Louisiana Legal Blog

How does living separate and apart impact my divorce filing?

Louisianans who have problems in their marriage will sometimes decide that they will live separately for a time to determine how they will address the situation. While this is common, many will be unaware of how this can influence the divorce process. There are three grounds for divorce in the state and one is living separate and apart. Understanding the time periods and other considerations when a couple has taken this step is a key part of a case.

When a couple is living separately and apart, the duration must be a minimum of 180 days before there can be a divorce. This is the time-frame when there are no minor children involved. If there are minor children though, it will be 365 days.

What to expect if your minor child is arrested

Kids make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes result in an arrest. Except in severe cases, most minor children have their criminal cases handled in juvenile court. The goal is not to convict, but to make sure kids get the help they need to move on and better themselves. Still, it can be an overwhelming thing with which parents have to deal.

What can you expect if your minor child is in trouble with the law? What can you do as a parent to help him or her during this difficult time? What can you do for yourself?

What if face drug charges for distributing to those under 18?

Being arrested on drug charges in Louisiana can be a worrisome experience. Those who might have given or sold drugs to another person or are accused of doing so might have a vague understanding of the potential penalties they can face, but do not grasp the different potential consequences that could be assessed based on circumstances. For example, there is a difference between distributing to the drugs to a legal adult who is 18 or older and someone who is younger than 18. Knowing the law for distribution to those under 18 can be a critical part of a legal defense against the allegations.

It is important to understand how drugs are categorized. Schedule I drugs are those without acceptable medical uses and can be prone to abuse. Included are LSD, heroin, marijuana and ecstasy.

What if there is a dispute over income for support in a divorce?

Support is one of the most common causes of dispute in a Louisiana divorce. When the court decides on child support and other types of support from one former spouse to the other, it will make its determination based on the income and a variety of factors that impact the person (the obligor) who is ordered to pay.

If the receiving spouse asserts that income is being hidden or not reported in full, the court will gather evidence to establish the income. Understanding what evidence the court needs is a key part of a case. Those who are in the middle of a contentious disagreement of this kind should consider having legal advice.

Inaccuracy of Breathalyzer could be key in DUI criminal defense

When Louisianans are stopped by law enforcement as part of an investigation to determine if a driver is driving under the influence, there are various steps the officer will take. Most people will understand what it means to blow into a Breathalyzer. This machine is used to determine the blood-alcohol content in the driver's system. A foundational part of many DUI cases, those who register over a certain level depending on the circumstances can find themselves arrested and in need of criminal defense.

However, a new report is calling into question the validity of these tests. Reporters from the New York Times investigated Breathalyzers. They found that many law enforcement agencies across the U.S. use machines that are inaccurate with numerous flaws contributing to the errors. Failure to register an accurate reading could mean that people who should not have been arrested were charged. These inaccuracies occurred at a worrisome rate.

What are some defenses to drunk driving?

You or a loved one may have gotten the shock of your lives when you were pulled over and charged with drunk driving. Intoxicated driving is something that the criminal justice system has been cracking down on in the last decade or so. Officers are trained to be on the lookout for drunk drivers, and penalties for drunk driving could be harsher than they have been in the past.

Being charged with drunk driving is a serious allegation. It is a criminal charge and the accused has the right to build a criminal defense against the charge. One defensive strategy that the accused could employ is claiming that the officer engaged in an improper stop when they pulled over the accused. This means they didn't have probable cause to stop the driver.

What to anticipate during the child custody process

You and your child's parent may be great parents, but that doesn't mean that it can be easy to co-parent from separate households. It really takes a great deal of effort, thought and patience to ensure that the co-parenting process goes smoothly. A child custody arrangement is often the first step in the process to get the ball rolling. For parents who have never experienced the child custody process, it can be nice to know what to expect.

When a custody agreement is decided they will decide on a number of issues that impact you, your child and your child's parent. Physical custody, legal custody, parenting plans, child support and other issues may be on the table during these discussions. It's important to understand that the ultimate goal of a child custody and visitation arrangement is to have an arrangement that is crafted in the best interests of the child. Other factors will be taken into consideration, but this goal is number one.

Did your child land in legal trouble after going off to college?

It can be frightening as a parent to send your kids off to college. After roughly 18 years of caring for him or her, your child is ready to live on his or her own, make choices independently and learn important life lessons. Sometimes, this does not always go well, and a young college student may make certain mistakes that could land him or her in trouble. 

One important step you can take as a parent is to educate your child about dealing with campus police. It is always smart for a college student to know exactly what type of authority an on-campus police officer has and to understand what a student should do in the event of questioning or arrest. It is prudent to teach your kid how to react in certain circumstances and how to protect their own rights and interests.

Helping you understand your criminal defense options

Facing criminal charges is a difficult predicament to be in. An alleged offender is likely overwhelmed by the entire situation, unsure what they can immediately do to better the matter. No matter how severe or minor the charges are, it is important to note that a criminal defense is always an option. But not all criminal defense strategies look alike; therefore, it is vital for a defendant to explore their options and what defenses would benefit them the most.

It can be challenging to weigh the pros and cons when asserting a defense, which is why our law firm takes the time to lay this out for our clients. The attorneys at Brett K. Duncan & Co., are dedicated to helping individuals facing a wide range of criminal allegations. Our focus is on making sure our client understand their options so they can make the best chose possible for their situation.

How can you achieve an out-of-court divorce?

The end of a marriage signifies the end of one chapter in life and the beginning of a new one. While some divorcing couples are able to move on quickly, others find it more challenges, as they are faced with difficult divorce issues. However, for those couples in Louisiana and elsewhere that are able to amicably move through the dissolution process, it may be beneficial to consider their options when it comes to avoiding litigation and keeping costs down.

How can you achieve an out-of-court divorce? While some divorcing couples require court to finalize their divorce, this is not always necessary. In fact, a divorce could be resolved through an informal negotiation process. This is usually completed with the assistance of attorneys, and the spouses could use an alternative dispute resolution or ADR process to reach a voluntary settlement.

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Brett K. Duncan & Co. - Brett K. Duncan & Co.

Brett K. Duncan & Co.
500 E. Morris Avenue
Hammond, LA 70403

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