first days of the divorce will shape each of your futures. One way to regain some control and feel better about the future could be to engage in divorce mediation.

Like other Louisiana couples, you do not have to dread a nasty battle in a courtroom. Whether you and the other party anticipate getting along after the divorce does not necessarily matter. If you can put aside your negative emotions for each other long enough to create a settlement that benefits the both of you as much as possible, you both win.

When your ex won't let you see or communicate with your kids

Are you a parent? Do you share custody of your children or at least have some type of visitation rights? Is your ex refusing to let you see or communicate with your kids? If so, you may, according to the laws of Louisiana, have the right to take legal action.

Parental alienation is a real problem in Louisiana and elsewhere. It is where the primary custodial parent purposely keeps a child away from the other parent. The goal is to make the child feel that the other parent does not care for him or her.

When an uncontested divorce can create a financial nightmare

For most Louisiana residents, there is no way around losing financial ground when ending a marriage. The prospect of supporting two households with the same resources that used to support one is often daunting, which leads many couples to try to get through an uncontested divorce on their own. The problem is that if certain aspects of the divorce are not handled properly, it could cause a financial nightmare for the parties.

This is especially possible when it comes to dividing retirement accounts. If they are not properly divided, the tax ramifications can be costly. Many Louisiana residents may not be aware that some retirement accounts such as 401(k)s require a qualified domestic relations order to split them without incurring tax penalties, and those who do know about them may not draft them properly.

One of the tradeoffs for paying spousal support may disappear

There is no way around the fact that money is a part of every divorce whether it happens here in Louisiana or elsewhere. One of the financial issues that arises in many divorces is spousal support. Even when the paying spouse agrees that it is a necessity for the other, it may not exactly be pleasant to watch that money leave the bank account. Many who make these payments consider the right to deduct them at tax time as a consolation prize of sorts, but that benefit may go away.

Proposed tax legislation may eliminate the ability of the paying spouse to deduct alimony payments. Eliminating this deduction is being considered due to discrepancies between how much the payer claims that he or she paid during the course of the year and how much the payee claims that he or she received. Since spousal support is often needed due to one spouse making more money than the other, the payer is often in a higher tax bracket than the one receiving payments. This fact is often considered when determining an amount for support.

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