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

Lafayette Family Law Blog

Are prenuptial agreements always enforceable?

Creating a prenuptial agreement is a smart way to protect personal property while also laying a foundation for open and honest communication during marriage. While prenuptial agreements are generally fairly straightforward, Louisiana couples could still be making some unintended mistakes. In some situations, a seemingly small mistake could make a prenup invalid.

Most people understand that a prenup cannot be a verbal agreement and that it has to be written down. However, there are still rules about when and how it was signed. For example, both parties have to sign the agreement before saying "I do" for it to be considered a valid and enforceable document. Even if it was signed before the wedding, if one person was pressured into signing, then a judge might say the whole thing is unenforceable.

Mother secures $150,000 in back child support

Raising a child after divorce can be expensive. Handling expenses like school supplies, health insurance, extracurricular activities and more is often difficult when income is cut in half or otherwise less than what it used to be. This is why child support is so important for a child's financial security, but not all parents in Louisiana take the responsibility of paying as seriously as they should.

A 74-year-old woman who lives on the West Coast recently made national headlines for securing $150,000 in back owed child support. She had originally divorced her husband back in the 1970s, and he was ordered to pay $210 per month for their then 3-year-old daughter. After a little over two years, the amount would drop to $160 per month. However, the woman says that the man moved to Canada, started a new family and never paid any of the support.

When your ex's addiction affects child custody

Living with a spouse who has an addiction to drugs or alcohol can take its toll. While you may have spent a long time making excuses for your spouse, you reached a place where you realized there was no point trying to fix the marriage if your spouse refused to get help.

Perhaps your spouse seemed to manage to keep the addiction under control while you were together, but since the divorce, you are noticing a dangerous escalation in your ex's drinking or drug use. While the courts granted visitation or even shared custody to your ex-spouse, you are beginning to wonder if this is in the best interests of your children.

Judge orders father to pay $150,000 for unpaid child support

Raising children can be fulfilling, but it can also be incredibly expensive. After a divorce or in the case of unmarried parents, child support should help parents who have primary custody of their children cover the daily expenses of living. Unfortunately, many parents who are ordered to pay support end up shirking their court-ordered responsibilities. While this is extremely frustrating, Louisiana parents can generally seek back child support.

A 74-year-old woman who lives in another state recently made national headlines for getting back child support from her ex-husband. While this is not an uncommon process when one parent fails to pay, the circumstances surrounding the situation were unique. The couple had divorced in 1969, and the three-year-old child the father had been ordered to pay support for is now 50 years old.

Are you interfering with your child custody order?

Divorcing parents often keep their children as the focal point during proceedings, carefully considering how various decisions will affect their best interests. However, some parents in Louisiana might be misguided in their approach to dealing with child custody both before and after divorce. Here are some behaviors that parents should avoid.

It is understandable for parents who do not have physical custody to feel as if they do not see their child enough after divorce. In an effort to make their point, some parents choose to withhold child support payments. Rather than forcing an ex to agree to increased visitation times, parents who stop paying child support generally end up facing serious legal repercussions. On top of this, family law judges may be hesitant to award more parenting time to a parent who failed to pay child support despite having the means to do so.

Tackling the family business during property division

Owning and operating a business with a spouse can be a great way to spend time together while also establishing a family income. Divorce can complicate business matters, though, and some Louisiana couples might find themselves stuck in seemingly impossible situations. Here are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with family-owned businesses during property division.

Like with any other marital asset, the first step is to get the business properly valued. This should be done by an impartial third party. Having an outside party establish the value might seem over the top, but it is necessary to ensure that neither spouse tries to under or overvalue the business.

Moving away after divorce may damage your parental bond

If you are a dad who has recently gone through a divorce, chances are you are feeling emotions you never knew you had. You may be like many fathers who experienced the deep disappointment of losing custody to your spouse, and you are trying to remain grateful for the few days of visitation you have each week. On the other hand, even if you share custody with your former spouse, the time with your kids may never seem enough.

This feeling of devastation and loss can be overwhelming. However, you may be feeling the loss more powerfully if you are facing a dilemma that may require you to move away. More than half of parents move an hour or more away from their children following a divorce, and some child advocates say this may be hard on their relationships.

Property division and hidden assets

A fundamental aspect of divorce is the process by which couples divide up their marital property. In Louisiana, property division should end with both people walking away with approximately half of the marital assets. But what happens if one person decides to hide some of those marital assets? Unfortunately, the practice is more common than some people might realize.

Whether a person initiated the divorce or not, it is important to inventory marital assets as soon as possible. Doing so can help if a person's soon-to-be ex tries to hide assets later on. However, since it is entirely possible that an ex might hide assets before ever filing for divorce, this initial inventory of marital assets might not be enough to catch any discrepancies.

Do you know what to do with credit card rewards during divorce?

Racking up credit card reward points can be extremely satisfying. From earning points on grocery purchases to banking points for airfare travel, using credit cards to earn additional benefits is a popular choice. But how should Louisiana couples handle these points during a divorce?

Although many couples maintain joint credit cards that have both of their names, it is not necessarily uncommon for married people to have individual accounts. Whether a credit card was maintained jointly or separately, any points it accrues during a marriage are considered community property. This means that those points will have to be divided somehow.

Social Security benefits after divorce

Social Security benefits play a crucial role in retirement planning for many Louisiana residents. However, those who are ready to divorce might have some understandable concerns about accessing those benefits in the future. What few people understand is that it is possible to receive these important retirement benefits based on a spouse's work history even if they have divorced.

Financial security during retirement is an enormous concern for most people, but especially for those who are close to retirement and ready to divorce. For some, divorce can feel like a gamble. However, if that individual was married for at least 10 years and his or her ex qualifies for Social Security, then he or she can count on those benefits as well.

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