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Baton Rouge Family Law Blog

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.

Divorcing Louisiana spouses may be using Bitcoin to hide assets

Baton Rouge spouses may feel hurt and angry when a marriage ends, but many never suspect an ex might try to take advantage of them. Louisiana divorce laws require spouses to divide shared assets and debt in community property agreements. The division often is an even split, unless spouses have some other legal arrangement like a prenuptial agreement.

A complete disclosure of marital assets is necessary before negotiations for distribution can take place and a property settlement is reached. Spouses who anticipate divorce often set aside funds to make the transition a little easier. There's nothing wrong with squirreling away a divorce "cushion," unless you try to keep assets hidden from a spouse.

'Gwen's Law' enacted to curb Louisiana domestic violence

A series of new laws to protect victims of violence were signed into law recently in Louisiana. The legislation is aimed at lowering Louisiana's No. 2 ranking among states with the highest number of killings linked to domestic violence. One bill was named for a Grand Cane woman, who died less than a month before Gov. Bobby Jindal signed "Gwen's Law."

The law permits courts to order a defendant jailed without bail when the individual is charged with a felony against a dating partner or family or household member. Evidence presented during a contradictory bail hearing could compel a judge to decide a defendant's freedom poses a danger to alleged victims. Gwen was murdered by her husband while he was out on bail. The man committed suicide after he killed his wife.

Louisiana senator spearheads international adoption reform bill

People who love, care for and raise a child aren't always biological parents. Baton Rouge adoptive parents may be grandparents, stepparents or individuals totally unrelated to a child. Adoption solidifies the legal bond between a person or couple and a child they want to make a permanent family member.

Adoptive parents may be relatives who assume legal responsibility when biological parents cannot or will not raise a child. Adoptive parents sometimes scan the globe for a child in need. International adoptions can be costly and fraught with bureaucratic obstacles.

Pro-athlete’s contentious divorce stalled in settlement talks

Perhaps it's no surprise many Baton Rouge spouses have a difficult time settling issues at the end of a marriage. Sometimes, spouses resist divorce by delaying decisions when a dissolution of marriage isn't something they want. Some spouses feel the urge to "win" rather than compromise on conflicts over child custody, support or a property settlement.

Ariane Felton, the wife of pro-basketball player Raymond Felton, filed for divorce in February. The couple had been married 19 months when Ariane chose to terminate the relationship. Her reason was Raymond Felton's allegedly infidelity.

Financial checklist for divorcing Baton Rouge spouses

Baton Rouge married couples who decide to end a marriage may not feel like dealing with issues like property rights. Prenuptial agreements or post-nuptial contracts can help avoid financial disagreements during the emotionally unsettling time of divorce. When no agreement exists, divorcing couples are bound to divide marital property under Louisiana community property laws.

Spouses can take steps to make the financial split easier for themselves and a former partner. It's necessary for both parties to identify separate property and place a value on shared assets and debts. Determining asset worth may not be easy without a financial advisor's help, since some assets have fluctuating values like stocks, real estate and retirement accounts.

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