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Baton Rouge Family Law Blog

Solving a pet division problem during a Louisiana divorce

Assets don't have to be valuable to be disputable. Grandmother's old tea set may be worth very little to most people, but not to someone who attaches good memories to it. If you're getting a Louisiana divorce, attorneys advise taking the emotional value of property into consideration alongside the market value.

Marital homes are sentimental assets. How many Baton Rouge spouses have battled over the right to keep a home that reminded them of more pleasant times? Unfortunately, many spouses bite off more than they can chew by keeping a house once they realize how costly it is to hold onto it with a single income.

Consider the value of assets over time in a divorce settlement

Louisiana spouses may be impatient to move on with their individual lives once a marriage is over. No one experiences a pleasant divorce, so it's understandable spouses want to put the process behind them quickly. Hurrying to divide assets while distracted by emotions can be detrimental to your financial future.

What you have now in marital assets might be worth more or less in the future. Those economic fluctuations must be factored in if you hope to reach a fair property settlement. A settlement strategy should include knowledge of current and future values of marital assets to be divided.

When is a Louisiana child support modification appropriate?

Baton Rouge separated and divorced parents: remember the word "significant." You'll hear Louisiana family judges use the word when making decisions about changes in child support agreements. Modifications of monthly payments aren't likely to occur unless a court feels significant changes have occurred in a payer, recipient or child's life.

If you're working out a support modification independently with an ex, put children's needs before your own -- that's what a judge will do. Any new agreement you make must have the court's approval before support changes take place. Courts might be inundated with parental petitions if support orders were changed for anything but significant – there's that word again – reasons.

Planning to co-parent during and after a Louisiana divorce

Louisiana spouses may have a difficult time finding anything positive about the end of a marriage. The breakup doesn't have to involve a contested divorce for spouses to feel sadness, hurt or anger. Spouses without children may make the break cleanly, but divorced parents remain connected through their children.

Divorce is a grown-up choice that can affect people outside the decision-making process – children. Parents can get wrapped up in their own feelings and forget they are not the only ones experiencing a life-altering change. Child custody, visitation and support agreements must reflect long-range child-rearing plans instead of the parents' emotionally-tinged wishes.

Exercising grandparents’ rights in Louisiana

Many Baton Rouge families, like others throughout the country, don't follow a stereotypical pattern of two parents with children. Grandparents and other non-parent relatives can play a crucial and very direct role in a child's life.

According to 2010 census figures compiled by AARP and other organizations, more than 11 percent of Louisiana children live with a grandparent, who is the head of a household. More than 26,700 children living in their grandparents' homes are under the grandparent's care and do not live with parents.

Considerations before deciding to get a Louisiana divorce

Discussions and articles frequently focus on the legal and emotional issues surrounding the end of a marriage. Information and opinions are plentiful about property settlements, child custody and spousal support – the considerations necessary once a divorce decision is made. Less seems to be written and said about the months or years leading up to the dissolution of marriage.

Sometimes it's harder to make a decision than live with the choice you make. Baton Rouge spouses may agonize for a very long time, often in private, over how well a relationship is functioning. A series of arguments with a spouse or an unresolved marital problem can trigger the first thoughts about divorce.

Louisiana parish president accused of harassment during divorce

Conflict is common between Louisiana spouses at the end of a marriage, but sometimes tension and hard feelings get out of control. Emotions can run very high during divorce, especially when the relationship has a history of adultery or abuse. Baton Rouge spouses can take legal steps to protect themselves from harassment and harm.

The former wife of the St. Bernard Parish president was granted a divorce on the same day she filed a claim her ex violated a restraining order. The woman said her then-husband continued to contact her and her family members by email and used the family's identities while posting comments on the Times-Picayune website NOLA.com.

Louisiana program reconnects non-custodial parents with children

Fairly or unfairly, negative traits have been applied to Louisiana non-custodial parents. Parents, mostly divorced fathers living apart from their children, are accused of lack of financial and personal participation in their children’s lives. Baton Rouge parents may feel non-custodial fathers and mothers simply don’t care enough to live up to child support and visitation agreements, but there is another side.

Unmarried couple break-ups and divorces put a physical and mental distance between couples who no longer want to be together. The post-split relationship isn’t quite that cut-and-dried when the people involved are parents. Children’s interests require parental contact and cooperation but for many parents, that’s a fictional ideal.

Parents who adopted boy twice win 7-year long case

Baton Rouge individuals and couples who want to be parents but can't have a child of their own turn to other options. Adding a member to a family through adoption doesn't happen as quickly as some would-be parents would like. Legal complications add costs and stress and, after years for one couple, the stress is now over.

The couple's adoption story began in 2007, after a Guatemalan immigrant was arrested for being in the U.S. illegally. The immigrant had a baby son who, because of the mother's legal problems, ended up with the woman's brother and later another sibling. The boy finally was placed with a couple who wanted to adopt him.

Louisiana law prevents illegal 're-homing' of adopted children

Adoption can be a fulfilling experience, but a percentage of Louisiana adoptions don't work out. Adoptions can be disrupted or dissolved. According to adoption.com, a disruption occurs when adoptive parents decide they no longer want the legal process to continue, while dissolution describes a change of heart about parenthood after an adoption has been finalized.

Studies have shown the largest percentage of disruptions occur when people adopt children with special needs or who are 12 and older. Across-the-board rates of adoption disruption and dissolution range from 10 to 20 percent. Children in these unfortunate situations may be returned to foster care or placed with other adoptive parents.

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