One odd situation that people can find themselves in after a divorce is related to eligibility for public office or other government benefits. Because these problems are not obvious when someone begins their divorce case, it is important to get experienced legal representation to help you as issues become apparent. 

Local politician is sued and told he cannot run for office in a district where he does not live

Local news for New Orleans reported on a Louisiana politician who had been disqualified from a local race because he lost his domicile during a prior divorce proceeding, and no longer technically resided in the district. 

During a hearing, evidence had emerged that the politician actually lived in an apartment in the town of Covington on Ronald Reagan Boulevard. On an application, he had listed his wife’s address for a house in Mandeville. He explained that he only planned to live in the apartment temporarily during their divorce. He further claimed that he does regularly see his children at the home in Mandeville, and often stays overnight. Because the address for the house is listed on his driver’s license and voter registration, he claimed that it should be considered his legal domicile. 

An attorney for the opponent extracted more information from cross examination to show that he only occasionally spends nights at the home, and does not work or keep any of his business materials at the Mandeville residence. This same lawyer made a joke during his closing argument that just because someone keeps a toothbrush at a house, it does not mean that they actually live there. 

Divorce and property distribution

A judge has wide discretion to distribute property equitably during a divorce case. This does not necessarily mean equally, as the judge can classify all of the property as either marital or nonmarital and then decide how it should be distributed or who should retain ownership. As this news story shows, these kinds of transactions often have legal consequences as well. Someone’s residency may change if they lose a home in a different state or county. They may have to change things such as voter registration, addresses on driver’s licenses, bank accounts, or there can even be situations such as this where someone can no longer hold an office if they are no longer a resident of a district. 

Your family law attorney is crucial during these times, as they can help you work through the process to get your life back to normal even after significant changes. 

Speak with a divorce lawyer in Baton Rouge

There are attorneys who can explain how Louisiana’s laws may affect your divorce and any related issues that may arise. To get more information, contact: 

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806

225-343-2205

www.mlhlaw.com

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