Brett K. Duncan & Co.
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Hammond Legal Blog

Are visitation schedules standardized?

There are many different kinds of visitation schedules for people who are separated or divorced and need to share time with their children. Determining the best kind of arrangement isn't always easy, but that may be because you're unaware of the multitude of possibilities.

There are dozens of options. A common option includes one parent having the children during the week and the other having them on the weekend. Another common option is having alternating weeks with your children.

Getting a divorce: The basics in Louisiana

If you want to get a divorce in Louisiana, the first thing you need to do is to determine if you want an at-fault or no-fault divorce. Louisiana does recognize both, but the most common is a no-fault divorce. In a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse agree that the marriage has broken down but do not place the blame on one person or the other. Choosing an at-fault divorce is normally best if you plan to try to seek custody of your child or have a dispute about your property and want to have an edge over your spouse.

There is a waiting period you must go through before your divorce. In Louisiana, the waiting period is 180 days after filing or the service of a divorce petition. That means that you and your spouse may not live together and must be separate for approximately six months before you can file for your actual divorce to become final.

Defending your interests against various types of drug charges

Louisiana laws and federal laws regarding the use of illegal drugs are strict. They come with serious penalties, and if convicted, a person can face consequences that will alter the course of his or her life. If you are facing any type of drug charge, your future and your freedom could be at stake.

You would be wise to take your situation seriously, regardless of the type of drug charge you are up against. It can be beneficial to seek defense help as soon as possible after an arrest or as soon as you learn you are under investigation. It is never too early to have experienced counsel by your side and to start taking the initial steps of building a strong defense. Drug charges are serious and difficult to fight, but you do not have to face it alone.

A contract helps you protect your finances while cohabiting

You and your boyfriend or girlfriend want to move in together. You've decided that you want to move forward in your relationship, but you don't want to get married yet. Living together is a good first step toward the life you want together, but only if you take steps to protect yourself.

Many couples avoid getting married completely, deciding to forgo the process and cohabitate instead. Without a marriage certificate, many don't think to talk about their finances, but that's a mistake.

Is Louisiana a difficult state for married couples to live in?

If you're living in Louisiana and thinking about getting a divorce, you're not alone. In fact, this state has one of the highest divorce rates in the entire country. Louisiana came fourth after collecting data about divorces in each state. According to the 2016 data, 20.8 couples out of every 1,000 ended up divorcing that year. The only states with higher divorce rates were Arkansas, Idaho and Nevada, which had 23.4, 21.9 and 21.3 couples divorcing per 1,000 respectively.

So where should you live if you want a better chance at a long-lasting relationship? That would be Massachusetts. There, only 12.3 out of every 1,000 marriages ended in divorce. This was followed closely by Hawaii with 12.6 couples per 1,000.

Interfering with child custody orders is a criminal act

When the court creates an order for child custody, you and your ex-spouse must obey those orders. There are, of course, times when that might be impossible. For example, if your child falls ill, he or she may not be in a position to go to the other parent's house because of a fever or sickness. On the whole, however, parents need to abide by the custody order.

When a parent doesn't follow the custody orders on purpose and attempts to prevent the other parent from seeing his or her child, it's called interference. Interference with child custody is a crime. Here's an example.

Is Louisiana a community property state?

If you've decided that you want to get a divorce from your spouse, you need to understand Louisiana's property laws. The division of your property is an important step in your divorce, but if you don't consider your property carefully, you could find yourself in a difficult position later.

When you're dealing with property division, you need to think to the future. Louisiana is a community property state, which means that all marital property is considered to be owned equally. If you don't want to split your assets 50-50, it's time to focus on creating a settlement with your spouse.

Defend your assets in a community property state, fast!

You've been planning to get a divorce for some time, but you're concerned about the way the courts will split your assets. You don't want to lose more than you put into your marriage.

Louisiana is a community property state. That means that anything you collect during your marriage, like an income or assets, will be equally owned between you and your spouse. The same is true of debts.

Custody rights: Consider your options before turning to the court

The best interests of your child always come first in custody cases. Regardless of what you or your ex-spouse want, a court will always make a decision that benefits your child first and foremost. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have your own parenting plan, you may not need to rely on a judge to determine what happens to your child, which can work out better for everyone involved in the case.

If parents can come to an agreement on what they plan to do with custody after their divorce, then the court and judge may approve that agreement. In some cases, the judge may decide the arrangements aren't in the best interests of the child and change the arrangement to suit what he or she thinks is right.

High achievers and study drugs

If your child is a student at Southeastern Louisiana University or another institution of higher learning, he or she probably talks about the pressures of college life. Perhaps over the recent holidays you heard about brutal final exams, impossible professors and long, late-night study sessions. Maybe you noticed something different about your child.

Did he or she act a little nervous or jittery? Did it seem that your child had lost weight? Was your child restless and unable to sleep? You likely suspect that your child is using drugs; however, you may be surprised to learn what kind of drugs are prevalent among college students.

Contact

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

Toll Free: 800-725-6413
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