Eric S. Neumann, APLC
More Than 25 Years Of Family Law Experience
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Dividing community property

The end of a marriage can be a wrenching emotional experience, but the process of divorce itself is largely concerned with money. The biggest, most time-consuming and technically challenging part of many divorces is figuring out how to divide the marital property.

Under Louisiana law, almost every asset the partners buy or receive during the marriage is known as community property. This is distinguished from separate property, which includes assets the spouses owned before the marriage. Inheritances and certain other types of property received by one of the spouses during the marriage may be considered separate property under certain circumstances.

Separate property generally does not need to go through the property division process in a divorce. So, if one spouse bought a car before you were married, it may not be considered part of the community property and that spouse may take it with them. If a spouse is named in family memer's will and their death occurred shortly before the divorce, that spouse may not have to share their inheritance with thier soon-to-be ex.

Theoretically, community property law should make it relatively easy to divide separate property from community property and then split the community property in half. In practice, it is rarely an easy matter.

For one thing, separate property can become community property when the spouses commingle their funds. For instance, if you took that inheritance from your uncle and deposited it in your joint investment account with your spouse, and you both treated that account as your own for several years before the divorce, a court might decide that the property lost its separate status.

For another, some types of property are not easy to split in half. You will probably have to negotiate a solution to dividing many of the assets in your community property. A skilled family law attorney can help one navigate these matters.

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