New Orleans Divorce Attorney

Orleans Parish Lawyer for Divorce and Division of Marital Property

Getting married in New Orleans often quite literally involves a parade. Getting divorced in Orleans Parish or the surrounding areas can involve more of a sulking march to the courthouse. Whether getting divorced is something you have wanted for a long time and you are excited about leaving your marriage or your spouse has filed against your wishes, divorce does not have to be a legal nightmare. Our team of lawyers can tackle even the most complex divorce case with confidence, striving to achieve the most favorable result possible.

Brown Weimer, LLC, is committed to making divorce as painless as possible for our clients while providing aggressive representation in pursuit of the best outcome. Your marital property must be divided in accordance with the law. If you have children in common with your spouse, a plan for co-parenting generally must be established. We will work with you to help you understand your options for getting divorced. In some cases, we can use tactics like mediation to get a fair agreement. In others, we aggressively litigate each issue. We take a unique approach to each divorce.

Attorneys for Division of Marital Property in Louisiana

Different states take radically different approaches to dividing marital property during divorce. Louisiana is a community property state. Essentially, this means that all property you and your spouse acquired during the marriage belongs equally to both of you, regardless of whose income was used to acquire the asset. In divorce, the spouses' community property is generally to be divided 50/50.

The idea of community property presumes that both spouses contribute equally to the marriage, and are therefore equally entitled to assets acquired by the marriage. This remains true even if one spouse did not work. Under this system, most of the property, real estate, and other assets you gained during the marriage are considered community property.

Notable exceptions to the community property rule include:

  • Property acquired before marriage
  • Property gifted to or inherited by one spouse alone
  • Property acquired using one spouse's separate funds
  • Damages caused by one spouse's mishandling of property
  • Property designated as separate in a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

Assets falling under one of these exceptions are likely to be considered the separate property of one spouse. Separate property is not subject to division during divorce.

Even given the 50/50 rule, there are a lot of variables that may need to be addressed. If you and your spouse own a home together, or if you own other real estate property, you will need to determine how to handle ownership of these valuable assets. You may decide that it would be best to sell the home, which will allow you to divide the profits earned from the sale and ensure that both of you can seek out new living arrangements. However, if either of you wish to continue owning the home, the other spouse may receive marital assets of an equivalent value. In these situations, one spouse will need to be removed from the home's title and mortgage, and the other spouse will need to be able to make mortgage payments and pay expenses such as utilities and property taxes on their own.

Family businesses can also present issues that may be difficult to resolve during a divorce. A business owner may be looking to maintain ownership of their company and ensure that they will be able to continue earning income and profits through the business. To ensure that business assets will be addressed correctly, a business valuation will usually need to be performed. Once you and your spouse understand the full value of business assets, you can determine whether one spouse may maintain sole ownership by buying out the other spouse's share of the business, whether you will be able to continue co-owning the business after your divorce, or whether it may be necessary to sell the business during the divorce process.

Investments and retirement benefits are another category of complex assets that you may need to address. Money saved in retirement accounts or pension benefits earned while you were married are usually considered marital assets that will need to be divided between both spouses. If assets in retirement accounts will be transferred between you and your spouse during the divorce process, or if some of one spouse's pension benefits will be allocated to the other spouse, you will usually need to use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which will ensure that you will not be assessed penalties or required to pay taxes. Our attorneys can help you make sure any QDROs that are required are drafted and executed correctly.

As you address issues related to your marital assets, we will take the time to understand what is important to you and base our representation around your personal goals and needs. Our goal is to help ensure that you will have the financial resources you need after your marriage has ended.

Lawyer for Child Custody Issues During Divorce

When children are involved in a divorce, the stakes are high. As a parent, you probably want to ensure that you be able to make important decisions about how your children will be raised, and you will also want to make sure that you will be able to spend time with them on a regular basis and be as involved in their lives as possible. In most cases, parents are able to share joint custody of their children, and they will share decision-making authority over issues related to children's medical care, education, and personal needs. However, sole custody may be awarded to one parent if a court determines that this would be in the child's best interests. When evaluating issues related to children's best interests, a family court judge may consider factors such as the relationship between each parent and the children; each parent's ability to meet children's ongoing needs regarding food, clothing, medical care, etc.; each parent's ability to provide children with love, affection, guidance, and eduation; any history of domestic violence or substance abuse by either parent; the reasonable preferences of the children; and each parent's ability to ensure that children can have a positive relationship with the other parent.

Visitation will also need to be addressed, and schedules will need to be created detailing the dates and times that children will be in each parent's care, including for short visits or overnight stays. Even if one parent will have sole custody of children, the other parent will be able to have reasonable visitation rights, as long as this is in the children's best interests. Visitation may be restricted in rare situations, such as when a parent has been convicted of crimes involving domestic violence or other offenses that could put the health and safety of children at risk. However, children will usually be able to divide their time between the parents, ensuring that positive parent/child relationships can continue.

Our attorneys understand the importance of child custody concerns, and we will prioritize your parental rights during your divorce. We will work with you to negotiate a parenting agreement with your spouse that will ensure that you can be closely involved in your children's lives going forward. We can also ensure that child support orders will be put in place that will follow the guidelines in Louisiana law.

Orleans Parish Law Firm for Post-Divorce Estate Plan Updates

Many spouses name each other as the main beneficiary in their will or estate plan. You may also have powers of attorney naming your spouse. It is extremely important that you take the time to update your old estate and incapacity plans in the aftermath of a divorce. We can help you strategize so that any children you share with your ex-spouse are well-protected, while also eliminating your former spouse.

Contact a New Orleans Divorce Attorney

Brown Weimer, LLC, fights for the best possible results in our clients' divorce cases. We will aggressively pursue your best interests throughout the representation. Contact us online or call 504-561-8700 for a free consultation. We represent people in St. Tammany Parish, Jefferson Parish, and metro New Orleans, and we also assist clients in Terrebonne Parish, Lafourche Parish, and St. John Parish, including Covington, Gretna, Kenner, Harvey, Thibodaux, Slidell, Metairie, Houma, and Mandeville.

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