The procedure for obtaining a divorce in Louisiana will vary depending on whether or not you have been separated from your spouse prior to filing your Petition for Divorce for a period of more than 365 days if you have have minor children, or 180 days if you do not. The procedure may also vary if there are allegations of abuse or adultery. While the process for obtaining your divorce can be somewhat technical, Dixie will be able to walk you through the process in an efficient and economical manner.
Custody issues are arguably the most sensitive and most important topics that a family law attorney will deal with. Whether you are seeking to set an initial custody order, or modify an existing order, whether you are seeking joint custody or sole custody, whether you are the domiciliary parent or not, this firm will handle all custody matters with the attention and compassion that they deserve, with a focus on the best interests of your child. Whether your custody order can be reached by agreement, or requires litigation, Dixie has extensive experience with both in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, and St. Charles Parishes.
Child support in Louisiana is calculated according to a fairly complex formula based on the kind of custody and the gross income of both parents. The law also accounts for credits for health insurance, assigns the obligation for payment of tuition and extracurricular activities, and allocates child dependency tax exemptions. Regardless of whether you are the payor or the payee, you will need to have a firm grasp of all of these issues in order to ensure that your child is being properly financially cared for by both parents. Dixie can also assist you with contempt and arrears issues relating to non-payment of child support.
Spousal support, or alimony, in Louisiana has no such formula, and for this reason, it is very important to be able to strongly advocate your position orally and in writing. Spousal support can be divided into two phases: interim and final. Interim spousal support may be awarded for a short period in between the filing of the Petition for Divorce and the final Judgment of Divorce. Final periodic spousal support may be awarded, following a fault hearing, after the rendering the Judgment of Divorce. The legal standard and procedure varies for each, and Dixie can assist you with both.
Louisiana is a community property state, which means that all assets and liabilities that are acquired by either spouse during the marriage, and that are in existence at the time of the filing of the Petition for Divorce, belong to each spouse equally. The goal of a community property partition is to assign to each spouse their equitable portion of the community assets and liabilities. Dixie’s goal is to make sure that you are awarded your fair share, whether by settlement or by trial. She can also assist you in opting out of this community property regime either before or after the marriage by drafting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
When it becomes necessary to protect yourself and/or your children from harm, Dixie can assist you in obtaining a short-term temporary restraining order, and ultimately a more long-term protective order. The nature of this issue often requires quick and decisive action and Dixie has the legal knowledge and experience to jump in and obtain relief quickly. She also has experience in defending clients against unfounded or frivolous protective orders.
The law, and particularly family law, can often be a somewhat somber field. For that reason, Dixie delights in having the opportunity to assist clients during such a joyful time, and in bringing families more fully and legally together. If you are seeking to adopt a step-child or be adopted by a step-parent, please call for a step-by-step explanation of the process and requirements.