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Can you keep your business in divorce?

Here in Louisiana, divorces look a little different from those in other states throughout the country. Our state laws require that couples who choose to divorce divide their marital property equally, which removes some flexibility from the property division negotiations.

For those who own businesses, this can prove particularly difficult. A business is not only a complex asset, it is often the most valuable asset that a person may own. In a worst-case scenario, a business owner divorcing in Louisiana may need to close the business or sell it off to properly compensate a spouse for one's share of ownership in the business as a marital asset.

Is your spouse behind on spousal support payments?

If your ex fails to pay spousal support, you may be at a loss about what to do. This is a normal reaction to a frustrating situation, but you may have more options than you realize. In these circumstances, it is usually wise to consult with an experienced attorney to identify strategies you can use to approach this issue effectively.

First, it is wise to assess the motivations for nonpayment. If, for instance, your ex falls on hard times and simply cannot make payments according to the spousal support order, you may want to consider some sort of informal agreement where your ex pays you less than he or she owes, but is still able to make some payments rather than none. Often, being willing to flex when others experience hardship creates a scenario where you benefit more than you might otherwise.

Study finds Louisiana's divorce rate is among the highest

There are many factors that drive couples to divorce. Unfortunately, many of them hang heavy in the air in Louisiana, where a new study found that we bear one of the highest divorce rates of any state in the country. According to a report recently released by 24/7 Wall Street, the divorce rate in Louisiana is actually the 4th highest of all the states.

The report, which used data aggregated from the Census Bureau, claims that one of the primary issues leading to divorce for Louisiana couples is the significant number of individuals living in poverty or otherwise strapped financially. With an unemployment rate just above 5 percent, Louisiana is one of several states tied for the 6th highest unemployment rate throughout the country.

Former college president loses wrongful termination suit

After a job termination, it is common to feel that your firing was unjust. In some cases, of course, a firing is unjust, or at the very least violates some terms of an employment contract. If you face a demonstrably wrongful termination, you may have grounds to sue your former employer for damages and other remedies. However, not all wrongful termination suits are well-grounded, such as the suit brought against a small Baptist college by its former president that was recently decided in favor of the employer.

The former college president claimed in his suit that the college fired him in violation of his contract, but the court did not uphold his claim. The president's term leading the school was fairly controversial in its own right, and he faced a number of efforts to remove him from the position during his years there. U[on reviewing his claims, the court found that there was no reliable evidence fo many of his claims of malicious intent on the part of his colleagues.

What if my employee files a faulty workers' compensation claim?

As an employer, you want to make sure that your workforce remains healthy and fully functional. One of your primary tools to achieve this is workers' compensation coverage for your employees, but that doesn't mean that every workers' compensation claim actually necessitates a payout. Depending on many factors in an employee's claim, you may have reasonable grounds to avoid paying the claim in full or in part.

While it is important for employees to remain healthy, some claims are simply an abuse of the system. If, for instance, an employee files a claim for an injury that not actually work related, you have reasonable grounds to contest the claim. In some cases, the employee may actually bear the responsibility for his or her injury, either out of direct action, or because he or she does not properly pursue treatment to address the issue.

What are the advantages of limited partnership?

Limited partnerships are a type of business structure that is often overlooked when two or more partners consider how to set up their business or investment venture. In recent years, the limited partnership has taken a backseat to the often-preferred limited liability company, but it still offers some compelling benefits when instituted properly.

One of the most often-touted advantages of a limited partnership is the limit to how much an individual partner stands to lose should things go sideways with the venture. In general, a single investor or partner enjoys protection against losing any more than he or she puts into the partnership. This often proves exceptionally useful when it comes time to beat the pavement and rustle up investors, who tend to avoid opportunities that may cost more than they put in if the deal sours.

Protecting a business from divorce in Louisiana

When you own a business, divorce is always more complicated, unless you've thought ahead and protected the business with a prenuptial agreement. However, for business owners facing divorce in Louisiana, there is an extra layer of complication because Louisiana abides by community property guidelines when dividing assets and liabilities in a divorce.

Louisiana is among only a few states that use community property guidelines, but these can make a big difference. In states where community guidelines are not used, spouses can choose to divide up property however they see fit, as long as a court acknowledges that the division is "equitable." However, division of marital property in community property states, often including businesses, means that spouses must divide property "equally," which may make it more difficult to reach a legally sound compromise.

What if my child's other parent abducts him or her?

As a parent, there are few things more infuriating or frightening than the possibility of your child's other parent abducting him or her and exiting your life without your permission. If a parent suspects that his or her child's other parent may abduct him or her soon, or if he or she discovers an abduction is in progress, responding quickly and decisively is key.

While it may seem surprising, in some cases law enforcement cannot pursue a child abduction by another parent if you do not first obtain a court order allowing them to do so. Many parents forget this important step in the rush to prevent the abduction. If you face this circumstance, you can contact an attorney to help you request the court order and make sure that you understand everything you must do to secure it.

Dealing with employees who do not properly report injuries

As an employer, you work hard to create a good work environment for your employees and subcontractors, but there's only so much that you can do. Especially in certain types of work, an idea still persists on the workforce that one should not stop working for most minor injuries and even some moderate or severe injuries.

If you operate a business with a traditionally tough workforce, overcoming the culture of "keep working, no matter what happens" can prove quite difficult. Unfortunately, many employees simply do not understand the seriousness of their own injuries or the limitations placed on them if they do not properly report the injury and seek medical attention.

Beware broad nondisclosure agreements

If you work in the business sector, then you understand that nondisclosure agreements (NDA's) are more and more commonly a part of normal operations when a new hire joins a company. However, just because you get handed a nondisclosure agreement does not mean that you have to sign it, or even that it is legally sound. Often, companies hand prospective employees NDA's that feature wildly unreasonable terms and expect them to come back signed with no issues. Before you sign that NDA, consider taking it to a legal professional to assess its terms and see if you really want to agree to it.

For instance, an employer may ask you to sign an NDA that lasts for much longer than is reasonable to require. Similarly, an NDA may state that you must remain tight-lipped about information that is not necessarily confidential. The fact of the matter is that many businesses hand out NDA's written in very broad terms because they simply want to cover their liabilities from some unanticipated problem. However, very broad terms can have issues standing up to scrutiny in court.

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