What happens if you out-earned your spouse?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | Family Law |

Louisiana is a community property state, which means that each spouse is entitled to half of the assets accrued during the marriage. Joint debts are also typically split in a 50/50 manner when a marriage comes to an end. An asset is generally considered to be a marital asset regardless of who bought or funded it.

You could lose assets that you bought

Let’s say that you bought a house after getting married. Even if you paid 100% of the purchase price, your spouse is entitled to 50% of its equity unless other arrangements have been made. Other arrangements could include classifying the home as separate property as part of a postnuptial agreement or putting the home in a trust. You might also have to forfeit half of your retirement accounts or funds in a joint bank account even if your spouse contributed nothing to them.

Alimony considerations

As the higher earning partner, you may be required to make alimony payments after the divorce is finalized. There are a number of factors a family law judge will consider when calculating alimony payments such as the length of the marriage and whether your partner can find a job in the near future. If your partner can’t work, you may be required to make larger payments or make payments over a longer period of time. Your former partner’s age and health status will also be considered.

In a divorce, you may be able to retain control of a business or other assets that you are attached to. This may be done by waiving your right to other assets or by producing a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. This type of agreement may also help you avoid alimony payments or otherwise help you negotiate a favorable settlement.


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