Getting divorced means that the life you and your husband have built together is going to drastically change. Not only are you physically separating from each other, but you will also be dividing time with your children and splitting your marital property.
Dividing your joint assets and debt can lead to a long and difficult negotiation or an ugly court battle. One of the best things you can do to prepare for this process is to find out everything you can about marital property laws in Louisiana.
Divorces are often complicated ordeals. An experienced attorney in the Lafayette area can advise you how best to protect your interests during your divorce. It is important to take certain actions to ensure you receive your fair share of marital property and do not end up bearing a financial burden because of your divorce.
Marital property refers to everything that you and your husband have acquired since you tied the knot. This includes your main residence, the beach house, the boat, your investment accounts and even the family dog. Like a handful of other states, Louisiana adheres to the principals of community property. In general, this means that the court recognizes that you and your husband own an equal share of all marital property. However, this does not necessarily mean that the court will equally divide the property between the two of you.
Marital property vs. separate property
As mentioned above, most of the property that you acquired during your marriage is marital property in the eyes of the court. Even if only one of your names is on the title, the court may still consider it to be joint marital property. Separate property typically includes all the property that you purchased or acquired before you said “I do.” Other property that the court usually considers separate are inheritances and gifts.
Splitting the property
Due to the nature of Louisiana’s marital property laws, it is fairly easy to simply split everything down the middle. This does not mean you will be taking a chainsaw to the couch so that each of you get half. If your husband wants to keep the main residence, he will have to give you something that is of equal value to your share of the house. This could be a cash payment or his share of another piece of marital property. If you have a prenuptial agreement in place, the court will review it and determine if the split specified in the agreement is fair to both parties.
If you are facing a divorce, it is important to take steps to protect your interests so that you come out with a fair settlement.