Eric S. Neumann, APLC
More Than 25 Years Of Family Law Experience
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Lafayette Divorce Blog

Create a parenting plan that works for your family

Making decisions, planning for the future and even getting on the same page about anything related to a child can be difficult. Add in the fact that you and your child's parent are no longer romantically involved, and that can make coming to a decision more difficult. Parenting plans exist to take out some of the stress and guesswork when it comes to raising your child.

This would be in addition to a child custody decision in hopes of laying out expectations and responsibilities of each parent. Parenting plans can involve all sorts of details, including pick up and drop off times and other specifics that help in making the process of co-parenting more smooth and with less uncertainty and disagreements between parents. They can't regulate every aspect of a child custody agreement, but they can help in many respects.

If you caught your spouse cheating, is divorce imminent?

When you married your spouse, the vows during your ceremony likely included a promise to remain faithful, as well as a vow to stay together for the rest of your lives. However, when one spouse violates the promise of fidelity, the vow of a lifetime commitment may no longer feel real or reasonable to either spouse. Cheating is a common reason people file for divorce.

Many people who catch their spouse cheating feel shock and anger. In fact, they may go through a number of emotional reactions similar to the grieving process. Sometimes, the one cheating will file for divorce because they want to start a new life. Other times, they are contrite and want to make their marriage work.

Get a favorable resolution during divorce, property division

The process of going through a divorce can bring up a lot of questions for those involved. This can include the division of assets, such as savings accounts, 401k, property and anything else that is considered marital property. It can also mean finding a parenting plan that works for the divorcing couple and any children they may have.

These are just two topics that can come up during a couple's divorce. Depending on their unique situation, a divorce process can look different for different people. That's why it's important to understand the unique circumstances and topics that can come up and affect your particular divorce. At our law firm, we do our best to guide our clients through the divorce and property division process.

Credit scores may be divorce casualty

Ending a marriage makes couples deal with difficult issues, such as property division, custody and child and spousal support. The aftermath of a divorce may also lower credit scores.

Marital status itself, however, does not impact a person's credit. It is not mentioned on credit reports and does not influence credit scores. Women are also protected under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which prevents lenders from using credit scoring systems which discriminate because of gender, age, race and religion.

Calculating a divorce tax strategy

Married couples must face the impact of taxes even after they end their marriage. The new federal tax law has made divorce settlement negotiations even more difficult and changed some of its tax consequences. There are some ways to deal with these changes, however.

A major change was eliminating the federal tax deductibility of spousal support payments. Recipient spouses now do not have to claim it as income. This eliminated a tax deduction that often encouraged settlements because of the financial advantages.

Spousal support in divorce

The role of spousal support in a divorce is often misunderstood. Also known as alimony, spousal support is decided later in divorce proceedings, after division of the couple's assets are decided. Once this is done, the need for a spouse to receive or pay support can be determined and calculated. It is awarded to restrict any inequitable economic impact to the lower or non-wage-earning spouse by providing that spouse with ongoing income.

Louisiana law governs spousal support. It is generally based upon the need of the recipient spouse, the payer's ability to pay it, the marriage length, the couple's lifestyle when they were married and the spouses' age and health. Courts may consider non-martial assets and the involvement of minor children.

Divorces and digital technology

Ending a marriage brings many disputes and the need for caution about many matters. Digital technology has become a major, but possibly overlooked, part of our lives that can cause headaches in a divorce. Passwords, online accounts and gadgets can be "weaponized" by a vindictive soon-to-be former spouse.

Passwords can provide access to important financial, household and social accounts and infringe on privacy. Passwords should be changed immediately when divorce is being seriously considered. This will help prevent damage caused from meddling, curiosity or vindictiveness from a spouse or other obtrusive person.

Bringing an absent parent back into a child's life is difficult

There are times when a parent doesn't have contact with a child. This might happen during a divorce, because of military service or a long-distance parenting relationship. The parent must be sensitive to the fact that the child might have some problems adjusting.

When a child is trying to renew contact with a parent, it is imperative that things be taken slowly. The reason for the loss of contact might come into the picture, so both parents should try to prepare for having to answer questions. This discussion might help to pave the transition toward reestablishing contact.

What are grandparents' custody rights in Louisiana?

Grandparents may seek child custody in limited circumstances in Louisiana. Grandparents may intervene in a court case and seek custody after the parents filed for divorce. They must prove that the parents' custody will substantially harm the child. This is a heavy burden and the parents could still maintain custody even though the child would be better if the grandchildren had custody. Typically, the judge must find that the parents are abusing or neglecting the child to award the grandparents custody.

Grandparents may also file for a protective order on their grandchildren's behalf and seek temporary custody of their grandchildren if there is parental abuse. The judge can grant a temporary and immediate custody order and schedule a hearing within 30 days. If the grandparents prove that the child is being abused, the judge may order custody for a six to 18-month period.

Planning for the end at the beginning

The beginning of a marriage may be the best time to make financial plans in case there is ever a divorce. Financial inequity among married couples can cause hardship to a spouse when they undertake property division at the end of their marriage.

Unfortunately, women usually bear the consequences of this inequity. 64 percent of baby-boomer men make the major investment decisions for the couple, while only 27 percent state they have an equal financial partnership with their wives, according to a recent study. Only 9 percent of women in this age group have the dominant role with investing the couple's assets.

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