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Louisiana Divorce & Finances

UPDATED: March 2, 2020

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The separation of joint finances during a divorce can be confusing and cause some real stress in wondering what the court will decide. How will the court decide to divide property?  What will the tax ramifications of the divorce be?  Do you and your ex-spouse have estate planning issues to resolve? Will spousal support payments be awarded, and if so, what will the extent of these payments be? The following are laws specific to Louisiana Divorce and Finances.


Louisiana Property Division/Community Property/Debts:

Louisiana is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that the court will distribute marital property on terms considered to be fair. Note that this does not necessarily mean equal. In making the equitable distribution determination, the court will consider, among other things, the contributions of each spouse to the marital estate, the total value of the properties of the parties, the economic circumstances of each party, any misconduct that may have occurred, and the amount of spousal support awarded.

Louisiana Spousal Support:

There is no automatic obligation for either spouse to support the other in the event of a divorce. Where the court does grant spousal support (also called maintenance or alimony), it does so on a case-by-case basis and in consideration of many factors, including:

  1. The financial resources of the party seeking support,
  2. The time and input of resources necessary for the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and sufficient education and/or training for that employment,
  3. The established subjective standard of living during the marriage,
  4. Marriage duration,
  5. Physical and emotional condition of the party seeking maintenance,
  6. The ability of the would-be payor spouse to meet his/her own needs while meeting those of the other spouse, and
  7. Any other factors the court deems relevant.

Note that the spousal award amount and duration, once determined, are not set in stone. The court may modify or eliminate the award when circumstances justify doing so, such as the receiving party entering into another marriage or similar arrangement, or one party experiencing a material change in financial circumstances.

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