What You Need to Know About Rights Wives are Entitled to In a Louisiana Divorce

Navigating a divorce can be a stressful and difficult ordeal. Knowing what you are entitled to in a divorce is vital to protecting yourself and making sure you get what you deserve. Here’s everything you need to know about what a wife is entitled to in a Louisiana divorce.

A multitude of factors determines property division, child custody and other matters in a judgment of divorce. A qualified attorney can understand your unique legal situation and determine what exactly you are entitled to.

Property Division In a Louisiana Divorce

Community Property vs. Separate Property

Louisiana is a community property state, meaning all community property shall be divided equally between the spouses. Community property is marital property, or property obtained or acquired during her marriage. Unless the prenuptial agreement states otherwise, the wife is entitled to 50% of community property, including assets (house, car, savings account, etc.) and debts (mortgage, loans, credit cards, etc.).

Unlike community property, separate property cannot be split up in a divorce or marriage and is one spouse’s exclusively. Separate property includes property acquired by a spouse prior to the establishment of a community property regime, inheritance or donation and damages awarded to a spouse in managing that separate property.

Related: Louisiana Inheritance Laws: An Overview

Child Custody In a Louisiana Divorce

In most cases, wives are entitled to shared custody with a child support obligation.

If the parents reach an agreement on custody arrangements, the court shall award custody in accordance with their agreement unless the agreement is not in the best interest of the child. If the parents fail to reach an agreement, the court shall award custody to the parents jointly, unless substantial evidence shows custody with one parent is in the best interest of the child.

Louisiana Law Article 134 provides that courts consider the following when determining child custody:

  • Potential for the child to be abused
  • Love, affection, and other emotional ties between each party and the child
  • Capacity and disposition of each party to give the child love, affection and spiritual guidance and to continue educating and raising the child
  • Capacity and disposition of each party to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care and other material needs
  • Length of time the child has lived in a stable, adequate environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity of that environment
  • Permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes
  • Moral fitness of each party as it affects the welfare of the child
  • History of substance abuse, violence or criminal activity of any party
  • Mental and physical health of each party
    • Evidence that an abused parent suffers from effects of past abuse by the other parent shall not be grounds for denying that parent custody
  • Home, school and community history of the child
  • Willingness and ability of each party to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other party
    • Except when substantial evidence of specific abusive, reckless or illegal conduct by other party poses reasonable concerns for the child’s safety or well-being
  • Distance between the respective residences of the parties

The court will consider the child’s preferences in deciding the custody arrangement if the court deems the child of reasonable age to make conscientious decisions.

Related: How to Protect Your Inheritance From Your Spouse

Spousal Support In a Louisiana Divorce

The court shall grant spousal support (financial support during or after the divorce) in proportion to the wants of the dependent spouse requiring it and the financial circumstances of the payor spouse.

Louisiana Law Article 112 provides that courts consider the following when determining spousal support:

  • Income and means of the parties, including the liquidity of such means
  • Financial obligations of the parties, including any interim allowance or final child support obligation
  • Earning capacity of the parties
  • Effect of custody of children upon a party’s earning capacity
  • Time necessary for the dependent spouse to acquire appropriate education, training or employment
  • Health and age of the parties
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Tax consequences to either or both parties
  • Existence, effect and duration of any act of domestic abuse committed by the other spouse upon the dependent spouse or a child of one of the spouses, regardless of whether the other spouse was prosecuted for the act of domestic violenceSpousal support terminates upon the remarriage of the dependent spouse, the death of either party or if the court decides the recipient spouse has cohabitated with another person of either sex in a marriage-like relationship.

FAQs About Rights Wives are Entitled to In a Louisiana Divorce

What is the cap on spousal support in Louisiana?

The spousal support the court orders will not exceed 30% of the payor spouse’s net income.

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