Getting married is an exciting and romantic time for any couple and one to approach with great celebration. Often people do not understand that in addition to the vows between spouses, marriage is an entry into a legal contract with attached obligations and privileges under the law of Louisiana. A consultation can help you plan your life together and make fully-informed choices about your future and your property.
GREATER NEW ORLEANS AND JEFFERSON PARISH FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY SUMMARY OF SERVICES
Pre-marital Legal Counseling
Couples usually consider a “pre-nup” to be unromantic or just a back up plan in case of divorce, so they avoid working out their financial and property issues before entering into the legal marital contract. However, because of the rights and obligations imposed on spouses by the law, a pre-marital agreement is a necessary consideration for most couples, especially where one or both partners have property, debt or children going into the marriage. We approach pre-marital agreements, not as a back-up plan, but as a map for a successful and well thought out marriage.
Many times when two people decide to live together and cannot or choose not to marry, they want to create a contract that defines financial and other aspects of their relationship. To more clearly determine how assets will be distributed and used upon separation or one partner’s death, couples often chose to enter into a contract defining their rights and desired outcome.
Marital Mediation and Post-marital Contracts/Separation of Property
An unexpected life event such as an inheritance, illness or addiction can change a couple’s expectations and needs in a marriage. Post-marital contracts can help to protect the changing interests of a married couple while maintaining their legal marital status.
Pre-divorce Legal Counseling
Many individuals choose divorce as a solution to difficulties in a relationship without fully appreciating the new set of problems they will face. This legal consultation will provide an awareness of what issues, both financial and emotional, may arise as a result of divorce proceedings, so that individuals have an opportunity to think clearly about the choice to divorce or separate. This consultation seeks to help individuals make fully-informed decisions and to anticipate the situation in which they may find themselves after the legal proceedings are over.
We advocate not only our clients’ short term legal interests in a divorce proceeding, but also with the desire to insure the best long-term well-being for our clients. We do this by taking the time to develop an understanding of our clients’ specific financial and emotional priorities so that we are able to develop an intelligent, economical legal strategy tailored to our client’s needs. Too many divorces are characterized by hateful accusations and nasty aggression; they do not need not be like that. We seek to preserve your legal rights in a dignified manner and to avoid the needless destruction of important relationships.
Parenting Plans, Child Custody and Support
We understand that raising children is the most important job a parent can have. We are here to help you establish a parenting and financial support plan that is in your child’s best interest. Each Parish in Louisiana may set up their own system for the settling of these sensitive issues. For example, St. Tammany and Jefferson Parishes utilize a hearing officer conference, a less formal meeting with a Louisiana family law specialist trained in dispute resolution, while Orleans Parish and St. Charles Parish use the court-centered litigation approach. We grasp the differences between these systems and will tailor your representation to the system implemented where your proceedings take place.
Interim and Final Spousal Support (Alimony)
In Louisiana law spousal support is an award of periodic payment from one spouse to another, based upon the need of the receiving spouse and the ability to pay of the paying spouse. These financial arrangements may be ordered for the duration of the separation or even after the divorce is final. We understand the relevant factors that a court will consider in its determination and will represent your interests assertively.
Community Property Partitions
Dividing one household into two is often a difficult and expensive process, whether there are a lot of assets or few. Louisiana is a “community property” state, meaning that anything acquired during marriage through the effort or skill of either spouse, including assets and debt, will be divided between them equally. The specifics of Louisiana law are complicated and disputes often arise regarding the whereabouts and valuation of assets. We will work closely with you, as well as with financial and tax professionals when necessary, to protect and divide these assets while putting you in the best possible position for moving forward with your life.