Divorce is hard on families and finances. When parties decide to split up because of emotional or other reasons, they sometimes forget to think about the things that will affect their financial stability, and the permanency of their current living situation regarding the marital home. Knowing your rights regarding property division is very important to your future stability after the breakdown of a marriage. Marital property refers to all joint interests and possessions a couple has acquired since the date of marriage. In Louisiana, all property is considered “community property” and equally owned by both parties. However, the law is flexible on a case-by-case basis and property division will not be that rigid.
What types of property are there, resulting from the marriage in the state of Louisiana?
Homes, cars, furniture, wedding gifts, wages of one or both parties, depending on who is working, and any interest or ownership from business ventures or investments. If one spouse is not listed on the ownership documents for items listed above that were purchased from date of the marriage forward, they need not worry because those items must still be equally divided. The debt associated with the items owned by the couple is also divided equally. Even contributions made toward the education of one of the parties may be considered community property.
Anything either party owned before the date of the marriage is considered separate property and not subject to be divided at the time of a divorce. Examples are homes, cars, furniture, inheritances and any funds received from personal injury settlements or judgements that were filed before the date of the marriage. There are some exceptions to this general rule, if one of the spouses receives an inheritance but puts the funds in the joint account of the married couple or uses inheritance funds to upgrade the jointly owned home or cars, it becomes community property and can be divided as such. Prenuptial agreements are a heavily used instrument in Louisiana courts, and make the division of property a smooth transaction.
Judge’s Discretion and Leeway in Marital Property Division.
The leeway when determining the disposition of marital property in a Louisiana divorce is partly based on each spouse’s income capacity through earnings, who will be the primary caregiver if there are minor children of the marriage, and if one party broke the marriage. These conditions will be addressed at the judge’s discretion and if one party is at fault, they may possibly receive less than have of the community property. Other factors that will be considered are the earning capacity of each party to protect a balance of income to both, physical healthy, ages, ability to work and if they are entitled to retirement benefits or alimony.
Divorce laws are a bit sensitive in Louisiana divorce courts, and there will be financial, personal and legal actions to be taken into consideration where you need guidance so that you do not end up with devastating life circumstances by not knowing all legal options available to you. It is best to contact a professional to navigate your property settlement regarding the divorce. Hiring a knowledgeable divorce attorney at the Jones Law Firm is key to your financial and physical future. Contact the attorneys at Jones Law Firm for a consultation and see how they can move your case along to a successful outcome.
Jones Law Firm
1330 Jackson Street,
Alexandria, Louisiana 71301